The Best LA Restaurants For A Birthday Dinner guide image


The Best LA Restaurants For A Birthday Dinner

20 places that will take the pain out of birthday plotting.

In theory, birthdays should be fun and easy. You’ve done the hard work of staying sane and likable for another trip around the sun, and in turn, your friends and family are supposed to treat you like the angel that you are. So why does planning your birthday dinner always end up so stressful? We're here to help.

These are places with enough space to accommodate a group, enough ambiance to feel like a party, and enough drinks to make you forget about the inexorable march of time. So rifle through your closet, grab your crown, and pat yourself on the back for being amazing—here is our updated guide to the best birthday dinners in Los Angeles.


Mun Korean Steakhouse review image

Mun Korean Steakhouse


3519 W 6th St, Los Angeles
Earn 3X Points

From the moment you pull up to Mun and hear Usher blasting from the speakers, it’ll be clear that this KBBQ spot delivers more than just nice cuts of meat. The room feels as much like a nightclub as it does a restaurant: there are flashy black marble tables outfitted with grills, and the drinks—like Japanese whiskey, cognac, and lychee martinis—flow freely. The energy at Mun is perfect for when you want a premium barbecue experience without sacrificing a good old-fashioned party atmosphere. Meals should balance high-end meats (the $200 variety combo includes flat-iron steak, honeycomb-cut pork belly, pork jowl, and short ribs) with fun a la carte items for the table. 

Mr. T review image

Mr. T



open table

There are several stylish French spots in Hollywood these days, but our pick for a big birthday dinner is Mr. T. The dining room at this sexy bistro is bright and minimalist, decorated with red neon signs, and a long bar that overlooks an open kitchen. Hip-hop blasts from the speakers as a sommelier breaks down the extensive wine list. Outside, there's a patio full of clubby lounge seating and big round tables where you wouldn’t look out of place uncorking a bottle of Dom. As for food, everything is tasty and shareable, melding global street food with traditional French cooking. Think roasted lamb kabobs, uni with koshihikari rice, and a mac and cheese that’s blow-torched tableside. 

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photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Trying to appease all your friends’ tastes is a nightmare that no one deserves, particularly on your birthday. That’s why we recommend going to Quarter Sheets. This Echo Park pizza shop only really does two things—pan-style pizza and dessert—and if that’s an issue with anyone in your friend group, it might be time to make some cuts. The dining room is charming and retro, a perfect mash-up between a funky wine bar (there’s a rotating list of four to five wines) and a '90s-era pizza joint where you might’ve…also had a birthday party. The pizza and dessert specials rotate weekly, but whether it’s gooey, crunchy pepperoni pie or decadent princess cake, everyone’s going to walk out happy. 

If you’re one of those winter babies who resent not being able to go to the beach on their birthdays, head to Greekman’s. This lively Greek spot in Silver lake always feels like a remnant of summer that never left. The dining room is adorned with miniature Greek busts, vines dangle everywhere, and there’s a blue and white patio in the parking lot that—at least after a few bottles of Greek wine—starts to feel a terrace in Mykonos. The menu focuses on small plates, like juicy lamb chops on a bed of tangy tzatziki, tender grilled octopus, and a feta-stuffed phyllo pocket, which are great for a fun, family-style dinner.

Capri Club is one of LA’s most popular places to drink right now, which means weekend crowds can get intense. But if you’re looking to keep your birthday an open house where people can come and go, this aperitivo bar in Eagle Rock is a good option. The interior is small and fills up quickly, so concentrate on snagging tables on the sidewalk. Everything at Capri Club is first come, first serve, so as long as you show up before 7pm—and play the hover game correctly—you should have three tables side by side in no time. Most people are here solely to booze (the house negroni and martinis are particularly good), but it’d be wise to order several plates of the fried risotto bites and pancetta-wrapped dates for your birthday guests. 

Hosting a dinner party on your birthday is always ideal, except for one thing: you have no interest in playing host. Let the team at Ilé do that for you instead. This pop-up restaurant takes place at a luxury apartment in Hollywood with a nine-course tasting menu inspired by the chef’s Nigerian upbringing. Before each dish arrives—whether it’s spicy lamb suya or jollof rice served from a smoking cauldron—a personal story is shared, accented by a 70s Nigerian funk soundtrack. The room seats 16 people split into two long tables, and it's fully BYOB. Tickets for the full experience are $250 per person though, so maybe save it for when you want to blow out on your birthday. 

Cobras & Matadors is permanently closed

photo credit: Jakob Layman

If your idea of a birthday party is sitting around a big table with friends drinking BYOB wine and eating tapas, stake out Cobras & Matadors immediately. The quaint Spanish spot in Beverly Grove closed in 2012, but is now officially back and better than ever. You’ll eat simple, well-executed dishes like grilled asparagus topped with manchego, buttery gambas al ajillo, and one of the best roast chickens we’ve eaten in years. You’ll drink all those bottles of wine people brought as gifts (there’s a $20 flat fee for BYOB) and make friends with every table around you. There’s a certain lawlessness at Cobras & Matadors that’s only possible at a place that intentionally keeps a low profile—no website, no telephone, no reservations. Don’t worry though, all the details can be found on their Instagram

At a certain age, planning your birthday dinner at a sports bar can feel a bit embarrassing. Pijja Palace erases the stigma. Located on Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake, this Indian pizza parlor has a little bit of everything going on: a sleek interior that looks like a Nordic thermal spa, a tremendous menu with everything from dosa onion rings to rigatoni with masala, and flat-screen TVs covering nearly every inch of wall space. Yes, it’s an ideal spot to catch the game, but in the event some of your friends aren’t even sure what an inning is, they won’t feel stranded all night. They’ll be too busy talking about all the great food.

A birthday in Ktown is a birthday guaranteed to be a success—as long as you nail the dinner spot. While there’s no shortage of rowdy BBQ spots and smoky drinking taverns to choose from, one place we recommend to mix things up is Tokki. Located in Chapman Plaza, this self-described Korean tapas bar has a fairly basic dining room (green vines hanging from the ceiling, etc), but it’s also a space that’ll accommodate any sized group and a nice warm-up to the messy chaos that’s sure to ensue as the night continues elsewhere. Also the food is very good—and shareable. Get the rosé tteokbokki, scallops in brown butter, and truffle kimchi fried rice for the table.

From the thatched tunnel entrance and the ethereal club music to constant reminders that it’s “Tulum-themed,” Ka’Teen has a lot going on. But if you’re looking to get dressed up and have a messy, over-the-top birthday in Hollywood, Ka’Teen is where to be. The sprawling, mostly-outdoor space is great for big groups, there’s a $495 bottle of Dom Perignon on the menu (if that’s your energy), and as for the food, the Yucatan-style menu has several bright spots. The ceviches and aguachiles are fresh and citrusy, the mushrooms in mole verde have a rich, spicy kick, and the lamb barbacoa is the perfect thing to put on the table, because everyone can build their own taco. Sure, this place is loud, crowded, and clubby, but it’s also filled with people who want it that way. Make sure you’re one of them before going.

Cobi’s is a Southeast Asian restaurant in Santa Monica that toes the line between quirky hangout spot and all-out party restaurant. A meal here is certainly loud (soul and reggae music will be blasting all night) and you might not be able to hear the person across from you, but who cares? The food is excellent and the kitschy, floral decor makes it feel like you’re throwing a birthday inside a 20th-century parlor room. If you want to keep things outside though, Cobi’s has one of the best back patios in the neighborhood.

If you want to do something low-key and unexpected, have your birthday get-together at Johnny’s. This iconic late-night pastrami spot has a huge patio where you can gather all your friends around a spread of thick pastrami sandwiches, deeply smoked brisket, and sides that range from tacos to matzo ball soup. But Johnny’s does more than just showcase updated deli classics. There’s a bar next door (which is run by the same people) hosting live music on Fridays, dance parties on weekends, and the occasional surprise DJ set from Kaytranada. We can’t promise that you’ll run into an icon spinning unreleased tracks on your big night, but we can guarantee a fun scene and a spacious dance floor.

Opened by the legendary American trumpet player, Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill is anything but low-key. A birthday dinner here isn’t one of those sort-of-celebrations you throw yourself at the last minute because, suddenly, the thought of not having something feels unbearable. No, a birthday dinner at this Bel-Air restaurant is a full-blown event. As soon as you enter (from the parking lot filled with Aston Martins and Porsches), you’ll be greeted by a glittering ballroom and the live jazz band upfront. People are wearing suits, jackets, and dresses they found in the “evening wear” section at a department store, and everything, from the steak to the calamari to the complimentary ice cream scoop they’ll give if they know it’s your birthday, tastes perfectly acceptable, sometimes even good. Be prepared to spend money and have fun.

Primetime reservations at this scene-y Italian restaurant in Hollywood can be tricky to book, but keep trying, because a birthday dinner at Mother Wolf is a great way to make a splash. The massive, all-pink dining room feels part Las Vegas, part Carbone, and part Roman banquet hall wedding—all crammed inside the Madonna Inn. It’s a place that’ll still be at capacity at 11pm on a Wednesday with people streaming up to the bar for one last negroni. Considering the perfectly made pasta (the cacio e pepe and rigatoni all’amatriciana are standouts) coming out of the kitchen and Italian wine being poured with ease, it's a venue built for indulging.

The Best LA Bars For Your Birthday guide image

LA Guide

The Best LA Bars For Your Birthday

This gorgeous Baldwin Hills restaurant has everything you want for a birthday: an idyllic patio next to an herb garden, comfort food like shrimp and grits and pecan pie, plus bottomless mimosas on the weekend. Oh, and there’s also homemade cornbread topped with whipped honey butter, a warm, decadent dish that’s definitely way better than the $25 Target gift card your aunt sent you.

Where To Go When You Don’t Want To Make A Big Deal About Your Birthday, But You Actually Kinda Do guide image

LA Guide

Where To Go When You Don’t Want To Make A Big Deal About Your Birthday, But You Actually Kinda Do

It’s only natural to want to feel like a celebrity on your birthday, and at Cha Cha Cha, you will. The Mexican rooftop restaurant in the Arts District has a massive patio with lush vegetation and panoramic views of Downtown. It kind of feels like a garden party for the rich and famous, but a cool one where Lena Waithe might show up. The tuna tostada and steak pa’taquear are both standouts, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything on the menu that won’t appease the varying tastes of your friend group.

The Best New Pizza In Los Angeles guide image

LA Guide

The Best New Pizza In Los Angeles

Located on the southern edge of Koreatown, Guelaguetza is a legendary Oaxacan restaurant and one of the biggest parties in the neighborhood. Everything on the menu is phenomenal—from the giant plates of meat to the excellent tlayudas—but it’s not an official celebration without getting their signature moles (just go big and order them all with the Festival De Moles platter). With a massive space including a new parking lot patio and more than 150 different kinds of tequila and mezcal, it’s almost like Guelaguetza was designed to be a foolproof birthday spot.

If you’re looking for all the charm and hospitality of a birthday dinner in the South, but don’t particularly feel like leaving the Pacific Time Zone, head to Alta Adams. Their versions of Southern classics are great—specifically, the black-eyed pea fritters and the shrimp and grits—and the staff is very friendly and attentive. So book a table on one of the best backyard patios in LA and make sure to some of their signature cocktails. They’re that perfect mix of sweet and refreshing, not to mention strong enough to make you forget about that white hair you found this morning.

If you appreciate Casita’s warm, neighborhood atmosphere and strong margaritas as much as we have, you'll be glad to know this historic Mexican restaurant in Silver Lake is still going strong. There are string lights hanging everywhere, tons of foliage, and even a fountain where you can drunkenly flip coins and make wishes. In other words, it's the ideal place for one too many birthday margaritas with your friends and food that isn't mind-blowing but is definitely crowd-pleasing (i.e., nachos for the table).

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LA Guide

22 LA Bars Where You Can Dance

We’ve been fans of this Filipino spot since its very first iteration as Lasa—a BYOB pop-up in 2017. While the interior, the management, and the menu have all changed a little over the years, many of the same bright and spicy flavors (the electric orange spicy salsita is a non-negotiable) and friendly faces are still there in its current iteration to welcome you for a fun, family-style meal. For birthday dinners (especially if it's going to be 8-10 people), our move is to do the "Pamilya Style" Set Menu for the group. You get table snacks, veggie sides, a whole chicken inasal and pork lechon, pancit, chicken fat rice, ice cream, and tons of different sides for dipping.

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