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Foodie Group Birthday Dinner

itshea Oct 4, 2013 05:02 PM

Group of 4 women who get together every month to catch up and try different restaurants around town. Planning a birthday dinner for one in the group and torn between hitting a known favorite (Rivera, Osteria Mozza) or trying a new spot (maybe Tar& Roses, or Connie & Ted's have been suggested).

We're open to anything Westside, downtown, hollywood, generally anywhere in LA (Pasadena is probably too far out for us to travel).

Definitely looking for a place with great food first, a fun vibe but not too loud (we could barely carry on a conversation at Ink by the end of the evening it was so loud!) and would really like to find a spot that also offers an interesting/creative cocktail menu.

We have been to Hinoki & the Bird and Scarpetta recently, so would not want to repeat those.


  1. perk Oct 4, 2013 05:51 PM

    Red Medicine? It gets loud later in the evening...but if you went fairly early, you'd be ok. Terrific food. Nice atmosphere and service. Fun cocktails....

    1. d
      Dirtywextraolives Oct 4, 2013 06:00 PM

      Tasting Kitchen
      Tar & Roses
      Freddy Smalls

      Go early to any of those.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Dirtywextraolives
        itshea Oct 5, 2013 05:42 PM

        We do love Tasting Kitchen and they have great cocktails...thanks for the reminder, it's also very well located for our group

        1. re: itshea
          Dirtywextraolives Oct 5, 2013 06:01 PM

          Have you looked into Paiche, in MDR?

          Also, Nobu Malibu is very pretty, tho a bit of a drive.

          Also, don't be deterred by the fact that Freddy Smalls is mainly a bar. Their bartenders (or mixologists, I guess now is the term) are wonderful, and the food is incredible. I don't know how big your group is, but they do have a couple of extra large booths that can accommodate more than four. This place is one of my hubby & I's standard date night place, we just love sitting at the bar and enjoying all the delicious food and cocktails.

          1. re: Dirtywextraolives
            itshea Oct 5, 2013 06:09 PM

            I've been to Paiche a couple of times and had mixed experiences - the first visit (2 for lunch) was amazing, all the dishes were spot on and the drinks were great, attentive service was also a plus. Second visit (4 for dinner) was the opposite - food was not cooked properly (pasta was WAY under done - and I like al dente) and over seasoned (multiple dishes). Cocktails were OK and service was horrendous. I may give them another try, but not for a birthday event.

            I had not considered Freddy Smalls - how is the noise factor?

            1. re: itshea
              Dirtywextraolives Oct 5, 2013 06:48 PM

              It's not too bad, as it's a small place, and they actually have a line waiting to get in when it gets later, so they control how many people get in. Even though it's a bar, everyone is there for the food, it is that good.

      2. wienermobile Oct 4, 2013 06:03 PM


        1. ipsedixit Oct 4, 2013 07:35 PM

          Alma or Alumette

          1. n
            New Trial Oct 5, 2013 12:40 AM

            If you choose Tar & Roses, ask for the back patio as it is quieter. Connie & Ted's is also terrific so you will not be disappointed with either. One not mentioned by you: Hatfield's,

            2 Replies
            1. re: New Trial
              PeterCC Oct 5, 2013 01:45 AM

              Hatfield's definitely not too loud, and may actually be too quiet to be "fun" (more on the romantic end).

              1. re: PeterCC
                itshea Oct 5, 2013 05:38 PM

                Agreed - I love Hatfields, but think it's more of a date night/couples place than a gals' night birthday dinner

            2. PeterCC Oct 5, 2013 01:40 AM

              I love Tar & Roses (my review: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/918734) but no cocktails, if that's a dealbreaker.

              Scratch Bar (http://www.scratchbarla.com/)? Haven't been but want to try. Not a full bar but interesting sounding cocktails.


              2 Replies
              1. re: PeterCC
                PeterCC Oct 5, 2013 03:39 PM

                Another post on SB: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/914114

                1. re: PeterCC
                  itshea Oct 5, 2013 05:40 PM

                  I didn't realize Tar & Roses is beer/wine only, thanks for the tip. Definately one that will stay on my list, but interesting cocktails are a must for this Gals birthday.

                  Scratch bar looks promising, I'll check it out

                2. t
                  Thor123 Oct 5, 2013 03:48 PM


                  1. s
                    schrutefarms Oct 5, 2013 07:04 PM

                    How about Laurel Hardware? If you sit on the patio it shouldn't be too loud, and with this weather it will be beautiful outside. Their drink menu is great, I had tequila with pinapple and vanilla, delicious! Only had a few small plates, but I like everything I had. Make a reservation, though, it gets insanely busy!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: schrutefarms
                      Thor123 Oct 5, 2013 07:36 PM

                      IMO much more a bar than a restaurant. Food is marginal. Very loud and crowded. If going that way how about Eveleigh?

                    2. i
                      itshea Oct 7, 2013 08:47 PM

                      I'm so indecisive - silly since we eat out frequently to have such a hard time deciding! I've decided I definately want to go someplace I have been before and narrowed down to the following 4:

                      Tasting Kitchen

                      Given we will be going on a Friday night, probably 7:30 reservation - which do you all think is the best option for the 4 of us to celebrate birthday? Thinking Tasting Kitchen will probably be the noisiest, with Rivera probably taking the top spot for cocktails...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: itshea
                        linus Oct 7, 2013 09:27 PM

                        the cocktails at tasting kitchen are outstanding. yes, it is kinda noisy.

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