Looking for the best restaurant in LA for a birthday. Tragically, I'm not FLUSH with cash, so it's looking like my budget for the evening is going to be around $200-250(MAX). The girlfriend and I are looking for someplace that will have great food. Atmosphere is fine, and sometimes contributes to the food, but frankly we're not looking for romantic, or casual, or anything in particular (they're all fine). If the food's good, that's where we want to be.
Really looking for a tasting menu or something similar (wouldn't mind a standard a la carte menu, so long as we can each get an appetizer, entree and dessert). I would love to do the tasting at some place like Melisse, and have my eye on it for the future, but it doesn't appear that there's any way to get out of there for that price (at least if we want to make it the experience we'd like).
The 250(MAX) budget needs to include wine, so if there's a wine pairing with a tasting, hopefully that can be taken into consideration. If that's not possible, we've got some pretty good wine, so a reasonable corkage would be acceptable (but less thrilling).