Let’s face it, the words fine dining and children are not synonymous. But there are times when you just want to go for it. Maybe your sitter has been M.I.A. for too long or your family is planning a special occasion and you want everyone there, tots included. So why not skip the pizza joint and go gourmand. But first, a few things to keep in mind: The earlier the better. A reservation that is too close to bedtime is a recipe for disaster. Going earlier means that the kids will be kept on schedule, the restaurant won’t be slammed and you’re more likely to receive your food in a timely manner.

Be realistic – Don’t expect to linger over a bottle of wine and dessert because the kids are only going to keep in check for so long. And be prepared to make a few trips away from the table so kids can shake out the ya-yas. Lastly, it’s always a smart idea to check the menu online for options your little ones will eat or call ahead to see if the chef is willing to adjust their menu to something kid palatable. And don’t forget to make sure high chairs are available. Bon Appetite!

Boa Steakhouse
If it’s good enough for Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s tykes, then it will work for you! Though the restaurant does not boast a kid dedicated menu, they do have a variety of appealing sides including the kiddo-pleasing mac ‘n cheese, sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, and even spaghetti and meatballs.

Two Locations:
9200 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood
310-278-2050

101 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica
310-899-4466

Katsuya
Sushi? With Kids? Nope, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. The menus vary from location to location, but tyke try-able standards such as edamame, vegetable tempura, and chicken teriyaki are available at all the locations. The Brentwood location serves up Robata, grilled skewers of meat, seafood and veggies that will always please little ones. Perhaps the best family choice is Katsuya at the Americana with its kids menu, which sports chicken teriyaki, tempura, California roll and even a sushi kids meal for brave little souls. Plus, the Americana is the most laidback of the SBE chain. The Hollywood location is doable but probably the most unreliable of the lot.

Four Locations:
11777 San Vicente Boulevard
Los Angeles
310-207-8744

702 Americana Way
Glendale
818-244-5900

6300 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles
323-871-8777

800 W. Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles
213-747-9797

Osteria MozzaPizzeria Mozza
Mario Batali’s pizzeria is perfect for everyone. After all, it’s pizza! There are plenty of appetizers that might make a little one happy, including arancine alla Bolognese (rice balls with cheese and proscuitto in a meat sauce) and meatballs, plus they have pizza margherita (cheese) but let your kids know that pepperoni isn’t on the menu; the finnochiano without the Fresno chilies is the closest bet. As for the fancy side, Osteria, there are pasta dishes like the agnolotti with butter and sage or the garganelli with Bolognese. And if you ask kindly, they just might serve up a plate of plain old pasta tossed with butter and cheese for finicky souls.

Pizzeria Mozza
641 N Highland Avenue
Los Angeles
323-297-0101

Osteria Mozza
6602 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles
323-297-0100

When you want to ditch your old reliable eatery and have a night out at a fine dining establishment, where does your family go? When eating out with kiddos in L.A. are there any tips that we’ve missed?

– Lara Burnap