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Oct 29, 2013 05:38 PM

Help a Boston Hound out- birthday dinner recs?

Hounds- am looking for a great birthday dinner recommendation for my baby sister's 30th birthday. I have no west coast knowledge at all, so I turn to you for help. The birthday girl and her husband are (starving) grad students and we'd like to treat them to a really special dinner. She is mostly vegetarian (sometimes will do a little seafood in the right circumstances); he eats everything. They live in Koreatown and do not have a car so it should be easy to get to via public transit (do you have that in L.A.? Kidding- don't hate me!). They love ethnic food so as long as the restaurant is in the special occasion category, anything goes as far as cuisine. If they were here, we'd take them to Oleana- upscale, veg-friendly Mediterranean by Ana Sortun. Price- should be total check of no more than $200 including a drink each and we prefer to send a gift certificate versus just give them cash which they'd be tempted to spend on books. Thanks & happy to report back on their behalf.

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  1. Joking aside, transportation is of course an issue in LA. Koreatown does have a stop on the LA subway line (which exists!), which will take you downtown or to Hollywood (it will also take you to North Hollywood, but not quite close enough to the wonderful Thai places out there).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tyus4pt8

      I know my sister is unphased by bus systems and transfers, so it doesn't have to be near a subway.

    2. If they're in Koreatown, they can easily take a bus or metro to downtown LA where there are numerous fine restaurants. Bestia is a hot Italian restaurant that can be reached by bus. There's also Drago or Rivera.

      2 Replies
      1. re: granadafan

        Thanks. Looking at menus, I think they would find Rivera interesting and I'd love to send them there but there really are only a couple of small plates that appear vegetarian. Both Drago and Bestia have some nice veg pasta options so are possibilities. Anyone else care to weigh in?

        1. re: Parsnipity

          Not been to either myself, but someone who was visiting from Chicago posted a review of several places, including Bestia (which he/she thought very highly of):

      2. Check out Shojin downtown. It is an upscale vegan sushi restaurant. My daughter is a vegetarian, and I've been meaning to take her but haven't gotten around to it. I hear good things about it though.

        333 S Alameda St
        Ste 310
        Los Angeles, CA 90013
        Neighborhood: Downtown

        I have Ana Sortun's cookbook. Can't wait to try her restaurant one day.

        1. A special night for me would be a $50 (should get you there and back, $10 off when they sign up) gift certificate to Uber Cab. Take Uber to Abott Kinney and have a $150 dinner at Gjelina, Vegetarian delight.