ay ay ay! so im going to be 25 and i want to have a party. I have lots of friends that are so very different and i want to be able to join them in a place where everyone will be happy...and we all just about love to drink. so, i was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to where a great place (restaurant or bar) would be to gather some people. preferably in hollywood, but anywhere in the area would be good. north hollywood would work too or possibly silverlake. anyway, i dont mind supplying some stuff but id like to keep it relatively cheap. i just need a good place where people will be entertained and hopefully drunk and merry. even a good priced venue or space to rent would work. i could always supply the music or band...i just need the place. please let me know if you have ideas!!!! it would be greatly appreciated. oh yes, i almost forgot...it has to be vegetarian friendly if its a restaurant
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Well last year I rented the private room at the Velvet Margarita Cantina on Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood for my brother's birthday. You can seat up to about 20 for a four course meal. Here's the breakdown, its $100 a person, but the kicker is you have an open bar for everyone for three hours! The good stuff, no house brands. A DJ starts at about 9 on Friday and Saturdays. The place itself is really really nice, great for taking pictures for your bday. The food was good, but then again everyone was taking advantage of the open bar, if you guys like to drink you will definitely get your money's worth.
I always like El Compadre for big parties. Most nights (especially weekends) they have a really silly and fun nu-Mariachi band that, once you've had a few drinks in you, can be pretty heart-wrenching (in a good way). They have great reasonably priced food and damn delicious bloody maries. I recommend the #1 (Il Padrino, boiled Mexican skirt steak, 1 taco, 1 enchilada, rice & beans for 11 dollars!). It can be a little overwhelming on weekends, so you might want to call in advance, but they're pretty good about large groups. Certainly not my favorite Mexcian place by a long shot, but a fun party atmosphere and a good place to turn 25.
So, a lot depends on the kind of party you like. I love big birthday parties - and I hate having to pay for my party, or forcing my friends to spend money they don't have.
I really like to have fairly long parties (3 - 11 p.m.) at one place (or two near-by) that start as family-friendly with full bars and migrate to sit-down dinner where everyone orders off the menu and pays separately.
I'm not in your neighborhood...but I've had successful parties with large groups at Duke's in Malibu, Fritto Misto in Santa Monica, Guelaguetza in West L.A., Monsoon's in Santa Monica, and Baja Cantina in Marina del Rey.
I've also been to or had quite negative "party" experiences at C&O Trattoria in Marina del Rey, Minotaur in Playa del Rey, and Sangria in Hermosa Beach (I refuse to discuss other horrible chain restuarant "events.") For me the keys are reasonably good food and beverages, casual service and responsive management.
I encourage you to talk to managers/owners at smaller restaurants that might be willing to let you reserve the whole place for a party.
Definitely check out Vermont (the lounge) in Los Feliz. I have been to a few b-day parties there and it works really well. On Saturdays they have a DJ, and if people want to get food beforehand, the restaurant (in an adjacent room) is pretty good. It's never been open bar at any of the parties I've gone to and no one minded - that keeps it extremely cheap for you. You could also run a tab up to a certain amount and then cut it off.