Where to take my 4 friends in March--my birthday, my treat--Santa Monica, etc.
Should be moderate price, since I plan to treat everybody.
My two favorite restaurants in LA are Providence and Hart and the Hunter I would say. Providence is too expensive for even treating myself LOL (I was just there Monday night for the third time, first time for the 9-course--wow!), and Hart and the Hunter is too far away for a week night from the westside, too noisy and doesn't take reservations. I love their food though.
Have had birthdays at Musha several times in the past and not inclined to go again. Not impressed with Rustic Canyon (and the price is too high).
Last two birthdays have been at Hinoki & the Bird (too expensive, too loud, food way over-rated), and Tar & Roses--enjoyable but uneven.
Even though it's not all that special food-wise (except for the mussels, which I was impressed with) was thinking about Meet in Culver City--have been there only once though. Not so impressed with other dishes I tried, but it's a cute place (if rather small) and fairly reasonable. The Frenchy thing might be festive (and France has been on my mind since I'm starting to plan a trip in the fall).
Other ideas: never been to The Misfit--when I've looked inside walking by I felt like I was definitely about 30 years too old but maybe it would be fun for a smallish group dinner? I'm sure the food is just so-so from reviews I've read. Bar Pintxo--haven't eaten there since the year they opened and they had those horrible high tables and terrible chairs. How's the food lately? Was in Spain last year, so the idea seems fun to me. Taberna Arroz Y Vi around the corner from Pintxo gets bad reviews (and I was not impressed with their so-called tapas my one brief time there).
Have been looking at various lists and sites, and nothing really pops out, so any suggestions/comments are very welcome!
Was rather disappointed in Meet myself. What's moderately priced for you ($xx/pp)? What about a more family style sharing cuisine like Thai (Night+Market in WeHo if you don't want to trek to Thaitown) or KBBQ (my mod. priced choice is Soowon Galbi, but there's board fave Park's, which is pricier). I'm assuming weekend, but if not, Phorage is doing interesting, very reasonable prix fixe menus (4 courses for $25) on Wed. nights. Here's tonight's menu: http://instagram.com/p/kmwSazzfOg/.
Some of the dishes at Superba I like include:
chicken liver mousse, roasted green apple, rye toast.
crispy Brussels sprouts, scallions, dashi broth & poached egg.
cauliflower T-bone, salsa verde & fried olives
butternut squash custard, black truffle vinaigrette & parmesan.
octopus bacon, pine nut panna cotta & currant/caper puree.
tagliatelle, Dungeness crab, uni, wakame & jalapeño miso butter.
squid ink chitarra, bryan’s chorizo, mussels & heirloom tomatoes.
and their very rich smoked bucatini carbonara, poached egg, pancetta, pepper & parm.
I also like Superba and had thought of it. I've been twice--thought it was very good the first time and so went back taking a friend and food was much less good--some of it not even hot enough (temp wise) and sloppy service. But some of their vegetable dishes are better than Gjelina IMO. It is pricey, but now we're only 4, so that might be a good choice. Thanks!
Agree on the Gjelina and Superba Snack Bar rec's, although they can both get pretty loud depending on where you're seated. Salt Air on Abbot Kinney might be fun. Or you could go old school AK with Hal's.
I've been to Meet multiple times because I have friends who loooove their moules frites, plus it's a convenient meeting spot for people from various parts of town and you can usually get a reservation on short notice. And it is cute and charming, especially on the patio. I'm a non-seafood eater, and the dishes I've had there (chicken, steak frites, salads) were decent but nothing mind-blowing.
imho, the food at meet is just not good.
it isn't bad, but not good either.
certainly not worth a return trip.
not worth the calories.
and, even though reasonably priced, not really worth the money either.