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50th Anniversary Ideas?

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My in-law's 50th Anniversary is coming up, and we'd like to celebrate with about 25 people, either in a place with a private room or that can seat every one at a large table in the dining room.

Is $50 per too outrageously low to even consider? We have no real reference points for price. Chez Mimi was $75 per person for hors d'oerves, appetizer, main and dessert, not inclusive of alcohol, tax or tip. Off Vine was $40 per person, but that price does not allow for a fish choice (they also had a 30 person minimum). This seems a rather large price divide between two somewhat comparable places (Mimi's is better, but is it that much better?) Also, how do places feel about us bringing our own good wine -- is the corkage still a per bottle fee or is there some other arrangement?

At first, we were thinking Opus, because they have that nice private room, but I think the atmosphere is too dark and modern for my in-law's taste. Too bad -- great food.

Subsequent ideas were either Mimosa or Pastis, but we thought both might be a bit too small to accomodate us. The food there is more or less what the in-laws would like.

And then there's Lilly's, in Venice. Last year we went there for my wife's bday dinner (just the 4 of us) and I felt the food quality had dropped. Has anybody had any recent good dining experiences there?

Any hound with info about group dining experiences at these or any other place that seems to fit the bill would be most welcome.

The other option is for us to have something catered at the house. If you want to throw out the name of a good caterer, please do! Thanks for any suggestions!

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  1. La Terza does a 3 course menu.

    At Opus, you could do a four courser, but call to see if they can accommodate your size party.

    Chez Mimi is nice.

    The patio at i Cugini is lovely.

    If you wanted to go ethnic, I'd consider Moun of Tunis or Fu Rai Bo.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Emme

      Alas, so many of the places, assuming this couple is from LA, courted, dated and visited in their youth are long gone. Can you ask them about restaurants from their past? Places that hit a sweet spot or take them down memory lane? We would often go to the now gone Chianti as this was where my parents 'courted'. Is there some Los Angeles tradition with this couple?

      I will agree, in lack of a tradition, the patio at i Cugini is lovely.

    2. Guido's - Italian - 11980 Santa Monica, Blvd., WLA (310) 456-1979

      1) It's old world, or red sauce, Italian. People who prefer Northern Italian, if that's the right title, sometimes hate this style. I personaly have enjoyed eating there as I like "all" styles of Italian.
      2) Ambiance - is dark, old worldie, and the cusine should appeal to your in-laws who must at least be in theri 70s.
      3) They don't have a website, but is very similar to the Guido's in Malibu. The #2 option (lower left hand corner) has appatizer, salad, fish or chicken, and Ice cream for $30 per person. The #3 option is for $35:
      http://www.guidosmalibu.com/dinner.html
      4) Has a nice private room that will seat 25 at one long table (I believe) and there is "NO" room charge.
      5) Has a full bar & wine, which I don't know the pricing of.

      Budget:
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      $30 - Food
      $15 - Wine (a "big" guess using $30 bottle & 1/2 bottle p/p).
      $12.48 - Tax & 18% Tip
      ---------
      $57.48 - Total per person

      Chez Mimi Comparison:

      $75 - Food
      $20 - Wine (a "big" guess using $40 bottle & 1/2 bottle p/p).
      $26.35 - Tax & 18% Tip
      ---------
      $121.35 - Total per person (or in all likihood, more than double).

      1. Divino in Brentwood has a nice private room upstairs.

        Upstairs 2 has a room for private party separate from the dinig area.

        Napa Valley Grille can accommodate various size parties.

        Il Moro has a beautiful outdoor patio area that can be cordoned off for your party.