We're staying at the Beverly Laurel for the night and treating our friends to a birthday dinner.
They live in Long Beach and we're driving in from Orange County for the one night. We're visiting in-laws & flying in/out of SNA. Since we'll be driving into the city and spending the night in the Beverly Grove area, I'd prefer not to drive too far out of the way (I know, it's LA!) for dinner. If we're spending 45 mins. in the car after dinner, then we really don't need to bother staying overnight in LA at all since we're flying out of SNA the following evening. Not that I need a good excuse to get out of OC, mind you!
Here's where they treated us to dinner last year for our birthdays: http://berkeleycityclub.com/restaurant/
I'd like to find a place that falls within a similar price range (not explicitly but more or less) and comparable setting.
I imagine our biggest hindrance is the holiday... are most L.A. restaurants open on 4th of July??
Another thought I had in passing: fancyish picnic with really high quality ingredients from a local shop perhaps? Any suitable places to put together such a meal and fun/interesting destinations to spread it all out; preferably with view of fireworks?