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Where should I go for my birthday?

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Butter Fight Jan 6, 2014 04:31 PM

I will be dining with two mostly vegetarians. They will eat a little fish, but some dishes have to be vegetable friendly. No seafood for them either (mussels, clams, octopus uni, etc)

I. however, will eat anything. Offal, spicy it doesn't matter. I want something that will leave me in awe, something that will completely wow me and make me remember eating it forever.
Decor/service/fanciness is a complete nonissue. Food is the only factor.

Somewhere between the Westside and downtown and The Santa Monica mountains and Long Beach.

I would like it to be around 80 pp or less before tax/tip, no one drinks so that isn't an issue.

I've been to Animal and loved it, Red Medicine and been very disappointed (except for desserts), Son of a Gun and thought it was good.

What say you?

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  1. wienermobile RE: Butter Fight Jan 6, 2014 04:31 PM

    Gjelina would work for you. Great food.
    http://www.gjelina.com

    so would MB Post in Manhattan Beach.
    http://eatmbpost.com

    15 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile
      d
      Dirtywextraolives RE: wienermobile Jan 6, 2014 04:39 PM

      But know there is a strict no substitution/omission policy at Gjelina.

      I like Tasting Kitchen, which is right next to Gjelina..... They are more accommodating and have a little bit of everything on their menu. The food is fantastic and the cocktails are sublime. Gets busy & loud the later you go.

      1. re: Dirtywextraolives
        westsidegal RE: Dirtywextraolives Jan 6, 2014 04:47 PM

        it sounds like the dietary limits of the others in Butter Fight's party are much like my own.
        gjelina is on my regular rotation and i've not had any problem with their "no modification" policy.

        1. re: westsidegal
          cookie monster RE: westsidegal Jan 6, 2014 05:22 PM

          Right. Vegetarian is not the same as picky. Now if Butter Fight had said s/he was dining with a vegetarian who didn't eat garlic, onions, nuts, chiles, cheese, olives . . . I would steer their party away from Gjelina.

          1. re: cookie monster
            d
            Dirtywextraolives RE: cookie monster Jan 6, 2014 07:23 PM

            Yes, I understand that being vegetarian does not necessarily mean picky, and Gjelina would most likely be the best place as the Chef makes some of the best vegetable dishes in the city.....but thought it would be considerate to let someone know who has never been there about the omission policy.

            1. re: Dirtywextraolives
              cookie monster RE: Dirtywextraolives Jan 6, 2014 07:26 PM

              True. Better than being surprised when one of your guests is told sorry, but no we can't leave the anchovies off your salad or serve the dressing on the side.

              1. re: cookie monster
                d
                Dirtywextraolives RE: cookie monster Jan 6, 2014 07:28 PM

                Exactly :)

        2. re: Dirtywextraolives
          s
          schrutefarms RE: Dirtywextraolives Jan 6, 2014 10:50 PM

          I did my time on the westside for about a year, and I can say with the courage of my conviction that I most definitely prefer Tasting Kitchen to Gjelina for so many reasons, the first and foremost being that I just plain liked the food better. They are both pretty neck in neck with atmosphere (unless it's a beautiful day and it's brunch time, in that case Gjelina wins, if you are lucky enough to snag a patio table). I don't like the attitude at Gjelina, they make me feel as if I'm lucky to be eating there. Unfortunitely, Tasting kitchen is even harder to get into than Gjelina, at least a few years ago it was...

        3. re: wienermobile
          cookie monster RE: wienermobile Jan 6, 2014 04:44 PM

          Another vote for Gjelina. Amazing salads and vegetables and vegetarian friendly pizzas, plus the dinner menu always has some more "adventurous" proteins (lately including lamb neck, octopus, pork belly). And great desserts. Everyone raves about the butterscotch pot de creme, and it is excellent, but my favorite is the warm date cake. Tasting Kitchen, also on Abbot KInney in Venice, would probably work for you as well.
          http://www.thetastingkitchen.com/

          1. re: wienermobile
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            Butter Fight RE: wienermobile Jan 7, 2014 04:17 PM

            What are some must haves at Gjelina? Any "must avoids?"

            What about MB post?

            1. re: Butter Fight
              f
              foufou RE: Butter Fight Jan 7, 2014 04:29 PM

              love MB Post but probably wouldn't take vegetarians/vegans there....dishes are very pork-friendly.

              1. re: Butter Fight
                wienermobile RE: Butter Fight Jan 7, 2014 04:35 PM

                at Gjelina I love…
                Crispy Brussel Sprouts
                Beet Burrata
                King Oyster Mushrooms
                Wood Roasted Cauliflower
                The Pizza's are great. I like the Lamb Sausage
                and The Pork Belly
                save room for the Butterscotch Pot De Cream
                Have never had a bad dish!
                http://www.gjelina.com/#/dinner

                1. re: wienermobile
                  wienermobile RE: wienermobile Jan 7, 2014 04:48 PM

                  At MB Post I love…
                  The Bacon Cheddar Biscuits
                  Roasted Brussel Sprouts
                  Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms
                  Seared Diver Scallops
                  BBQ Lamb Belly
                  Carmel Pork Jowl
                  Grilled Yellowtail
                  and save room for The Elvis.
                  The only dish I didn't like was their giant fries.
                  The Menu does change frequently. Many specials including their great fried chicken and chicken pot pie.
                  http://eatmbpost.com/assets/menus/1/o...

                  1. re: wienermobile
                    TheOffalo RE: wienermobile Jan 7, 2014 04:48 PM

                    Their mac & cheese is amazing too!

                2. re: Butter Fight
                  d
                  Dirtywextraolives RE: Butter Fight Jan 7, 2014 04:51 PM

                  Basically at Gjelina, all of his vegetable dishes are outstanding. I don't believe I've ever come across anything or read anywhere about a "must avoid" dish there.

                  1. re: Butter Fight
                    westsidegal RE: Butter Fight Jan 8, 2014 09:23 PM

                    typically, at gjelina, i will order as many things from the 'VEGETABLE" portion of the menu as i can possibly stuff into my mouth.

                    MB post's treatment of fish is sublime.

                3. b
                  bringiton RE: Butter Fight Jan 6, 2014 04:32 PM

                  They will eat a little fish but no seafood? What is the difference between fish and seafood?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: bringiton
                    wienermobile RE: bringiton Jan 6, 2014 04:39 PM

                    Kosher? No shellfish or bottom feeders.

                    1. re: wienermobile
                      d
                      Dirtywextraolives RE: wienermobile Jan 6, 2014 04:45 PM

                      I was thinking the same thing, wienermobile.... But if they were truly keeping kosher, they wouldn't be going out to any of these places......

                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                        wienermobile RE: Dirtywextraolives Jan 6, 2014 04:46 PM

                        People are Kosher to different degrees. Some just avoid shellfish and meats (pork) and will eat everything else.

                        1. re: wienermobile
                          d
                          Dirtywextraolives RE: wienermobile Jan 6, 2014 07:21 PM

                          Yes, I understand this. Which is why I wrote "truly" keeping kosher..... But seems funny to me that you can be partially kosher..... Like being kinda pregnant?

                    2. re: bringiton
                      b
                      Butter Fight RE: bringiton Jan 6, 2014 06:27 PM

                      I think it is completely arbitrary, but for whatever reason that is where they have drawn the line. It's probably at least partially a textural thing.

                    3. Servorg RE: Butter Fight Jan 6, 2014 04:35 PM

                      AOC? http://www.aocwinebar.com/

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Servorg
                        m
                        maudies5 RE: Servorg Jan 6, 2014 04:38 PM

                        AOC is a great recommendation

                        1. re: Servorg
                          b
                          Butter Fight RE: Servorg Jan 7, 2014 04:17 PM

                          what do you like/dislike at AOC?

                        2. b
                          budlit RE: Butter Fight Jan 6, 2014 04:38 PM

                          Gjelina
                          Bucato
                          Tar & Roses?

                          1. wienermobile RE: Butter Fight Jan 6, 2014 04:43 PM

                            Rustic Canyon
                            http://www.rusticcanyonwinebar.com

                            Lukshon in Culver City
                            http://lukshon.com/data/downloads/din...

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: wienermobile
                              m
                              Miri1 RE: wienermobile Jan 6, 2014 06:18 PM

                              Real Food Daily? Killer nachos...and all vegan. But the food is very appealing to just about everyone.

                              1. re: Miri1
                                s
                                schrutefarms RE: Miri1 Jan 6, 2014 10:54 PM

                                RFD is my favorite place to eat if I am imbibing in something…say…uhh GREEN and organically grown. For some reason I cannot eat meat when I am…ummm…imbibing.

                              2. re: wienermobile
                                westsidegal RE: wienermobile Jan 6, 2014 09:26 PM

                                fwiw, lukshon is also on my regular rotation, BUT it takes WORK to avoid the pork that they seem to like incorporating into most of their dishes.

                                truly few vegetarian/pescatarian dishes to be had there.

                                1. re: westsidegal
                                  b
                                  Butter Fight RE: westsidegal Jan 6, 2014 09:46 PM

                                  This is also somewhere I've been wanting to try. Are they around the same price?

                                  1. re: Butter Fight
                                    westsidegal RE: Butter Fight Jan 6, 2014 10:38 PM

                                    here's the menu.
                                    none of their portions except the whole fried fish are large enough to satisfy me by itself.
                                    normally i need to order three items to be full.
                                    (but, then again, i am a pig)
                                    my NY pal finished off the broccoli beef, which is supposed to be a serving for two people, by himself. he declared it to be "outstanding."

                                    p.s. the eggplant fries are divine, but VERY rich/oily.
                                    i highly recommend the steamed cod.

                                    http://lukshon.com/data/downloads/din...

                                    also, keep in mind their NO SUBSTITUTIONS NO MODIFICATIONS policy.
                                    objectively, it is no different than that at gjelina, but because of the pork presence, it bothers me at lukshon and not at gjelina.

                              3. j
                                jessejames RE: Butter Fight Jan 6, 2014 06:17 PM

                                Matsuhisa has a great variety and nice tempura and veg dishes.

                                1. ipsedixit RE: Butter Fight Jan 6, 2014 06:39 PM

                                  n/naka

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                    b
                                    Butter Fight RE: ipsedixit Jan 6, 2014 08:41 PM

                                    According to the website, n/naka is about $165 pp. that's a little out of my range. Can it be done for less?

                                    1. re: Butter Fight
                                      ipsedixit RE: Butter Fight Jan 6, 2014 08:57 PM

                                      Unfortunately, no.

                                      There used to be a less expensive 9-course option, but now it's only the 13.

                                      Perhaps you can make an exception for your birthday? If not now, when?

                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                        b
                                        Butter Fight RE: ipsedixit Jan 6, 2014 09:42 PM

                                        Very true. But I'm being treated, and I can't justify asking them to spend that kind of money.

                                        Maybe I'll go later and pay my own way.
                                        It looks worth it.

                                  2. b
                                    Butter Fight RE: Butter Fight Jan 7, 2014 04:19 PM

                                    So Gjlenia is looking pretty good to me, but I was also looking at Trois Mec and Church and Key any thoughts on either of those?

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Butter Fight
                                      d
                                      Dirtywextraolives RE: Butter Fight Jan 7, 2014 04:48 PM

                                      You probably want to search the board & read up on Trois Mec..... I believe they use a ticket system or you pay ahead...can't remember which. Read that to mean, hard to get into. And I believe it's a set menu, so not sure if that would be amenable to vegetarians. Just FYI.

                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                        wienermobile RE: Dirtywextraolives Jan 7, 2014 04:54 PM

                                        UPCOMING TICKET RELEASE DATES for Trois Mec tickets

                                        December 27th at 8am for tickets from 1/6/14-1/17/14
                                        January 10th for tickets from 1/20/14-1/31/14
                                        January 24th for tickets from 2/3/14-2/14/14
                                        http://www.ludolefebvre.com/restaurants/

                                    2. TheOffalo RE: Butter Fight Jan 7, 2014 04:41 PM

                                      Like ipse, I was thinking of n/naka (haven't gone yet, personally), but it's definitely out of your price range. How about Shunji? While he doesn't have a vegetarian menu like n/naka, if the other diners are not averse to more than a little fish, you might be able to request (ahead of time) for a more vegetarian-focused omakase (and also mention your price point) and see if they can accommodate. The agedashi tomato tofu is an amazing dish (may or may not be fully vegetarian--I believe the dashi broth that it sits in is made with fish).

                                      Tar & Roses have some veggie dishes (my favorite is the English peas) but again if not averse to more than a little fish, the fried whole snapper looks amazing (still haven't tried myself).

                                      What about Hatfield's? I think of it more as a romantic destination, but certainly good for celebrating a birthday. They have a seasonal prix fixe for $67 and a vegetarian prix fixe for $56. http://www.hatfieldsrestaurant.com/menu

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