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FOODIE'S 30th Birthday Dinner Suggestions, PLEASE!

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I need some help, please! I have been busy making babies and working like a mad woman for the last four years and have no idea which restaurants/dining experiences would be best for my friend's 30th birthday dinner. Here's the lowdown:

-she is a total foodie (met her husband in Culinary School and owns a catering company), but isn't a snob (read: doesn't have to be super fancy)
-I was thinking of trying something new/something that note everyone has been to/done before (Bucca De Beppo need not apply). Maybe a restaurant with a chef's table or private dining room with a prix fixe? I have also been trying to think of some places where the eating is more like an experience*....like Middle Eastern and Belly Dancers or that place where you eat in the dark - except not those things necessarily (less gimmicky and definitely more about the food, I'd say). My post-baby brain can't seem to come up with anything! That's where you creative peeps come in, right?!
-Budget I'd say is probably 50-60 per person
-We all live mostly in the SFV, but wouldn't mind traveling a bit for something worth it.
-Probably about 10-15 people total.
-I have a little less than a month to plan it all...

*I even tried contacting one company that does 'Underground Dining', but they were booked for that weekend...

Thanks SO much in advance for your help! I need it!

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  1. If she hasn't been to The Barzaar by Jose Andres, I think that's a good option. Traditional Spanish tapas meets molecular gastronomy...and super amazing cocktails, too.

    1. There is a private room at Il Moro that could accomodate you. Always found the food to be very good.

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      Il Moro Restaurant
      11400 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064

      1. how bout picca?? they recently opened their private dining area upstairs. food is generally awesome. ;)

        1. Or the private room at Pizzeria Mozza? They could probably meet your price point. Great food and great fun!

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          Pizzeria Mozza
          641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

          1. If she likes prime rib, then I suggest the Tam O'Shanter. It can accommodate large parties. It has a quaint Irish tavern decor and warmth. Above all, the prime rib, creamed corn and Yorkshire pudding are absolutely delicious!

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            Tam O'shanter Inn
            2980 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Feliz, CA 90039

            2 Replies
            1. re: lizvlui

              I love prime rib, but really? Would that be considered foodie-fare? It's pretty traditional. You can't really get more traditional.

              1. re: lizvlui

                Tam O'Shanter is Scotish, not Irish.

                How about Mo-Chica? That is pretty unique.

              2. Thinking outside the box:

                Grab a banquet table at Sea Harbour (seats exactly 10-15!) and gorge yourselves silly with an authentic exquisite Cantonese prix fixe feast!!!

                1. Rivera downtown and Playa are both fantastic and the food is plated really fun and interesting. I think Playa has a private room upstairs.

                  http://playarivera.com/

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: bosanova99

                    Rivera is snobby and service sucks

                    1. re: kandykane

                      Delightful meal and attentive service. To each their own I guess.

                      1. re: kandykane

                        agree w/ kandykane. couldn't even catch a buzz of their cocktails and they refuse to alter the way they make them though they have a choose your own cocktail part of the menu (i didn't want added sugar to mine).

                        1. re: Clyde

                          don't ya just hate it when bars add sugar syrup to cocktails that would taste SO much better without it?

                          especially true for margaritas.

                    2. Westside Tavern has a private room and is a solid restaurant where everyone can usually find a dish they like, foodies and non-foodies alike.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bruinike

                        respectfully disagree with the westside tavern recommendation.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          I know that Milo and Olive doesn't accept reservations, but I wonder if you could "charter" those two communal tables. Work out a great menu with Josh and Zoe. I'll be it would be a fabulous meal; not too expensive and a lot of fun. As I said, I have no idea whether Milo and Olive would be receptive to this. Given that your friend is a "Foodie" and Josh and Zoe seem to have their finger on the pulse of what young (and not so young) foodies are looking for, this could be a great experience for the birthday girl.
                          www.miloandolive.com