Leave the vegetarians and tight pants behind for birthday dinner at Manna. The Korean BBQ restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat meat fest for an outrageous 17 dollars every night of the week. The staff, accustomed to accomodating large parties, regularly serves up beef brisket and pork belly to college football teams and big eaters looking to fill their stomachs up for the night.
This isn't your sexy, glossy birthday lounge. Birthdays at Manna are filled with small plates of kimchee and pickled bean sprouts, an unpretentious vibe and gluttonous mountains of raw meat ready to be communally grilled with 20 of your closest friends.
Let the server know it's a birthday and he'll provide a complimentary bottle of champagne. What kind of champagne, you ask? The details aren't important, since most of it won't end up in a glass anyway.
You'll understand once you hear the beginnings of what can only be described as the Manna anthem, or, simply put, a Korean birthday song on steroids. This is the notorious cue that pumps up the crowd as your server uncorks and aims the bottle before spraying the lucky birthday victim with abandon. Lets get one thing straight: this isn't a polite spray, but a full on high-pressure shower that will most likely be uploaded to YouTube the next morning either by members of your party or spectators.
For the squeamish, goggles are available. Just make sure the birthday boy or girl isn't driving, as the smell of soaked champagne isn't the best way to greet a cop, and getting a ticket on your birthday isn't nearly as much fun as the dinner was.
Manna Korean BBQ: 3377 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles; (323) 733-8516.