05/01/2012 05:41 pm ET Updated Jul 01, 2012

Woo Your Mom This Mother's Day

Mother's Day shopping is always tricky. I never want to be cliche, but I don't have money to burn. After searching the Internet and department stores for Mother's Day ideas and stumbling upon strange lingerie suggestions unsurprisingly, the idea came to me while taking a sip of wine, washing down a piece of chocolate chip bread.

Being a chivalrous gentleman, I was on a date with my girlfriend at The Palm restaurant in Los Angeles and all signs pointed to forgetting about a tangible gift, like a boring candle, and taking my Mom to a nice meal at The Palm and calling it her gift. Unlike most high-end steak houses, The Palm is family owned and operated and similar to being at a relatives house without the awkward conversation and waiting around for Aunt Penny to stop complaining about feeling alienated.


When eating and drinking out, some think a bottle of wine may be the economical route but, at The Palm, not so much. Ordering a bottle limits your per glass intake. The bar staff fills the large carafe extra high so you receive a full glass. One glass will lead to Mom feeling good, two glasses may lead her to tears and talking about her empty nest syndrome she's kept from you for years. Order wisely.


Since appetizers are for the whole table, make sure to order The Lump Of Crab. It comes with sauces for every liking and is plenty to go around while preparing you for the large meal that is about to come. Also, this gives you the opportunity to try the array of bread, including the chocolate chip loaf mentioned above. It also changed my negative word association with Lumps and Crabs.


Gigi Salad
Maybe you or your Mom are feeling a little full after the Lump of Crab or aren't looking to wash dishes at the end of the night, this salad is for you. Complete with shrimp, avocado, bacon, egg and vinaigrette dressing. Named after the first, longtime Maitre'D of The Palm, Gigi. However, I would leave this fun fact out because, when my mom is two Palm-size glasses of wine deep, I would get a teary eyed speech about naming my first-born after her, boy or girl.

Chicken Parmesan
Sure, you're at a steak and lobster joint but The Palm is owned by Italians and unlike the cast of the Jersey Shore, it's real Italian. The chicken breast was so large, every Real Housewife would be extremely jealous. Covered in sauce and as cheesy as a Kathy Griffin joke (last reality show joke).


Like every rapper makes clear in every song, you need a little something on the side. From potatoes to breaded asparagus, The Palm has the whole table covered. The more you order, the more you leave with. If you're like me and already ate two to three pieces of the chocolate chip bread, stick with the vegetable sides, you know, fried onions.


The finale of the meal celebrating the woman who brought you into this world is best with a Bag Of Donuts. Literally, brought out in a bag, shaken table side and presented with two dipping sauces: chocolate and raspberry, it is sure to win over everyone at the table, even the weird family member who claims to "not like dessert."

Taking your Mother to a nice dinner on or around Mother's Day kills two birds with one stone. You bring everyone together to celebrate but your gift is planning and paying for it. Unlike any other establishment, The Palm makes your family part of their family and with their large portions, Mom will leave with a large shopping bag of left overs.