My SO and I want to splurge on a really nice dinner, courtesy of an unexpected tax refund. We eat out often and like to try new places, but with our budget, our max is usually $100-$150. So being able to spend more is a very rare treat.
Now the question is where to go! Our total budget is $500 - including drinks, tax and tip.
In terms of cuisine, we eat everything. Location can be anywhere in the greater L.A. area. The SO doesn't like super-noisy restaurants where we need to shout, but otherwise, we don't have any constraints.
We're not necessarily looking for dressy (although dressy is fine) - just wonderful food and an enjoyable dining experience.
I've looked at some threads here, and it seems like Providence, Melisse, n/naka, Tasting Kitchen, Hatfield's, Rivera, Spago and The Royce are often recommended. The price range varies quite a bit, though. And some of the full tasting menus are still out of reach for us.
So I guess what I'm asking is, if you had $500, where would you go?
P.S. I'm new to Chowhound and this is my first post. Please let me know if I haven't provided some information or haven't asked properly. Thanks!