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My graduation dinner planning, am I on or off target with i.cugini?

susancinsf | May 2, 200808:01 AM

Hi hounds:

once more I come to you for help on the west side. Daughter graduates UCLA next month, and because she graduates with a three month old baby :-) we have been a bit slow in planning the graduation dinner...but June will be here before we know it, and now I am seriously in the hunt for the right spot.

This post on the SF board somewhat describes my dilemma:


I was SO excited to hear about the back room at Musha, it sounded perfect to me and I just know daughter and SIL would love it, but alas, she can be stubborn, and she prefers Italian (her favorite cuisine) for her big day. In any case, I've tried reaching Musha several times to see if I can reserve the back room, and I can't get them to answer the phone... :-(

So, I am getting nervous about timing and may have to introduce them to Musha another time. Once I started looking I realized that many places in Westwood and Santa Monica and environs are already full for graduation night (which is, of course, also a Saturday)...so I grabbed a reservation at i.cugini. I have never eaten there, but it had the advantage of space, a location that sounds nice, and lots of seafood on the menu, which is a good option for daughter and hubby, who are Muslim and don't eat non-halal meat. Other than the fact that I don't know the food, and find relatively few mentions positive or negative on CH, the only disadvantage is the price: a bit more than I had hoped to spend for a group of twelve. That's ok (though my budget is a bit depleted by all the adorable clothes I've been buying for World's Most Adorable Granddaughter, not to mention all the trips back and forth to LA :-)) but only if the food is good. So what do the hounds think? Is the food worth it? What other options are out there? Is there anything similar (or different but really worth looking at anyway) that I should consider for a group of twelve? I considered and rejected the various Persian choices on Westwood as being too familiar (and I am not fond of any of them anyway).

If there were a really good Chinese seafood place I think I could talk daughter into that, but I know of none on the west side, and it would have to be really good. Upscale Indian might also work, if it is really good (one of the party will be from India and knows his stuff). But I dont think that exists on the west side either. and really, she wants Italian....

Parameters: not meat centric, and though they don't drink most of the group does, so a decent wine list would be nice, not horribly noisy, ok to take a baby (the rest of the party will be adults) and anywhere between UCLA and Culver City....Italian seafood preferred.

Your thoughts appreciated! TIA.....

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