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Turning 25!

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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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ElissaInPlaya

          Minotaur's too small for any kind of big party (unless you rented out the whole place and then you'd still be talking smallish party), but it's been great in my experience for small go-outs, and nice food. Would second Monsoon, such a great venue.

        2. 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.

          1. Me too!! Happy Birthday... I'm trying to figure out the same thing... Maybe we should combine parties ;)

            I'm actually looking into renting a room at the Olympic Collection and bringing in food, or using their caterer. The menu looks okay there, but I'm not sold.

            The Velvet Margarita mentioned above is alright. I was just at a 21st birthday there a few months back, and I felt like it was a better venue for that birthday... sloppy drunkenness, rather than for the kind of 25 year old birthday I would now prefer. It all depends on you and your friends though.

            My friends were also considering Geisha House and Palms Thai. The other idea was to rent a suite at the W or some such hotel and once again bring food and alcohol in.

            Please let me know if you get any other grand ideas... I'm getting stuck too!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Emme

              Thanks for all the responses. Happy birthday to you guys also. I did think about renting out a hotel room but you run into the problem of trying to get people in. I'm not to sure about other hotels but i know the standard only lets a certain amount in. otherwise, id probably be all for that. Yeah, i would prefer somewhere that would let me bring in my own food and drinks. but i guess i can just tell people to meet me at so and so for dinner and then drinks later.

            2. Hey you both, I am also planning on celebrating my b-day. So happy b-day to both of you ;)

              I'm looking for a place that has both food and atmosphere it will be for at least 35 people.

              So, far I've been looking around but there is nothing really appealing and I do want to accomodate all of my guests.

              Any ideas? it can also be a banquet room/hall and I can take my own "stuff".

              1. has anyone ever been to citizen smith in hollywood??? looks like a nice place but ive never been

                2 Replies
                1. re: nancygrl82

                  Eh, my stepbrother's girlfriend's birthday was there in November. It was pricey for the quality of food. I mean, it was a fun place for a 22 year old birthday, and a few friends, but nowhere I'd rush back. Ironically, my stepbrother suggested this place to me for my birthday just a few days ago, and I kind of pooh-poohed it as scene definitely wins out over food.

                  1. re: nancygrl82

                    I was just at Citizen Smith a few weeks ago. I had a reservation elsewhere (O-bar), but my group of 10 just wanted to walk from the Hotel Cafe. You better believe I was grumbling and had low expectations.

                    We had a great time - excellent service (even a sensitivity to nut allergies without being told!), fantastic music and ambiance. Full bar, and interesting by-the-glass wines. Food was well-done, but not very creative -- i.e. short ribs with bok choy, lobster pasta, green pea risotto, yummy vegetables and tasty chocolate cake. Vegetarian and non-vegetarians were both really happy.

                    I was so surprised at our experience, because I had read negative chowhound reviews. I did find out later that the chef there is relatively new.

                    Anyway, if they can accommodate your group size, I think it's a great choice for a party. You're also walking distance to Beauty Bar and lots of other fun bars.

                  2. okay so here are some suggestions i got that dont sound half bad...

                    the first...which im leaning toward the most is
                    Electric Lotus on Vermont in Los Feliz and then walk over to the Dresden Lounge which is a cute place.

                    Ole on Ventura Blvd. and then a bar in Hollywood after

                    Maybe a place called Lola's, which i've never been too....

                    let me know if you guys have heard of any of these

                    1. TOKYO DELVE'S-I just went to this place in north hollywood. It was a great birthday party. It can sit 2-30 people for a party and it is entertaining. It is vegetarian friendly since it is a sushi hot spot. It is a continuous party for only 2 hours and they bring you all of the beer (kegs) and sake you can drink. The party I went to had about 20 people with sushi and drinks it averaged about $50 per person. The waiters sing to you and encourage you to drink and be merry. Definitely a place to party for all ages. You have to try it at least once. www.delve-sushibar.com

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: summertime247

                        How is a sushi place vegetarian-friendly? Ok, most sushi places have a few vegetable rolls, but I think it's a stretch to call that "vegetarian friendly", especially since some places use bonito in seasoning the nori and / or inari pockets.

                        1. re: summertime247

                          most sushi bars are the worst type of restaurant to go to if any members of your party are vegetarian.

                          1. re: summertime247

                            Ohhhmygod that Tokyo Delves place is a nightmare! We went there for a friend's birthday and it's horrible sushi first of all, but the whole experience is like a theme park/chucky cheese for adults, and it ended up being like 70 a person because of all the sake.