Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Jan 30, 2007 04:25 PM

Affordable Wedding Caterer for a Foodie?

I don't have the big bucks for Patina to do my wedding? Anyone have any suggestions for someone who cares deeply about the quality of food? I'm expecting 160 guests, possibly buffet style. We may do Chinese or Filipino cuisine because of our family background. We want something fun or different? Barbecue? Paella? Anything but the standard rubber chicken and bland beef filet.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Who have you looked at, and what is your budget? I am planning my wedding now and am looking for caterers too. I haven't chosen one yet but so far, we like:

    The Kitchen for Exploring Foods (located in Pasadena)
    Panache Catering with Chef Ken (located in Calabasas)

    Ken is supersweet and will do rentals as well. The Kitchen had great food and really nice presentation, but they are s-l-o-w in getting back to you. Good luck!

    1. Elements in Pasadena did our wedding of about 100 people at the Asia Pacific Museum and we couldn't have been more pleased. We're Asian and wanted an Asian flair and they were wonderful from beginning to end and they were very reasonable.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cfylong

        hey there - do you mind me asking how much per person did the catering end up costing you? I hadn't heard of Elements before. Did they also do the rentals?

        1. re: maybelle

          Elements is a young upstart catering company near Old Town Pasadena, so they are anxious to please and affordable. The food alone was about $30 pp, including appetizers, drinks, and entrees. They will subcontract with a rental company, and will handle everything, including floral arrangements. The main cost for us was in the staffing and the rental equipment which ran about another $35 pp, because we wanted waiters rather than a buffet. I wanted an Asian theme, so they served hors d'oeuves of stuffed chicken wings, pork satay with pineapple/spicy peanut sauce and roast duck vegetable rolls; then, a dinner of steamed salmon w/ginger, red onion,lemongrass, caramelized ribeye steak with jasmine rice and fresh veggies. Delish! The set-up and execution was marvelous and I am still getting compliments months afterwards on the decor and food! Carol Grogan was the contact at 626-440-0100 or at She and the young chef O'Neil are the owners. Good luck!

      2. The Kitchen for Exploring Foods was a little too pricey for us. We've tried Truly Yours on Vineland and Burbank, but weren't crazy about the food. Their service seems fine, though. We're considering getting Chinese food from the San Gabriel Valley. But I worry that most Chinese food won't stand-up well in a buffet. The veggies will turn gray. The roast meat will lose its crispiness. But Filipino food has a lot of stews that just need to be kept warm, so we may go with that.
        Does anyone have any other suggestions for affordable ethnic food?

        5 Replies
        1. re: dpierson

          a chinese friend of mine just did a dim sum / cake reception (and then had a formal chinese banquet for family only). the dim sum held up great and was very tasty.... a bit more casual than what you were going for - but there was TONS of food and it was very affordable!

          1. re: The Oracle

            Was the Dim Sum reception at a restaurant? Venue? If so, do you happen to know the cater?


            1. re: Dommy

              No, she had it at the church. She bascially ordered 4 types (I believe from Ocean Star or NBC) and had them passed on platters after the ceremony in an adjacent courtyard where people mingled.

              1. re: The Oracle

                Thanks!! I had no idea they would do that! :)


              2. re: Dommy

                Ho Dommy. If you need any catering needs, please contact me at 626-810-8884. My name is Anne, i have a restaurant in WEst Covina. Thank you so much.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. The original comment has been removed