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Birthdays are always a great excuse to eat out. When I was a child, I always picked the same restaurant each year but as an adult, I love to try new places and this year's birthday was no exception. Gathering a group of my foodie friends, we decided to go to Allumette in Echo Park. Located across the street from a supermarket, this fine dining restaurant is rather unassuming.  But, despite the location and the minimal decor, Chef Miles Thompson is serving food that is anything but unassuming. Before we delved into the food, we started with drinks. The bar program at Allumette is lead by Serena Herrick, formerly of Harvard and Stone, who has created an original drink menu using local, artisanal products.