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Family Engagement Party Dinner

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I am hosting a engagement dinner this Saturday night (yikes!) and need some of your expertise! We have a small party-- about 15 people. Several guests are coming from out of town and I want to take them somewhere nice. Any good suggestions of a moderately priced restaurant with a nice atmosphere in the West LA area? I was thinking about restaurants in Santa Monica overlooking the ocean. Would love ANY good tips!!!!!!!! Thanks!

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    1. re: Servorg

      Thanks for your tip!
      I'm not sure it would work since I have family coming up from San Diego and I don't want to tack on another half hour to their drive... I'm thinking more of the Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West LA area.

    2. What about Chaya Venice or Hal's on Abbot Kinney. No view, but sort of L.A. kind of places. Shutters Hotel and Casa Del Mar have restaurants with views but may be more expensive. The Ivy at the Shore has a back room and is very festive and an L.A. place, but again, it is pricey. food Congratulations!

      1. See if you can get the patio at i Cugini.

        1. Not sure what your definition of moderate is, but we had an incredible experience at Enoteca Drago in Bev Hills. Their private wine room is beautiful and the food is solid...
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/403617

          1. you need to spell out what you consider 'moderately priced' to be.
            how much per person? before tax and tip? before beverages?

            also, be aware that some establishments add a 'service fee' of about 20% for large parties, and that the service fee does NOT necessarily go to the waitperson as a tip. this means that you may need to budget additional money for a tip.

            2 Replies
            1. re: westsidegal

              thanks for the suggestions! By moderate, I mean $15-30 per entree. There are two kids (ages 14 and 10) coming and some picky eaters, so I am trying to find something that is nice for a special occasion with family but not stuffy. Enoteca Drago seems great, but a little more than I can afford. Has anyone been to any of these italian restaurants and can say how it was: Locanda del Lago (Santa Monica), Il Moro (West LA), or Campagnola Trattoria (Westwood).

              thanks everyone!!! your advice is very helpful

              1. re: westsidegal

                Whatever the policy of the restaurant management may or may not be, the patron is never expected to tip additionally beyond whatever "service charge" (normally from 18 to 20%) has been added to the bill for a larger party.