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Fun Restaurants in West LA

Does anyone have any recommendations for a fun place to do a birthday dinner with about 10-15 people preferably in the West LA Area that isn't too pricy?

I also wanted to make sure that we could make reserverations or easily get a table if the place doesn't take reservations....THANKS in advance!!

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  1. Based on a similar q here on Chowhound, I recently hosted a similar dinner at C&O Cucina.

    There are two C&Os, I chose the cucina because it was easier for me to get a reservation on the night we needed.

    The both have web sites: cocucina.com and cotrattoria.com. Both are on Washington Boulevard, one real close to the beach (the trattoria). Same menu at both places.

    We had salad, chicken, two pastas and those nice garlic rolls. We sat on the patio and had a nice time.

    For parties of 10 or more they ask you to preorder the food. You have a lot of choices. There was a ton of food. It can be as reasonable or as expensive as you choose -- do you want appetizers, how many pasta dishes, how many meat dishes, that sort of thing.

    Sherri was the catering person at the c&o cucina, very easy to work with. (I'm not a shill -- just happens that I was just there).

    The food was well liked by the crowd. One caveat: I don't think the people I partied with were real chowhounds. Some chowhounds don't find the food there chow worthy. I dunno. I liked it just fine, particularly the spaghettini bolognese. Salad was really good, too.

    But it's fun and not to pricy and the service was really good, from the catering person who made the arrangements to the staff who served us.

    I'd recommend it, except if you have a table full of serious foodie/chowhounds.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PaulF

      C&O Trattoria is fun, and it's all about having fun... it's not about staring at the food, oohing and ahhing at it... I think most folks would be more than happy there, as long they like food along the lines of Italian - who doesn't?!

      1. re: PaulF

        you forgot to mention those amazing garlicky rolls they make out of pizza dough.

      2. Musha in Santa Monica is great for birthdays and everyone sharing means getting to try a lot of items! There is a tatami room in the back that you can reserve for larger parties.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TracyS

          Second Musha.

          Ethnic is great for parties...
          Warszawa is fantastic for Polish on Lincoln.
          Shamshiri in Westwood
          [not west LA, but Rahel or Meals by Genet for Ethiopian]
          If you were willing to travel just a wee bit, Soot Bull Jeep or Sa Rit Gol for Korean BBQ, another great cuisine to share

          Fritto Misto in Santa Monica

          Bandera is fun albeit a bit loud

          Coupa Cafe in Beverly Hills

          World Cafe on Main

          Mako is probably more than you want to spend

        2. we had a great birthday dinner recently at violet (on pico in SM); great food, not too noisy and fair prices for the wine...there is also a private dining room off the lobby at il fornaio on ocean in santa monica that is pretty fun...

          1. pink taco @ century city mall

            4 Replies
                1. re: Servorg

                  well, OK, but I found it terrible.

                  1. re: Diana

                    Did you try the Cochinita Tacos? They were the food getting most of the love.

              1. Gardens on Glendon would work.

                1. Nook if the communal table is available - lovely dim lighting, great food, and can be fun

                  Rustic Canyon - great food and drink, pretty loud/fun, takes reservations

                  Beechwood in Venice - also great food and drink, fun, gets louder as the night gets later, takes reservations

                  Was recently at a nice birthday at Moonshadows in Malibu, sitting on the patio - beautiful, right on the ocean - probably on the upper end cost-wise, depending on your definition...

                  And I second C & O as long as you don't mind it is not very chow-ish (probably not chow-ish at all) like PaulF said. If I were you, I'd shoot for the location by the beach at the end of Washington - I think it's much more fun with all the singing ever couple of hours and the chianti by the honor system. To me, C & O has good food but is really all about the ambience and the beach location really does it up right.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LisaStitch

                    No guarantee that the communal table will be available for a large party. I would go for that back patio room at The Gardens on Glendon. They'll honor a reservation; make a great tableside guacamole and am convinced that there will be something on that menu which wlll be satisfying to every member of the party. Prices are not cheap; but not crazy. Valet parking. I really like The Gardems for casual, celebratory meals.