I am a month early, but my monkeymom taught me to be a prepared primate...
The monkeyboyfriend turns 30 next month, and I really want to do something cool for his birthday. Dinner for a group of about 8 people at a nice, moderately priced restaurant seemed good (moderate as in $30-40 a head, not including drinks, most everyone I know is a struggling screenwriter). As some may know, the mbf is reluctant to leave the Westside, so it would be terrific if we could find someplace west of La Brea, but it's not a requirement. We're open to just about all cuisines. Incidentally, since I am also a struggling writer, I can't possibly cover the bill for the mbf's friends, so what is the etiquette in terms of paying the tab? Do I tell people in advance to bring cash, credit cards? Should I not mention it at all, lest I appear a gauche monkey?
--P.S., on a side note, is Angelini Osteria any more quiet if you go earlier in the evening, or is it pretty much a nonstop blabfest from 5 p.m. until closing?