We finally choose Lucques. Our party expanded to 11 people and they were gracious in accommodating us. There were perhaps 20 other restaurant guests.
An excellent time had by all. The patio is very pleasant in the afternoon, service excellent, food amenable to the wide range of palates. The bill was $660 w/o tip and included multiple bottles of Cold Heaven Voinger, Topanga Vineyard Syrah, one bottle of champagne, and several cocktails. Service all around was excellent and the fact that they didn't push bottled water was appreciated. Most people had two courses (starters $7-8 and mains $13-15)
Our group enjoyed cold soup, mussel salad, heirloom tomato salad, fruit salad, roasted cauliflower, yellowtail, baby chicken, and steak frites.
Everyone *devoured* their food and there was a lively discussion of whether we were eating "California" food. Many people shared bites of this and tastes of that.
I found the mussel salad and roasted cauliflower dishes outstanding. I generally don't eat a lot of chicken because it so tasteless but this was very impressive. I wish I knew were they bought their chickens from. Desserts weren't as good as the mains.
Many of our friends were in town for a wedding. One of the discussions centered on the fact that we wished all wedding celebrations featured such good food, pretty surroundings, and good wine. The patio would make an excellent location for a small wedding lunch.