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No pressure, just the most important pizza of my life

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I need you people BADLY. My ideal wedding rehearsal dinner is in jeopardy.

This dinner, set for Oct. 6, is going to involve at least 20 people. I am on a budget. I would prefer a brick-oven pizza place with an outdoor patio that can be reserved for large private parties. I want a setting where people will be up, mingling, relaxed, and waiters just keep bringing out pizza without being asked until everyone is so stuffed they just roll right out of there. Waiters could also maybe bring out salads that people could eat at the tables. On BYOB vs in-house wine list, I am undecided; as long as my wallet doesn't get thrashed, I can keep an open mind. The place doesn't need to be Dominick's-elegant, just not dirty.

Seems simple enough, except I cannot, cannot, cannot find such a place.

The three guys who run 3rd Stop on 3rd Street in LA are adorable and friendly, and they have nice brick-oven pies, but they refuse to reserve tables for me; I would have to send my mother to the place at like 5 pm on the day of my dinner, to put little paper "reserved" tents on the tables, and just pray that some soccer mom isn't having her kid's birthday party that day.

I liked the idea of Nicky D's in Silverlake until I read the thread on them. Now I am frightened.

I hear Pizza Bianca is lovely, but I've no idea if they have a patio.

I love the loopy, that's-amore feel of Miceli's, but their banquet room needs like a bazillion-dollar guarantee or something.

Can anyone help me? Find me a place and there just might be a slice in it for you.

Desperately,

Leslie

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  1. try farfalla in los feliz...i love their pizza.

    i held a b-day party there for 24 people. they gave me a table in the middle of the restaurant and we served group salad, pizza, pasta, and dessert all for about $17/person not including drinks.

    their sister restaurant has an outdoor seating area 1/2 block down which may be more private for you, or if you come early enough, they may allow you to take the back of the wine bar.

    call farfalla and ask for andreas. he's the greatest.

    1 Reply
    1. re: revets2

      Absolutely, Farfalla is the best for this sort of thing... Andreas is the man!

    2. How about the patio @ Angeli's?

      5 Replies
      1. re: archer

        angeli's is a fine idea. i second that.

        1. re: revets2

          I just called the Angeli Caffe in LA and they don't have a patio. Which Angeli do you mean?

          1. re: keppele

            It's been a long time since I've eaten there (I've ordered out from there more recently); I seem to remember a patio off of Melrose from some years ago, but I must have been mistaken. My apologies. However, if you decide to forego the patio, I imagine that they would do a great job w/ your pizza dinner inside.

            1. re: keppele

              Did they say whether they could accomodate your party within the restaurant? Their sausage/ onion pizza is our current favorite in L.A.

              Please report on your decision & results!

              1. re: Babette

                I'm not real into 24 people seated at a big table; I just don't think it's good times, at least not for this crowd, so I'm not pursuing table seating at Angelli. Sallying forth with a quest for a private room or patio!

        2. They have a good patio, and good pizza, at Nicky Ds in Siverlake. It would depend upon how big your party is, how classy you want the party to be, how much you want to spend, and if Silverlake is convenient for your purposes, but I like both the patio and the pizza there, especially when freshly prepared.

          http://www.nickydspizza.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: DanaB

            Agreed! Don't be scared by the reviews. I've never, NEVER had bad service or pizza at Nicky D's. In fact, I've always thought everyone there was so nice--

          2. Domenico's in Monrovia has a) excellent pizza and b) an INdoor patio. Not sure how this meets your needs but I thought it worth mentioning.

            1. http://pitfirepizza.com/

              downtown and north hollywood

              5 Replies
              1. re: themirthmobile

                wow...didn't know about this place. thanks for the info. what do you like to order there and which location do you frequent?

                1. re: revets2

                  I wouldn't call the North Hollywood location's patio relaxing and gracious -- it's on the corner of Lankershim and Magnolia and it's hugely loud and smoggy.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    Ummm, you neglected to mention that the food SUCKS!

                    1. re: bodie

                      Yeah, I wouldn't go to Pitfire if I was trying to impress anyone.

                      1. re: bodie

                        Now, now, it can't help its inadequacy.

                2. BJ' is a pizza chain with great deep dish pizza and they do partys with all the food coming and coming. Also great salads to "go with". I know Westwood has a private room, but it is upstairs. Check out other locations on zagat.com
                  Also very reasonable.

                  1. MY! What is the reception going to be like? ;)

                    Since brick oven is so important to you, perhaps you should try Pizzeria Antica in MDR. They also have a fancy italian certification saying they are a REAL Pizza restaurant... all there rest are posuers... ;)

                    The pizzas are good if you keep it simple, their more 'fancy' seafood pizzas and stuff like that fall flat...

                    --Dommy!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Dommy

                      I thought the same about a rec for Antica, but not sure how nice the mini-mall-ish patio would play with the event. The OP should check it out.

                      1. re: CulverJack

                        yeah, i'd go to antica

                    2. BJ's is the worst. About two steps down from Pizza Hut's Pan...

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: jeffro

                        BJ's may not be the best, but two steps down from Pizza Hut?!?

                        1. re: ii2big

                          Yeah, I have to agree... I'd eat both Pizza Hut and Domino's before I'd eat BJ's pizza again... it was terrible. Still better than Little Caesar's, though.

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            oh man, i dunno about that.

                            bj's > papa johns > pizza hut > domino's > little caesars

                            1. re: wilafur

                              Oy, gottenyu... but we must agree to disagree (or continue on the Chains board).

                      2. Nicky D's is fantastic pizza in a rustic house. May be quite a squeeze to get that many people in there, but I ordered from them for over two years and never got a bad pizza. They are the perfectors of the clam and bacon pie, white or red. Otherwise, Palermo over on Vermont kicks Italian ass, and they are a full fledged Italian restaurant for those who might get bored with strictly pizza.

                        1. Please do not invite your wedding guests to Palermo, unless you want them to be very mad at you. It's horrible.
                          I also would not recommend Nicky D's and Antica Pizzeria unless you want to risk potential service and/or food nightmares. Of all the places listed, Pitfire sounds the most viable.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Chowpatty

                            I agree. After sampling their food at a Project New Hope opening, we asked Pitfire to cater a housewarming party for us. They did exactly what you seem to want: provided trays of pasta and salads, kept the pizzas coming, even served the wine. And they worked with us to stay on budget. Admittedly, this was 6 yrs ago or so, but everyone loved it.

                            1. re: Silver Lake Guy

                              The service at Pitfire is usually really good, but the pizza is just plain chaloshes.

                          2. There's an anti-Nicky D's thing on this board, but it's still great pizza for the area. Plus, the back patio could easily handle 20 people.

                            I walked in there on Sunday night to pick up (I live a block away): Nick was busy with Emmy/Sunset Junction orders, but the folks inside seeemd to be doing fine. 2 couples had the the patio to themselves...

                            Give 'em a call...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: blacksab67

                              Concur, which is why I recommended it above. We just had Nicky Ds last weekend, and it was delish.

                              If I were the original poster, I'd check it out for myself before discounting it out of hand.

                            2. I don't think they have a patio, but maybe Caioti?

                              1. If you want to try something a bit out of the ordinary as far as rehersal dinners go...kind of ma Big Fat Italian Rehersal Dinner, maybe the C&O in the Marina. They do have a patio, not sure about the more formal location down the street. Garlic rolls are like crack and the carafes of wine are inexpensive. It would be a good time for all your guests when the waiters break into "When the moon hits your eye"... y'all know the rest!

                                1. I doubt this is what you're looking for, but D'Amore's rents trucks with chefs optional to cook pizza wherever you'd like. If you don't get the chef, they send a truck with premade pizzas kept warm in the truck ovens. Obviously, the chef cooks on site. It's something like 300 and 500 for truck and truck/chef, respectively.

                                  1. Emme, does that $500 include the price of the pizza???? (I wonder how many). That sounds like a killer deal for your rehearsal dinner if you can find a nice location for them to park...

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: cimero

                                      You could always rent out the very pretty patio at Descanso Gardens...

                                      1. re: cimero

                                        I dont recall, as I was just reading the pamphlet while I picked stuff up last time...

                                      2. Hey! You're getting married on my anniversary! Congrats! Nice choice of days!

                                        I know you are wanting a patio but I have to say that Angelli on Melrose is really a great choice. They do have yummy pizza and the price is quite reasonable. FYI, we used Evan and Angelli to cater our wedding reception and everyone raved.

                                        One thought you might have is that if it is a really small party, you can do just as well hitting a restaurant and ordering straight off the menu. We had a party of about 15 for the rehearsal dinner and we just went to La Petit Bistro and sat together at a long table. It worked out just fine.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jenn

                                          Hi Jenn, can you tell me what you served at your wedding? I'm probably getting them to cater too. Thanks.