Where should I go for my bday dinner?

Don’t want to break my friend who is not loaded with money. Was a nice gesture for her to insist. Would like go to Grimaldi’s but, I am avoiding flour at the moment. dang it!

Was thinking of benihani, cheesecake factory what else?

I know a good steak place…


But is Sergio cooking?


Lunch at Fogo de Chao.

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kang ho-dong baekjeong



C’mon – let’s try to help with her initial Grimaldi’s idea and keep the bill at or under $20 pp all-in.

Is Thai Boom on the north side of Venice Blvd. near Midvale still good?
For $20 pp you can have dinner at Maple Block and not worry about flour.
Hu’s Szechuan, Moon House, or California Wok (which currently has a Groupon)?
Shamshiri on Westwood or another mid-Eastern place?

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Yxta - downtown LA
Maccheroni Republic - downtown LA
Centanni Venice
Fabrocini on north Beverly Glen (has patio)

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Maple Block is not a bad idea. Was thinking about ribs!

You could sit out on the patio a bar bachon. benihani, cheesecake factory sounds like you’re being punished.

Not sure if srs about benihana or cheesecake factory…and posting on FTC. LOL!

I’d go to Bludsoe’s over Maple Block

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Maple Block has a parking lot, Bludso’s Bar & Q requires street parking in a difficult area or valet. That’s a substantial bite of a limited budget right there…

Maple Block’s brisket can be iffy with the thick slices and fat content, so Bludso’s may have an edge there. But for pork ribs I gotta favor Maple Block.

Can you really do MB for < $20pp? I only went there once, and I can easily see exceeding the budget if you have a decent appetite. Parking near Bludso’s is not easy, but I think the QPR is higher.

Based on the one lunch I had a few months ago at Shamshiri (not tasty and food looked slapped together), I prefer Javan. But the $20pp may be difficult (although the portions are very large).

BTW, where did the $20pp come from?

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We are going to Grimaldi’s! I said forget it!

For my birthday this year I went with Guelaguetza, which might be a fun and affordable option. The atmosphere in the evenings is lively, with a band, a full bar, and plenty of buzz in the dining room. Their specialty is Oaxacan cuisine, with plenty of hearty, complex, and flavorful choices that don’t involve flour. If drinks are involved it won’t be super cheap, but many of the dishes are large enough to share (if you feel like sharing on your birthday :joy_cat:) I think it’s generally an affordable and celebration-appropriate option.



Was wondering about that $20 pp too. I’m guessing even Benihana and Cheesecake Factory would break $20 per pretty easily. Is dim sum for “brunch” an option?

During my last trip to Cheesecake Factory (which was ~1 mo ago?), one of the categories was “Glamburger.” The place looked liked an upscale bordello (which maybe it’s always looked like? Outside of a month ago, I think it’s been a good 10 yrs since I’ve stepped in one). And the lighting was so dim that me slipping on the polished tile floor (a portion of which did apparently have some liquid on it) was a very real possibility. And I actually have pretty decent night vision. I think my half salad was $12? Or was that the “healthy” salad?

At any rate, I just CAN’T. And I recommend that the OP DON’T, either. :wink: and :stuck_out_tongue: The glamburgers alone was nearly enough to make me hurl the menu across the casino restaurant.

I think something like Guelaguetza or Monte Alban would be great. Ekkamai Thai I think also might be do-able for $20pp? (not a very festive atmosphere, though) Dim sum also a good choice, but I think the top-tier places (but maybe not Elite anymore…) would push that limit, if the OP + friend are hungry.


Ben Ngu.

Get the banh it ram.

It’ll be the best birthday meal. Ever.

And no flour.

Win, win.

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I was thinking about dim sum.

@Luluthemagnificent, what do you think is a reasonable price range?

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