Am thinking about taking the BF's mom out to dinner for her b'day later this month, if I can figure out a good spot to take her...
Here's the stats:
*I would like it to be eastside (about a 15-20 minute radius of Azusa would be ideal -- but am willing to branch out for the right place)
*No Mexican (she is an AMAZING cook and Mexican food is her specialty)
*Last year, the BF took her to a shogun/bennihana type place and she loved it - it was her first experience with anything remotely sushi, and she liked it. He's thinking of taking her to The Hump this year so she can see the live shrimp 'in action'.
*I'm not sure how she'd do with other ethinc (like indian/thai) - so nothing like that
*Italian is fine, as is meat, chicken, seafood...
*She's not used to going out to "fine dining" places, so I don't want to overwhelm her with an overly verbose menu (like Bistro K) or a 'too fancy/formal' place -- although, isn't 'fancy/special' what b'day dinners are for? ;) (...guess it depends on who you are asking!)
*BF is being NO help and only says she's extremely picky/hard to please when it comes to eating out. I don't necessarily think she is as picky as he alludes, although, what do I know? I think it's more that she doesn't go to restaurants that often because she cooks so much at home... and her cooking is so much better than most restaurants.
I'm thinking (because she really enjoyed the bennihana experience) some place that has interactive cooking might be good -- or something that's a unique dining experience in some way... but am coming up completely blank.
I am starting to believe this is an impossible mission -- and may just scrap the idea altogether. She's had a really difficult year, works insanely hard, is always giving to others, and I'd love for her to have a special b'day (the family usually celebrates the weekend after her b'day, but no one can take her out on the actual day - which in my family is just wrong! - so I thought it would be fun if just she and I went out that night - which we've never done before, btw, so that's an interesting element all in itself!)
Any spots come to mind???