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

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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?

            1. Sorry so late posting back. Beggars can't really be choosers, but I'd prefer to stay between Santa Monica and Long Beach.

              It's hard to believe that I can't find anything for around $25 a person!

              Any ideas are so welcome!

              1. What's the cute, little bungalow on a side street in Hollywood, near Sunset and Vine? The name is excaping me right now, but maybe another 'hound can help out. I remember the upstairs being used for private parties. I've only ever had brunch, but thought it was very nice (but not super expensive).... Actually, I think it's called Off-Vine. Worth looking into. I would think they could do something nice for your budget, if they can fit 50 in that room....You can search the board for opinions on the food, but I think it's generally well-liked.

                1. Oh my! Off-vine LOOKS so perfect! Thank you for the suggestion. The only bummer is that the website says they can only accommodate 36 guests, and I can't possibly cut that many folks from the guestlist without making some enemies. I'll have to have some other event there another time.

                  Any other ideas? I could really use some help on this. I want this to be a really nice night.

                  1. The location is a bit east of your desired area but I helped put together a high school reunion at Maggiano's at the Grove. I seem to recall that we were charged about $25.00 per person (about 3 years ago). They offered meat, chicken, and fish options (the salmon was really good) and they brought out as much food as we wanted. We had our own room upstairs that was big enough for more than 50 people. The room had a stocked bar and they provided a bartender. The people at the restaurant were very nice and helpful. They validate parking in the Grove lot.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: FKA Andrew

                      I second Maggiano's as a recommendation. I don't usually have to organize large events, but the responsibility fell on me to co-ordinate the rehearsal dinner at the last minute and Maggiano's saved me with their prix-fixe menu, meaning that no one had to think about it and food just happened. What's great also is that we ended up boxing up quite a bit of food; it was the gift that kept on giving.

                    2. Larchmont Grill is the perfect place for you. It's an old house like Off-Vine but I'm pretty sure they will rent the whole restaurant out. It has a great atmosphere with a wine bar and a wood burning fireplace. They are really friendly and I'm sure will work with you on menu and price.

                      1. You know, I appreciate the positives about Maggiano's, but I'd rather not do a chain, if possible. I know I'm asking a lot with my budget, but it's hard to imagine that in Los Angeles there isn't some little individually-owned restaurant - maybe someone's vanity experiment, or someone's spouse's hobby or something - that the neighborhood knows about but is still a little bit of a secret to the LA universe. Maybe it's just that with 50 people, most of those neighborhood places are TOO little.

                        Anyway, I'm calling up Larchmont Grill and Barefoot today (both of which sound lovely). I might have to increase the budget a bit. It iS a 40th birthday, after all!!!

                        But I'm still SO open to any other thoughts. I'm new to this community and I appreciate everyone's suggestions. Thank you, everyone!

                        1. What about Upstairs 2? I'm going there tonight for dinner and was just checking out their menu (which, BTW, looks great)...and on their homepage it said they can accomodate 60 people for a private party.

                          1. How about Koutoubia in Westwood? The restaurant's divided into two rooms; one should accomodate your party. Fun environment, they do a lot of parties, etc. & the Moroccan food is tasty and fun. You should be able to design a menu w/ them that fits your budget.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: archer

                              good call. iirc, they have a tent in the back for private functions as well.

                            2. I just checked out Upstairs 2, and you are so right. They have a fab menu! They're perfect - but private parties can only be had Sunday - Wednesday!! Wah! I need a Fri or Sat!

                              I know, I know - you're all thinking, "This new chick is a pain in the booty."

                              So, I'm waiting on a call back from the Larchmont Grill, and I'll try to talk to Barefoot, too. If either of those work out, I'll be golden! Thanks once again for everyone's advice and suggestions.

                              Any more ideas? :)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: jauntygirl

                                just be aware, for budgeting purposes, that often these restaurants tack on a 'service charge' that does NOT go to the servers.
                                this means that if you actually want to tip the servers, you need to budget additional money for it.

                                1. re: westsidegal

                                  Thanks, westsidegal. This is something I never realized! It's vital to treat the servers well. I fully feel that if you can't afford to tip, then you can't afford that restaurant.

                              2. Ok, so I spoke with Larchmont Grill, and they don't have a room big enough for my group. I'd have to rent out the whole place at about $3000. Barefoot's minimum is also over my budget. So is Zucca. So, these places will have to wait until I reach higher salary heights. Hopefully that will be after the February bar exam!

                                Good news is that Koutoubia's website looks like they'd be a blast, and might be right in my price range! So, I've left them a message and am waiting with bated breath to hear back.

                                Keep the suggestions coming, though, folks! I'm learning about so many great new places! It's always good to have a few options, too.

                                1. How about a brunch or lunch? Much cheaper than dinner.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: robertpasadena

                                    So interesting that you suggest a brunch! That was one of my ideas to keep the costs down, and all of my near 40 male friends just pooh-poohed the idea to pieces. Don't know what age range you're in, but it doesn't sound like you'd be opposed to a brunch. I might have to go that route, because I still haven't found the holy grail I'm looking for. But, since the event's not til end of March, I have a little more time to look.

                                    1. re: jauntygirl

                                      I hope that's next March 2008 or you mean May because otherwise you are a tad late.

                                  2. The location may be a non starter but you might look into Ciao Trattoria downtown. They use the lobby of the absolutely fabulous Fine Arts Building next door as their banquet room. It's a stunning Art Deco space.

                                    1. Good luck, you should either pare down your list or up your budget. You might want to look at doing Chines food at someones home, and go heavy on the wine and get cupcakes from Sprinkles.

                                      You might be able to rent a sushi chef for several hours to make items for you as well.

                                      1. for a friday and saturday? re-think Maggiano's. call up Traxx in Union Station. For that budget you might want to make it an appetizer menu...what makes it fun is all the variety. Make that budget work for you; I bet you would get nicer apps than courses for $25 a head.

                                        1. Now that you are considering brunch, I have a friend who's doing a brunch at Larchmont Grill in a few weeks. They are opening just for her on a Saturday. I've heard that they are going to be opening for breakfast/brunch on weekends starting in March but if you get to them now, maybe they would accomodate you. My friend is doing champagne cocktails and hey--guys will drink beer any time of day! One of the things she mentioned they were serving as people arrived were french toasts sticks. She also said they have banana bread french toast--which sounds really yummy!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: marmar

                                            Somehow missed this post, and so glad I saw it now. Larchmont Grill looks really intriguing to me and the man with whom I spoke today was just so nice. Plus, I happen to love breakfast foods, and the birthday boy loves french toast! This might be just the ticket after all.

                                            Can I ask you how many your friend will be hosting?

                                          2. Alright! You guys convinced me to take another look at Maggiano's. So,I went to their website and was APPALLED to discover that their banquet menu is $36 per person! Is it just me, or is that just too dang much for chain restaurant pasta? And I know, I know - they serve more than just pasta. But still.

                                            I remain hopeful. I'll post anything interesting I find, and I'll keep following up on the suggestions given. And you all don't give up on me, either!! Keep those ideas coming! :)

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: jauntygirl

                                              That includes a number of courses including dessert. But yes it is chain restaurant pasta. I'd never consider it to be great, but it's far from bad. Of course, that's just my opinion; I know there are others who outright don't like Maggiano's.

                                              I myself would never have suggested it had it not been for your budgetary constraint.

                                              1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                SauceSupreme, I hope I haven't offended you (or anyone else) with my outburst against Maggiano's!!

                                                I absolutely realize I'm working with a really tight budget. I was just hoping someone out there would come to my rescue with a super-secret low-cost option. I do appreciate all the ideas.

                                                1. re: jauntygirl

                                                  None taken. We all want you to throw a fabulous party, too!

                                            2. Hi,

                                              I have to admit, I'm chiming in about Maggiano's. We held a lovely weekend afternoon banquet for my hubby's 50th this last summer. Granted, I don't know how much it would have been to rent a private room (and maybe this is why you're getting the $36 dollar quote?), but we were in the back of the main dining room and had decent privacy.

                                              That said, with 2 non-alcoholic drinks per person additional, I paid a total of $450 with tip for 16 guests for their lunch family-style menu. (This was at the Grove) $18.50 for a five course lunch, (dinner pops up to $25/person for the same thing, and is effective all day Sunday and any day after 3pm) and you have a choice of two each of the following, in unlimited quantities: two appetizers, two salads, two entrees, two main courses and two desserts. They had an incredible pot roast that was like butter, and we ordered four additional platters of it! Chocolate zuccotto cake and real spumoni were incredible, and we've got some hounds as guests...they all loved it.

                                              Anyway, good luck with your choice. I hope you have a great day. Pls. let us know how it goes!

                                              CHeers,
                                              Shelley

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: shelleykelly

                                                You're right; that is the price quoted for the private room. You don't get unlimited quantities but the portions are ginormous.

                                                1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                  Hi again,

                                                  I stand corrected...the waiter whispered that if we wanted more, just to let him know, and I loosely threw around the word "unlimited" because he never charged us extra for the four additional platters of pot roast or additional orders of pasta or chicken.

                                                  So to us, it seemed unlimited. Imagine six platters of pot roast for 16 people?

                                                  Similar to the beef trough episode from Cheers. :-)

                                              2. I know this is not the most popular place with chowhounds but C&O Trattoria in Venice/Marina Del Rey fits your needs. You can rent the patio out or a portion of the patio. We did our rehearsal dinner there and it worked out to about $23 a person (that was 6 years ago).

                                                Before you write it off, go have a meal there. It's not the most gourmet place in the world but the patio is really nice, it fits your price range and the food is satisfying.

                                                http://www.cotrattoria.com/

                                                1. you should check out zanzabelle in silverlake. i went to party there last year- they had catering. it was awesome and fun.

                                                  1. If you can find a nice house, I would hire two culinary students and some staff to keep the place in order. You should be able to get away with the $1,800 especially if you can enlist some help from friends.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: toronyc

                                                      I've been in class all day and this is my first chance to hop on the board. My! Y'all have been busy! I've got a lot to check out tomorrow.

                                                      I'm going to have to give Maggiano's a call and see what the deal is. I got my info off their website, but it sounds like I need to speak to a human! The location is certainly convenient and it looks quite pretty, and, ShelleyKelly, I like the numbers! Besides that, quite a few of the guests will be older, rather conservative relatives, and they aren't too adventurous. No one is scared of Italian food.

                                                      And C&O is another great idea! I've been there, and it's a fun place.

                                                      You guys are the best! I'll let you know what happens next.

                                                    2. Hi Jauntygirl,

                                                      FYI, if you DO decide on Maggiano's, as I mentioned earlier, you need to have the event before 2 p.m. to take advantage of the $18.50/person price for the 5-course family style lunch. If it happens any time on Sunday, the price is $25.50/person no matter what time.
                                                      I recall a few choices costing an extra dollar or two more per person, like veal or crabcakes.

                                                      That said, we ordered:

                                                      Ceasar and garden salads, bruschetta and fresh tomatoes with mozzarella and basil, angel hair pasta and meat lasagna, pot roast (6 platters' worth!) and a chicken dish, and finally, the aforementioned chocolate zucotto cake and genuine spumoni. I'm telling you, at least at the Grove's Maggianos, nothing tasted "chain like". It really tasted like mama had been cooking all day.

                                                      Wherever you end up, have a blast!

                                                      Regards,
                                                      Shelley

                                                      1. OOPS! I meant before 3pm. Sorry.

                                                        1. You can also do a search on Citysearch.com for restaurants that have private rooms and see if one of them tweeks your interest:

                                                          http://losangeles.citysearch.com/yell...

                                                          Bria

                                                          1. Did anyone mention Taylor's Steaks? (I did not read everything) I went to a Birthday party there with about 25 guests one time and it was excellent. Theyhave a room upstairs where I know they can accomodate everyone. It is not pricey and I love the food. I am sure they could do a set menu for you as well.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Tom P

                                                              Hi Tom P,

                                                              Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, the birthday boy and most of the relatives don't eat beef or pork (imagine that!!). So, Taylor's Steaks won't work for this event.

                                                              I, however, am always up for a good steak, so I'll have to check them out on my own one of these days!

                                                            2. I have a friend who is sort of an aspiring event planner and she's done some good parties on a budget. Most of the locations are not on the Westside, but here are some more ideas for you:

                                                              She did a 30th birthday party at the Figueora Hotel (downtown LA) on a $1,000 budget that was great. It was held in the back bar, which overlooks the pool area, and the space was festive and really great.

                                                              http://www.figueroahotel.com/

                                                              She also looked into doing her wedding on a $2,500 budget, and some of the places that where high on her list were the Edendale Grill (which has a nice back patio and a pretty front patio which can be reserved for parties) and Taix (an old school French restaurant in Echo Park), which has several rooms which can be rented for events.

                                                              http://www.edendalegrill.com/

                                                              http://www.taixfrench.com/

                                                              She also found a location in Manhattan Beach. I can't find the name right now, but it was a cute, trendy, small hotel with affordable prices for catered events. Maybe somebody else knows what I am talking about? If not, I can get the name from my friend tomorrow when she's in the office -- I spoke to her and she said another friend ended up using the location for a 40th birthday party, so it might be just the ticket.

                                                              Edited to add: It was the Belamar Hotel. http://www.thebelamar.com/

                                                              1. Could it be the Shade Hotel?

                                                                1. Huh, that's funny - I posted a reply last night, but it doesn't seem to be showing up.

                                                                  Anywho, DanaB - I think you might be my hero! After a terribly disappointing day yesterday, where I found out that Maggiano's only available room on my requested date is far above my minimum, among other assorted bits of unhappy news, I hop on this site and find out about Traix! I'm so excited! Their website looks wonderful.

                                                                  Your friend sounds like my kindred spirit - people must have thought she was nuts to try to do a wedding for $2500. I'm glad she just considered it a challenge. I'm inspired!

                                                                  1. I'm so thrilled! I just spoke with the folks at Traix, and I think we have a winner! I can do a seated dinner AND a space for dancing - all within my budget! I'm going to go check out the space but from the website it looks like it'll do just fine.

                                                                    I'll post more when I get back from scoping it out!

                                                                    1. Are you talking about Taix or Traxx? Either one would be fun for your group.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Muhlyssa

                                                                        Ha! Note to self: more careful with the typing. Taix is the place.

                                                                        1. re: Muhlyssa

                                                                          Traxx has room for dancing? Is the dancefloor right smack in the middle of Union Station?

                                                                        2. i recently had my 40th at social hollywood upstairs. moroccan food served family style, the food was amazing. if you have a no-host bar you should be well under. or find out their corkage and bring your own wine.

                                                                          1. What about Cha-Cha-Cha? The enclosed patio is pretty, food is good and cheap...it's a thought. Check it out 656 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                            1. Have you checked with The Yellow Bungalow on Melrose and Pointsettia. They have a nice upstairs room and last time I checked it was very reasonable..

                                                                              1. Alright! We have a winner! I went to check out Taix today, and the private room they're putting us in will be just fine. I'm going to fill the place with balloons and photo blow-ups of the birthday guy and run a nostalgic slide show/video and play party music and I think I'll be able to make it really festive in there.

                                                                                By the way, the room they're giving me is the Champagne Room, and if any of you ever watched the Chris Rock show, you'll know why I thought that was a crack-up. I'm pretty sure my guy'll get a kick outta that, too, so that's a nice freebie. :)

                                                                                I also had lunch there - the coq au vin - and it was fine, too. No, not spectacular, and not earth-shattering, but completely fine. I looked at some earlier postings on Taix, and the place has definitely gotten very spotty reviews on the food, but for a party where half of the invitees rave about Chilli's, I'm pretty sure this will work out great. I'm so happy and excited to be able to move forward with the rest of the planning!

                                                                                Everyone's been so great and helpful with suggestions! I'll do a review of the event - food, service, etc - in late March after the party's over so other folks can see how Taix does a party.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: jauntygirl

                                                                                  You should enjoy it. I like the place, it's got retro old school charm and a good kitch factor. Hopefully your guests will get it. The food can be good, they will treat you well.

                                                                                  1. re: jauntygirl

                                                                                    I'm so glad it worked out for you! I agree that Taix has got its naysayers amongst the chowhounds, but some menu items at Taix are consistently good, including their roast chicken and their frites. Their soups and escargot are excellent as well. Plus, they've got one of the best, and certainly the most affordable, wine lists in town. Service is always great there, too.

                                                                                    You'll have the bonus of the bar area being somewhat popular and typically having live music on weekends, so after your party, people can have the option of hanging out in the bar. I hope you have a great party!

                                                                                  2. Congrats!! That sounds so awesome. Looking forward to a post-party update.

                                                                                    Cheers,
                                                                                    Shelley

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: shelleykelly

                                                                                      Definitely awaiting the report. Have fun.

                                                                                    2. for catering i love food ink,inc.
                                                                                      they are great.

                                                                                      1. Hello 'Hounders!!! So, I had the party, and it was an absolute blast, and a huge, huge, happy, happy success! Truly heartfelt thanks to all of you for your suggestions and well-wishes. Here's my post-party report:

                                                                                        First off, thanks again to DanaB for suggesting Taix Restaurant. I know it gets mixed reviews here on Chowhound, but phooey on that!! It was a perfect suggestion for me, and I would recommend it over and over again. Not only did I end up well within my $1800 budget, but the staff there was friendly, accommodating and cheerful. Those wonderful Taix folks were helpful and accommodating at every step of the way, including suggesting a "secret password" to use at the reception desk so that they could let me know when my boyfriend had arrived and we could get ready to yell,"SURPRISE!!"

                                                                                        Even on my limited budget, it was important to me to have a private room for my party, and the banquet option at Taix allowed that. We had the Champagne Room, which is the last room at the end of a rather long and darkish hallway. Since this was a surprise party, this last fact sort of worked in my favor, depending on how you look at it - we could hear my boyfriend coming down the hallway behind his friends (my co-conspirators) complaining, "What IS this place? Why is it so dark? Where are we going?", which we thought was hilarious. Clearly, he was REALLY going to be surprised. And he was!

                                                                                        One of the best things about the Champagne Room was the incredible bar inside it. When I was planning the party, Jill of Taix told me that there was a $75 set-up fee for the bar, which is waived if $200 worth of drinks are purchased. She went on to say that $200 is basically 40 drinks. FORTY DRINKS!! Those of you quick with math realize that that means drinks are approximately $5, which has to be the bargain of the century in LA.

                                                                                        But, the incredibly reasonable cost of the drinks wasn't the only amazing thing about the bar. When Jill talked about a set-up fee, I pictured a portable, podium-style bar that would be set up in a corner of the room somewhere, with a guy in a vest popping caps off beers and pouring generic vodka into a plastic cup. The guy in the vest was indeed there, but that was the only accurate thing I pictured. Far from being an insubstantial little podium, the bar is a full-on room attached to the Champagne Room, with a walk-up counter, and featuring pretty much any liquor you could imagine or want, served in appropriate bar glasses. I'm pretty sure the guests hit the 40 drink mark long before the birthday boy even got there.

                                                                                        Taix's banquets start at $18.95 per person and include a relish tray, bread and butter, salad with house vinaigrette, soup du jour, choice of 2 entrees, ice cream, coffee and tea, and complimentary cake cutting (NOTE: I just looked at their website, and soup is no longer listed as part of the banquet menu, so maybe things have changed). For an extra $3 per person ($21.95/person), you get a dance floor in your banquet room, which we did.

                                                                                        I was not at all impressed with the bread, which was cold and ordinary. I was, however, impressed with the soup, which was lentil and very tasty, with a hearty, almost split-pea-like flavor.

                                                                                        For my entrees, I choose the famous Roast Chicken, and the Beef Bourguignon. Because there were a few vegetarians in my group, Jill allowed them to choose the Pasta Monegaque without charging extra for a third entree choice, which was really nice, and very appreciated.

                                                                                        I know you guys aren't going to believe this, but I got quite a few compliments on the food, and even several RAVES!!! Honest to Pete!

                                                                                        The roast chicken came with butter-sauteed vegetables and mashed potatoes. The chicken was well-cooked and moist, although, honestly, I thought it could have been better and more seasoned. The vegetables, however, were perfect - simply prepared, crisp tender, with beautiful color and just the slightest, perfect taste of butter. The potatoes were also simply prepared - stiffly mashed, as opposed to creamy-textured, and lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and butter. All in all, the chicken and accompaniments was simple, familiar, comfort-style food, prepared well.

                                                                                        The beef came with the same butter-sauteed broccoli and carrots, but a rice pilaf instead of the potatoes. In my opinion, the beef was a tastier dish than the chicken - the burgundy wine/mushroom sauce was nicely flavored, if not particularly nuanced, and had a nice texture, consistency and color. The rice pilaf was a bit bland, but isn't pilaf usually? Besides, the pilaf was jazzed up considerably by adding a bit of wine sauce. Interestingly, while the roast chicken seems to get the most nods on this site, it was the beef-eaters I heard the most compliments from.

                                                                                        I did not try, and forgot to ask about, the pasta dish, which certainly looked and smelled appetizing.

                                                                                        Because the birthday boy loves lamb, he was the only member of the party to get the lamb chops. I asked for them medium-well (although if I were eating them I would have preferred medium-rare), and they came cooked perfectly medium well, and beautifully seasoned. I was worried about them, but these were lovely chops, thickly cut and perfectly prepared. They arrived with a layered potato casserole type of side dish (the boyfriend initially thought it was polenta!) that was probably scalloped potatoes or something very like it, and of course those ubiquitous veggies. Birthday boy was quite pleased with them (although, in fairness perhaps I should mention that he'd been on the receiving end of several drinks by then).

                                                                                        Those wonderful Taix folks also did a great, unusual job of cutting the cake (which I brought in, meaning, it wasn't a Taix dessert, and yet there was no cake-cutting charge!) by cutting the slices DIAGONALLY. Maybe I'm behind the times, but I'd never seen that before, and it looked beautiful and impressive. Again, I had several guests comment on the beautiful presentation.

                                                                                        Following dinner, I turned up the Harmon Kardon Go + Play iPod boombox I bought for $350 (pricey, but only slightly more so than a dj, and INCREDIBLE SOUND, and the birthday boy got to keep it) with the dance party playlist I previously created, and we commenced to tearing the dance floor up! Really, a great time was had by all.

                                                                                        This is so long, so I'll wrap it up. I just want to reiterate that Taix did a fantastic job, made even more amazing by my tight budget (under $2000 total, for the entire party). For others on a budget, I'll briefly outlay my costs:

                                                                                        Dinner for 50, incl tax and 18% gratuity approx $1375
                                                                                        Festive, non-alcoholic punch for 50 approx $ 50
                                                                                        Fresh strawberry birthday cake (from Albertson's) $ 60
                                                                                        "DJ services"/birthday gift (boombox, plus tax) $ 380
                                                                                        Photo centerpieces, flowers, balloons, etc. $ 90
                                                                                        Miscellaneous $ 40
                                                                                        ---------------
                                                                                        TOTAL $1995

                                                                                        Really, a good party CAN be thrown on the cheap! It just takes good advice and lots of planning.

                                                                                        Thanks again, everyone!

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: jauntygirl

                                                                                          Thanks for such a great follow-up, glad to know it was a success!