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Santa Monica Birthday Dinner for 2

m
madelaine May 2, 2011 01:53 PM

Hi everyone,

I'd like to try a new place for dinner on my boyfriend's birthday next Monday. He's a pescatarian, so fish is good, but we're not going to a steak house. Ambience (especially lighting) is important, price isn't too much of a concern. We like southern food (because it's where he's from), french, american, mexican, sushi, tapas, anything adventurous. Extra points for places with a 30s/40s vibe like Angels and Copa 'd Oro.

Some places i'm considering:

JiRaffe
Musha
Melisse

But I have a feeling you guys can tell me something better :)

  1. b
    BSW6490 May 2, 2011 02:03 PM

    How about Capo? Great ambience, fireplace.
    Here is the link

    http://www.caporestaurant.com/

    1. Servorg May 2, 2011 02:15 PM

      How about the new Villetta? While we haven't been yet it looks really interesting.

      -----
      Villetta
      246 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402

      3 Replies
      1. re: Servorg
        Local May 2, 2011 02:33 PM

        also haven't been but the read on the The Misfit looks interesting too...
        http://la.eater.com/archives/2011/04/28/the_misfits_dark_anisetteesque_interior_now_open.php

        http://www.themisfitrestaurant.com/Th...

        1. re: Local
          j
          joshekg May 2, 2011 02:43 PM

          Knowing that it's owned by LGO, I can't imagine the food is anything great.

          1. re: joshekg
            Local May 4, 2011 08:47 AM

            yeh, though one would hope that maybe they could eventually get something right...oh well.

      2. m
        madelaine May 2, 2011 02:46 PM

        Turns out Capo and Melisse are both closed on Mondays. Forgot that it can be a difficult day to be fabulous.

        Villetta is a definite maybe. Italian isn't usually the man's first choice, but i like the look and location, so it's consideration.

        I ate at Misfit for lunch on opening day. The food was delicious, the staff was friendly and it's a gorgeous space. This might work, too.

        -----
        Villetta
        246 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402

        1. n
          New Trial May 3, 2011 01:30 AM

          Much as I like Musha, ambience is not its strong suit--conviviality, on the other hand....JiRaffe would work nicely and they have, in addition to the regular menu, a nice bistro menu that changes every Monday. Have you looked at Buffalo Club, Whist or Wilshire?

          -----
          Jiraffe Restaurant
          502 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

          Whist Restaurant
          1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401

          Wilshire Restaurant
          2454 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90404

          Musha
          424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          Buffalo Club
          1520 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404

          2 Replies
          1. re: New Trial
            m
            madelaine May 3, 2011 10:41 AM

            What I like most about these suggestions is they all have outdoor seating! Weather (or heatlamp) permitting, that would lovely.

            Whist--I prefer going here for brunch.

            Wilshire--hadn't considered, I've only been here late night after it turns into a club. I will check this out

            Buffalo Club--I've been so ridiculously curious about for quite some time. I'm sure it's beautiful. But for this particular event I wish someone could assure me the food will be great and the service not so rude.

            1. re: madelaine
              n
              New Trial May 4, 2011 01:32 AM

              Although not up to the peak he was cooking at Champagne, Patrick Healy remains a very talented chef and, while I do not go often, I have always had very good meals there (more lunches than dinners). The notorious attitude at Buffalo Club (more the front than the servers even then) has long since faded.

              One caveat on Wilshire: the chef left recently so I am not sure who is heading the kitchen now.

              -----
              Buffalo Club
              1520 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404

          2. r
            ryoray May 4, 2011 01:11 PM

            Madelaine,
            Just went to JiRaffe for a birthday this past Monday. We had a terrific relaxing meal. Each of us ordered the Prix Fixe (38 dollars) Bistro Menu that is only available on Mondays. http://www.jirafferestaurant.com/news.... There is usually a fish and meat entree choice and you can still order off the regular menu that is Californian French. The Bistro Menu changes every week depending on what Chef Lunetta wants to cook. The waiter brought out a plate with Happy Birthday written on in chocolate with the dessert. The service was professional and the restaurant seems very intimate in relation to most restaurants today. I love Musha but it is a very different restaurant . It's a izakya that is more casual. The price point for Melisse is much higher than Jiraffe.

            -----
            Jiraffe Restaurant
            502 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

            Musha
            1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

            1. skinanny May 14, 2011 09:02 AM

              had dinner at Villetta last night, really beautiful ambience. Patio was pretty we ate in a smaller room great lighting with fireplace going. My husband had wild salmon, I had the pasta with pork ragu. Really good. Musha does have great food, but no ambience. Capo is great, but be prepared to spend the big $$$. Have fun...

              -----
              Musha
              424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

              Villetta
              246 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402

              5 Replies
              1. re: skinanny
                Servorg May 14, 2011 09:25 AM

                Thanks for posting. Pork ragu. Now you've got me drooling at the keyboard. What did your dinner run? We are going to go one of these days and I want to be mentally prepared for the final accounting.

                1. re: Servorg
                  skinanny May 14, 2011 03:21 PM

                  180.00 for two of us with a tip, however we were with three other people who ordered more drinks than we did, and we just split the check.

                  1. re: skinanny
                    Servorg May 14, 2011 03:27 PM

                    We don't drink much, if anything, most of the time. Can you guesstimate what the food portion of your check was? I won't hold you to it if you're off. Thanks.

                    1. re: Servorg
                      skinanny May 14, 2011 08:08 PM

                      My husband said around 85.00

                      1. re: skinanny
                        Servorg May 15, 2011 05:20 AM

                        Thanks so much. While that's in the upper end of our non special occasion dining budget I definitely want to give it a try.

              2. l
                lizziee May 15, 2011 10:37 AM

                Villetta - went last night and it was lovely.

                -----
                Villetta
                246 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402

                1. m
                  madelaine May 17, 2011 08:39 PM

                  In the end, we went to JiRaffe. It was perfect.....great food, service, and ambience.

                  Thank you all for your input!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: madelaine
                    Funwithfood May 17, 2011 09:36 PM

                    Glad to know it's still good.

                    (It's good enough to drive from 'the OC' IMO.)

                    What did you order?

                    1. re: Funwithfood
                      m
                      madelaine May 17, 2011 10:03 PM

                      tomato tart and the beet salad to start, then the salmon wrapped in a thin slice of potato and the trout. the pinot noir for me and mojito for him were also lovely. skipped dessert because i baked carrot cupcakes at home as a special surprise :)

                      the bistro menu looked great but the birthday guy is pescatarian and there weren't any options without meat.

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