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40th B-day, 50 guests, tight budget, private room - Suggestions?

Help! Can anyone suggest an unconventional restaurant with parking where I can have a private room and good buffet-style dinner for 50 guests? I'm not hell-bent on buffet, but with a budget of about $1800, options are limited.

Ideally the place would be family-owned and so small I could rent the whole place (like a little house or something), but I realize that with $1800, this ain't likely.

Please NO burger joints or kitschy Mexican places, and light on the beef and pork. I want nice, like, "ohhhh, what a nice place", not "Man! That spot was niiiice!" - if you know what I mean. I can't afford the latter.

Am I dreaming, or can someone tell me how I can look like the hero here?

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  1. Cater something good and do it at someone's nice home.

    1. I'm not opposed to catering - who should I go with? I'm really all new to this. Can someone lead me to the light?

      1. I really can't speak to their prices, but I think that Barefoot on Third St. near the Beverly Center has a room upstairs and I don't think they are too pricy. You should also try that place on Pico near Century City on the north side of the street. The name is escaping me (Woodspark or something like that?) but they have a small room upstairs. Good luck!

        1. a chinese banquet dinner should fall into your price range.

          1 Reply
          1. re: wilafur

            That or do a dim sum brunch. I did a birthday party for a friend at the empress pavillion (I do not know if any of their provate rooms will hold 50) but certainly NBC in Monterey Park and possibly Ocean Star would have private rooms. Empress Pavillion in Downtown Los Angeles with tax and tip ran me $20 per person (about 6 years ago) and everyone walked out stuffed. Bamboo in the valley has a private dining room and could definitely bring you in on budget with some really nice dishes.

          2. Any particular location?