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Okay folks, where am I going to dinner for my birthday?

lucas1230 Oct 25, 2012 02:44 PM

Going out to dinner on the 1st for my birthday, but it's been so long since I've been out, I have no idea where to go. My standby for quality food & service has always been Hatfield's. I'm torn, though. I'm thinking of branching out somewhere new. Any recommendations? Preferably with a low hipster contingent?

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    LisaCD RE: lucas1230 Oct 25, 2012 03:01 PM

    I live in Culver City and I've recently discovered Hamasaku. It's a little pricey, but worth a birthday dinner. Super low-key and they have a semi-private dining area that you can request. It's sushi meets asian fusion with a little bit of molecular gastronomy. Also, they have some really goo sake if you're in to that stuff. I just yelped it, so you should be able to find my review (Lisa D.) on their page. Happy early birthday! :)


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      Dirtywextraolives RE: lucas1230 Oct 25, 2012 03:42 PM

      Any cuisine, price point, or part of town preferred?

      9 Replies
      1. re: Dirtywextraolives
        lucas1230 RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 25, 2012 03:48 PM

        I'm pretty open to almost anything in terms of cuisine & part of town, but I would prefer it to be at least slightly nicer than your average everyday place; but even that's up for debate if the place is phenomenal. I will say the one qualifier is it has to have GREAT desserts.

        1. re: lucas1230
          Dirtywextraolives RE: lucas1230 Oct 25, 2012 03:55 PM

          Okay, desserts are the last thing I judge a place on....only because I hardly get to eat them. Ad unfortunately, this is LA, and kind of hard to avoid the hipster quotient.....so I'm just going to recommend based on the food.....

          the Tasting Kitchen (heavy hipster quotient)
          Eveleigh ( WeHo, enough said)
          Gjelina (practically next door to tasting kitchen)
          Sotto (Italian)
          N/naka (haute Japanese)
          Red Medicine (very hot right now)
          Son of a Gun ( excellent seafood but don't miss the fried chicken sandwich, even if you have to get it to go & eat it for breakfast, it's that good)

          Probably the least hipster places would be n/naka or Sotto.

          Have a delicious birthday!

          1. re: Dirtywextraolives
            lucas1230 RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 25, 2012 04:02 PM

            So true about the hipster quotient. My almost 40 & now Ventura County dwelling self just can't take it anymore...
            Thank you for the recs, though! I'm leaning toward either the Tasting Kitchen or Sotto.

            1. re: lucas1230
              Juji RE: lucas1230 Oct 25, 2012 04:24 PM

              +1 for Sotto or Tasting Kitchen. And I would throw Tar and Roses into the mix. Didn't have dessert, though.

              1. re: Juji
                Thor123 RE: Juji Oct 26, 2012 11:03 AM

                Plus One for Sotto

                Also consider Mezze

            2. re: Dirtywextraolives
              wienermobile RE: Dirtywextraolives Oct 25, 2012 04:56 PM

              I love Son of A Gun, their smoked steelhead roe with maple cream & pumpernickel will make your taste buds dance.
              Mezze is very very good.
              Might be the perfect night for Craft and their large dessert menu.
              and you can't go wrong with the small plates at MB Post.

              Gjelina may be a little too hip?

              1. re: wienermobile
                Dirtywextraolives RE: wienermobile Oct 25, 2012 06:31 PM

                How fun would it be to meet at SoaG & see who could eat more....! I still have yet to go back and order the other half of the menu!!

                Craft rocks... Always a treat to eat there...again, never have room for the dessert.

                And yes, Gjelina is waaaaay to hip.... Was just there for lunch today....and saw Anthony Bourdain....was wishing I had dressed up just a bit... ;0))

            3. re: lucas1230
              Savour RE: lucas1230 Oct 25, 2012 03:58 PM

              Red Medicine. The desserts are phenomenal, and the rest of the food is pretty special.

              1. re: lucas1230
                ipsedixit RE: lucas1230 Oct 25, 2012 04:02 PM


                Finish the evening with the dessert tasting menu.

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              ozhead RE: lucas1230 Oct 25, 2012 04:25 PM

              Saddle Peak Lodge. Not a hipster in sight, terrific food (the elk tenderloin is probably the best chunk o'meat I've ever had). And a "destination" restaurant, if for no other reason than that when you get there -- not the middle of nowhere, but you can see it from there -- you really feel that you have reached a destination.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ozhead
                wienermobile RE: ozhead Oct 25, 2012 05:06 PM

                +1 for the Elk Tenderloin at Saddle Peak. One of the best dishes in LA.

              2. J.L. RE: lucas1230 Oct 25, 2012 04:52 PM

                Red Medicine has everything you described, especially the incredible desserts, BUT you do run the risk of dining with those dreaded hipsters...

                You can also try Kiriko, Shunji Japanese Cuisine or n/naka for a great Japanese sushi omakase / kaiseki experience. Kiriko makes absolutely incredible ice creams & sorbets in-house.

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