Birthday dinner for two in LA area?
April 14, 2017 10:04 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I will be in LA for a wedding the week before her birthday and I'd love to take her out to celebrate. Can you suggest a good spot? Preferences inside...

1. Vegetarian friendly (she's not, I am)
2. Good booze!
3. Not too loud
4. $200 limit for everything
5. More interesting, fun spot - less traditionally romantic
6. Ummm, good food? (both her parents are chefs :) )

live music would be awesome, no TVs would be equally as awesome.

posted by AutoPilot83 to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What part of town will you be staying in?
posted by vignettist at 10:23 AM on April 14, 2017

Response by poster: Pico-Robertson, near LACMA.
posted by AutoPilot83 at 10:53 AM on April 14, 2017

Terroni? It is a bit loud, but otherwise hits all your marks.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 10:59 AM on April 14, 2017

If you guys come from a place where nice vegan restaurants are no big deal, it's probably not that interesting to you, but my recommendation is check Largo to see if there's a show you want to see, and do that and have dinner first at Real Food Daily a block down the street, which is a nice-but-hip (and quiet) completely vegan place with great food (we're omnivores and have loved everything we've had there) and wine/cocktails. It's one of my favorite date nights.

My stock rec and traditional birthday dinner is at Yamashiro, until someone buys it and knocks it down for condos, but I don't go there for the food. It's okay, but the vegetarian options are really slim and I don't think the ambience/view would make up for it. It is certainly not a thing you could do in just any old city, though.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:18 AM on April 14, 2017

LA is big!

Cafe Gratitude ticks two-thirds of your boxes (vegan/vegetarian; great bar), and there are a couple-three of them scattered around town, so on'e bound to be close to you.
posted by notyou at 11:24 AM on April 14, 2017

If you're heading towards West Hollywood, Largo + RFD sound like a dream date to me. The food there is delicious even if one isn't on the vegan spectrum. It can get a little loud at peak hours, but it's just the acoustics of the place. If that doesn't work for whatever reason, you can also try Gracias Madre, a vegan Mexican place not too far away. Largo also has a super-atmospheric smaller bar (the Little Room) where you can kill some extra time if you end up there early. (Just one cautionary word about Largo: Seats are assigned when doors open, and the more polite you are, the better your seat ... so you would want to go there first to pick up your tickets and then set out for dinner.)

If you want to go a little more southbound in a more pedestrian-friendly area, you could easily improvise a nice, low-key night out in Culver City (my 'hood!). There's a newish location for Sage Vegan Bistro nearby, as well as a bunch of vegan-friendly options in "downtown" Culver itself. The live theatre at the Kirk Douglas tends to be pretty awesome, and there are a few different gastropubs like PS310 and City Tavern to wet your whistle.
posted by mykescipark at 11:43 AM on April 14, 2017

One of the hottest restaurants right now is the vegan Erven. (Scroll down and click Dinner for the menu.) Jonathon Gold approves. (It happens to be where a Real Food Daily used to be, and while I usually agree with Lyn Never on almost everything, I am not a fan of RFD.)

It's in Santa Monica which is reasonable distance on off hours, and even during rush hour you're going against traffic. I'd take side streets. You could also take the Expo line and walk the six-ish blocks if you're able.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:46 AM on April 14, 2017

Commissary in the Line Hotel is very pretty and has a lot of good vegetarian dishes, but also lots of non-vegetarian dishes - good if you are the kind of vegetarian, like my dad, who doesn't eat animals themselves but is enthusiastic about their other offerings (dairy, eggs, etc). It's also not that far from where you are staying, either by car or by public transit (just a bus ride down Wilshire).
posted by Aubergine at 12:35 PM on April 14, 2017

10e downtown on 7th between Hope and Flower (or maybe between Flower and Figueroa). Armenian/Lebanese. Incredibly delicious, best pita I've ever had. Their Brussels sprouts are revelatory. Lots of vegetarian dishes, not just "we left the chicken off the penne."

Zinc Cafe in the Arts District (on Mateo) is a vegetarian restaurant where a meat-eater might not even notice. Their Rueben is a go-to for me, and they have a bar with delightful cocktails. They don't do much with fake-meat - the Reuben is made with beets - and I've never had anything there that was less than delicious. We usually take out-of-town guests there and it never disappoints.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:23 AM on April 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Plant Food and Wine in Venice is wonderful!
posted by désoeuvrée at 11:53 PM on April 16, 2017

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