HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Foodie Group Birthday Dinner

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. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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. Tasting Kitchen
      Tar & Roses
      Freddy Smalls

      Go early to any of those.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

        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

          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

            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

              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.

          1. 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

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

              1. re: PeterCC

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

            2. 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

                  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

                  1. 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

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

                    2. 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

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