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Tapas/Tasting Menu Ideas

max871026 Oct 13, 2011 02:38 PM

My birthday is coming up and I need some recommendations for restaurants. Last year I held a dinner for a group of 16 at the Bazaar and did their tasting menu. The food was great as always and it was nice to sit at a big table together to interact with each other. I want to do a similar thing this year and as much as I love the Bazaar, I want to go somewhere else this year. I considered Cleo and Mercato (SBE speaks my language) but I would like some other inputs as well. In terms of budget, I'd like to keep it around or below $100 per person.

  1. s
    samtron608 Oct 13, 2011 03:11 PM

    $100 a person is a big budget and should get you plenty of options.

    i would say Hatfields or Providence.

    is a sunday brunch an option? if yes, the $68 brunch at scarpetta is supposed to be awesome.

    1. westsidegal Oct 13, 2011 03:37 PM

      does your $100/pp budget include tax, tip, beverages? or is the $100 number for food only?

      1 Reply
      1. re: westsidegal
        max871026 Oct 13, 2011 03:46 PM

        $100 includes food and beverages. So basically $70-$80 for food probably.

      2. wienermobile Oct 13, 2011 03:55 PM

        If your are meat lovers Fogo de Chao Beverly Hills would work well.

        Fogo De Chao
        133 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

        1 Reply
        1. re: wienermobile
          max871026 Oct 13, 2011 03:59 PM

          Good option, but we actually did DineLA here on Sunday. Thanks for the suggestion though.

        2. b
          bulavinaka Oct 13, 2011 04:55 PM

          Today's LA Times Food Section had a short list of tapas recs:


          You've already been to Bazaar; L'Epicerie is good but I don't think it's too casual for your purposes and the configuration probably won't do 16 eaters - same with Bar Pintxo. La Cachette has both a nice patio by the sidewalk that might work, plus they do private parties. Don't know about Tasca.

          Rivera does nice small plates as well as tasting menus - I think their tasting menu is around $70 - nice wine pairings as well.

          Picca is all about small plates Peruvian-style, but you'd have to call about a party of 16.

          La Cachette Bistro
          1733 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401

          Tasca Restaurant
          8108 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

          Bar Pintxo
          109 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

          7 Replies
          1. re: bulavinaka
            pizzaverace Oct 23, 2011 12:36 PM

            Do NOT fall for the "glowing reviews" from the MSM and Do NOT waste your time or money on this place! Picca will NOT be here in a year from now - the food is TERRIBLE!

            Our party of 4 spent almost $400 last night for what we all agreed was one of the worst meals ever. The insufferably snooty Maitre d' was as unappealing as the food.

            We ordered what we thought would be a nice variety of tastes: tuna tartare, empanadas trio, ceviche crocante, oysters a la chalaca, S.B. prawns, chicharron chicken and ribs, a variety of sushi and the seco de pato aka duck confit. Unfortunately, it all tasted exactly the same - horribly over salted, sour and pastey - with the exception of the duck which was stringy and inedible.

            Both the quality of ingredients and the food preparation was exceedingly poor at any price! I knew that their "sushi" was not on the traditional rice, but I never imagined just how terrible it could taste on a base of potato/corn mush.

            I will say that our servers were all excellent and the gracious young hostess did her best to cover for that obnoxious maitre d'.

            9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

            1. re: pizzaverace
              bulavinaka Oct 23, 2011 03:26 PM

              Don't know what an MSM is, but we've enjoyed meals there - all on saturday nights - and have nothing to complain about in general. Sure, there are dishes there that we prefer over others, either because we just prefer them, or we feel the concept is off, but we'd never point to this place and say it's terrible. They have a maitre d' now? Sorry your experience was horrible, but what's an MSM? Miami Sound Machine? :)

              1. re: bulavinaka
                New Trial Oct 23, 2011 07:25 PM

                I am going to venture a guess that pizzaverace means the Main-Stream Media--you know, those folk that certain Republican candidates love to pretend to hate. However, I am with you on Picca and have had several really enjoyable meals there (with some dishes that don't work for me, such as the causa "sushi) but with no attitude from anyone other than warmth and pleasure to have us there.

                9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                1. re: New Trial
                  bulavinaka Oct 23, 2011 08:28 PM

                  Thanks for the clarification. I'm a cretin in a lot of ways, and the rampant use of acronyms in web-speak is overly judicious IMHO - LOL. That's about it for me, besides SGV...

                  1. re: bulavinaka
                    foodiemahoodie Oct 24, 2011 01:36 AM

                    Yeah, don't buy into the "lame-stream-media" - what the Hell do they know?

                    I've been to Picca many times now. It's great. But if you do a little research you'll get a better experience. The "sour" tast the pizza-v mentions is likely due to the rather prodigious use (perhaps over-use) of lime and cilantro.

                    9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                    1. re: foodiemahoodie
                      samtron608 Oct 24, 2011 02:12 PM

                      was at Picca last week, and i thought it was very good (except the sushi...that potato thing for the sushi did not work in my opinion)
                      But overall I thought the value was good. you get a nice mix of selections there and the service was great. Cocktails were awesome.
                      would go back in a heartbeat.

                      9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

              2. re: pizzaverace
                andytseng Oct 24, 2011 04:24 PM

                i wouldn't say it's terrible, but i think i'm closer to pizzaverace in my opinion of Picca than most. I don't think I'll ever be back there. Nothing was particularly interesting or delicious to me.

                9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

            2. orythedog Oct 25, 2011 05:17 PM

              Jaleo in the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

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