It comes with the territory. As the magazine’s dine editor, I regularly get hit up for restaurant recommendations during my off hours. I receive text messages from friends in the evenings, phone calls from family members on weekends, and—my personal favorite—the casual backyard barbecue sneak attack. (I’ve had three beers, but sure I can tell you where to eat for your anniversary!) Despite the title of this post, I’m always truly happy to help. But I insist every inquirer give me a few guidelines first: a) what part of town, b) price point, c) desired vibe, d) style of cuisine, or the name of a restaurant they already like. Here, I share my off-duty advice.
Who: A male coworker from the magazine’s publishing side
Method of Inquiry: He snagged me walking down the hallway
Scenario: His group of four friends always dine out for each other’s birthdays. It’s that time again for one of his lady pals.
Where: “Around here,” which means anything from Mid-City to Fairfax to Beverly Hills to West Hollywood
Vibe: Special occasion-appropriate and a little bit sceney. Some low-key spots, such as Cooks County and the new Hart and the Hunter, were deemed too casual
Price Point: Anything goes
Type of Cuisine: This was left open-ended, but after asking a few probing questions, I gathered that California/New American was the way to go—nothing too heavy or too ethnic.
I Said: (via email)
"Not new, but a sure bet: Osteria Mozza, Hatfield’s, Providence, Bouchon, Scarpetta, Lucques
Slightly more recent, sceney, fun: Cleo (SBE-owned Middle Eastern at the Redbury), Eveleigh (gorgeous setting, nice food, WeHo), Playa (Modern Latin food, drinks are fun), Ink. (wild bordering on molecular and prime for a celebration)
On the more casual side, but delicious: Son of a Gun, Cooks County (still worth considering...)"
They Went To: Eveleigh
The Verdict: From my co-worker: “The dinner at Eveleigh was a hit! Very pretty place (we sat on the patio), the food was excellent and the birthday girl loved it. Thanks for the rec!”
8752 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood