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Some Special Restaurants for Mother on Her Holiday

For most restaurants Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year. This is due to Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia. When her mother died on May 9, 1906, Jarvis decided that a day should be devoted to honoring motherhood. She formed a support group and started lobbying. Her argument was simple: How could anybody who loved his mother possibly resist? They couldn’t, and the day was soon being celebrated in Philadelphia. Jarvis pressed on, and on May 10, 1913, the House of Representatives passed a national resolution declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

So, if you love your mother, don’t resist. Take her out for something special. And don’t forget to make a reservation--you’ll have a lot of company.

Mom’s in a musical mood? Take her to Verdi, which will premiere a new show of fully staged and choreographed highlights from “Oklahoma!” As you watch the show, you can eat good Northern Italian cuisine. A special three-course menu includes a soup, salad or pasta course, an entree, one of the special homemade desserts and coffee. All mothers will also receive a complimentary rose.

Verdi Ristorante di Musica, 1519 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (213) 393-0706. Open for lunch and dinner, $29.50 per person (a la carte Mother’s Day menu also available).

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An affair to remember? In addition to a chocolate rose for each mother, Virgilio’s Italian Restaurant promises a Polaroid family picture for posterity. Mother’s Day specials include an Italian salad followed by several choices of entrees including sauteed chicken breast with light blue-cheese sauce, veal chop Marsala, or lobster tails in Italian-style diable sauce. Sherbet is served between courses.

Virgilio’s, 2611 S. La Cienega Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 559-8532. Open for dinner only. Dinner for two, food only, $35-$40.

Looking for a room with a view? Just down the street from the gorgeous Descanso Gardens in La Canada is the bright and airy Reflections, which has big windows and lots of plants. There’s a long salad bar and a rotisserie where chickens are constantly roasting. A variety of other entrees include fresh red snapper, grilled pork chop with chutney and several kinds of pasta. For dessert, there’s a papaya and berry tart in a zippy raspberry sauce. Then you can take Mom for a stroll through Descanso Gardens.

Reflections, 734 Foothill Blvd., La Canada, (818) 790-5355. Open for lunch and dinner. Dinner for two, food only, $12-$40.

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Care for culture with your cuisine? Tamayo Restaurant might be for you. The recently opened Mexican restaurant inhabits a meticulously restored 1928 Spanish mission-style structure with several original works of art by its namesake, Rufino Tamayo. Tamayo (the restaurant) offers a good selection of fresh seafood, spit-roasted meats and south-of-the-border specialties. Mom will be serenaded by a full mariachi band, and given a free gift.

Tamayo Restaurant, 5300 E. Olympic Blvd., East Los Angeles, (213) 260-4700. Open for lunch and dinner. Dinner for two, food only, $28-$36.

Is Mom all-American? Take her to Yanks, a cross between a ladies tearoom of the ‘40s and a cozy New England house. The walls are covered in prints and pine, and the room has the odd ability to be calm and peaceful, even when it’s bristling with noise and people. Yanks, normally closed on Sunday mornings, will be serving a Mother’s Day brunch. The menu will feature a bread basket filled with assorted muffins and scones and regional down-home fare such as pan-fried trout with grits and chicken with hash and eggs. There will also be a jazz pianist on hand.

Yanks, 262 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, (213) 859-2657. Brunch served from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Brunch for two, food only, $20-$30.

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Need a breath of fresh air? Take Mom to Il Cielo, a little Italian restaurant with an enchanting flower-filled patio complete with fountain. A strolling violinist adds to the charm. A special Mother’s Day menu includes a choice of either frutta fresca or insalata, crespelle tri colore (three-colored crepes) and several entrees, including agnello arrostito (roast lamb), petto di pollo con funghi di bosco (chicken breast with wild mushrooms) and dentice al forno (baked red snapper). Tiramisu is planned for dessert.

Il Cielo, 9018 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, (213) 276-9990. Open for brunch, $25 per person.

Do you have a lot of people to please? Try Lawry’s California Center. They’ll be serving brunch in the San Fernando Patio. Carved roast beef and turkey, seafood selections, assorted pastas, vegetables and a selection of fresh fruits are all included in the menu. Desserts range from assorted French pastries with fruit to a rich chocolate mousse cake. Meanwhile the Los Portales Bar & Patio will also be open for full-service dining. Dishes here include fajitas, tacos, chicken specialties and salads. The Garden Restaurant will be serving a less adventurous meal of salad and a choice of entrees including hickory-smoked chicken, New York steak and fresh fish.

Lawry’s California Center, 570 W. Ave. 26, Los Angeles, (213) 224-6850. San Fernando Patio: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., $16.95 for adults, $10.95 for children. Los Portales Bar & Patio: 11 a.m.-9 p.m., $6.25-$9.25 per person. Garden Restaurant: noon-9 p.m., $14.95-$19.95 per person.

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