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East Side Inexpensive Loungy Recs? Oh please - for the love of god and all that is holy - HELP!

I need you all like never before. I vow to give my first born up to anyone that can help me in this time of need. My BF of 8 years is turning the ripe age of 27 next Wednesday. The following weekend, Friday Oct. 5th, I have the responsibility of throwing a birthday shindig for him and about 20-30 of his friends. Grant it most of them are either students, just getting their careers started or are struggling artists/musicians. What does this mean? It usually means taco trucks and PBR but I would like it to fit that type of budget but be more...much more. I'm thinking maybe small plates or bar food. Maybe a place that has items you can buy ala carte. These guys aren't really foodies but I'm sure would appreciate more than cold fries and greasy pizza. We like our drinks strong and cheap as well. People will be trickling in and out all throughout the night so reserving a table won't work. We also need a place that can stay open late and is located centrally between North Hollywood, Silver Lake and Pasadena. I'm screwed aren't I? Oh please - help!!!

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  1. It's kind of a tough call because there really aren't any places that have both small plates and cheap drinks...but here's a few ideas.
    Go to the new Verdugo Bar in Glassell Park, buy everyone hot dogs from the hot dog cart on the patio and take a cake with you. There are some very promising taco trucks in the area as well...
    Grab a table at the Red Lion and let people mill around it throughout the evening, order some sausage plates to snack on.
    I'm trying to think of some sort of kitschy and fun places around Burbank but not thinking of anything except the Smoke House...anyone?
    Have it at the York and splurge a little...

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chowpatty

      That's actually a good idea. I don't mind laying down a little cash and buy a bunch of appetizers for people to munch on all night. That way they can buy their drinks and eat free food. Now my only thing is ordering something that can stay out at room temperature for a while so I guess fried foods would be out. I'm thinking Hollywood, Silverlake or Echo Park areas. We really only have one couple coming from Pasadena and they can just hop on the 110. Most everyone lives in North Hollywood and Silverlake. Do places care if you bring a cake in? I guess cupcakes would be better that way you don't have to deal with plates and utensils.

      1. re: missmodular818

        You should call ahead about bringing a cake. I think a bar that doesn't serve food or dessert might be cooler about it than a restaurant that serves its own desserts, but some are ok with it.
        Hate to be a broken record but Malo seems to work well for these sorts of gatherings.
        I had a birthday at the Prince in Koreatown which was lots of fun -- cool vintage decor, interesting Korean snacks, etc.

        1. re: missmodular818

          "Late Night Happy Hours" seem to be popping up all over town, though none in the Silverlake area come to mind.........................

          LA CANTINA, McCormick & Schmicks and "Hollywood Hills Bar & Restaurant at 1145 N Vermont in Los Feliz" are some that I see mentioned.

          Ciudad , downtown, has $4 drinks from 9 to midnight on Fri & Sat. , info on their website ciudad-la.com

          1. re: jillso

            Bah! Why not? How about in Hollywood? Anything? Anything?

      2. Get to Magnolia on Lake in pasadena during happy hour and order a bunch of food at hh prices, and a bunch of drinks on hh prices, and save some for people as they trickle in. Getting there early means you can stake out an area for your group, although 20/30 is a lot and Magnolia is not that big of a place, but they do stay open late.

        1. My first rec would be Cha Cha Cha in Silver Lake. They definitely do small plates but their portions are large so it can all be stretched out. Plus, it's not expensive to begin with anyway. Throw in a $20 pitcher of sangria and I'm chillin' like ice cream fillin'.

          Cha Cha Cha
          656 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004

          5 Replies
          1. re: SauceSupreme

            Oh that is weird! I was just on their website about 2.3 seconds ago. Definitely a contender. I've never been there so how is their food? What kind of food do they serve? It doesn't list on their website. Anyone eaten there?

            1. re: missmodular818

              I think the food at Cha Cha Cha is great; it's a popular local spot, fun laid-back vibe. It's Caribbean.

              Here's some pics from when I went for brunch one morning:

              1. re: SauceSupreme

                Oops! Got that confused with Cha Cha Lounge also in Silver Lake. I guess that is just a bar. Not sure if they have food.

                  1. re: rds246

                    Ha ha! Free M&M's people! That might might not be enough substance for lots of boozing. We need carbs and lots of them dammit! he he

          2. I live in SL and here's where I use to go on my bdays (in my 20's):

            Mexico City
            Palermo's (you can get a big table)

            Also been to a lot of parties at Electric Lotus -- Indian (not my fav)

            2 Replies
            1. re: Silverlaker

              I believe THE BIG FOOT LODGE on Los Feliz is your answer. It's convenient to Silver Lake obviously and just off the 5 for the Valley folks. Or you might look into the popular new THE GRIFFIN right across the street.

              1. re: wutzizname

                The Big Foot Lodge doesn't have food, however.

            2. The YORK,
              In Highland Park is fantastic...soooo many beers to choose from at a great price.
              Lots of little tid bits to eat and a really good burger. Super Casual, but clean, and relaxed without feeling like you need to disinfect yourself after wards.
              Give em a call ahead a time and I'm sure they'd be happy to help y'all figur something out.
              Have fun!!!

              3 Replies
              1. re: tatertotsrock

                Oh, also the RED LION INN in SL -- classic place for a guy's bday.

                1. re: tatertotsrock

                  I love divey seedy joints though. I always carry anti-bacteria hand gels and my own toilet seat covers.

                  1. re: tatertotsrock

                    FYI - the York is a complete ZOO on wknd. nights. Might be too crowded to enjoy yourselves.

                  2. what about Malo in Silverlake? www.malorestaurant.com

                    fun spot, good tunes, and nice tacos. :-)

                    1. I've had my bday and successive friends' bdays at the Red Lion Tavern. If you get there early, grab a large table and "let people mill around" as Chowpatty mentioned, it can be a great time. The sausage platters work out great and people can order other German fare if they so choose. Great beers and cocktails and the upstairs smoking patio is always a plus. Downstairs there is a piano bar and when someone is playing it can be fun to obnoxiously sing along. It does get pretty packed, but you can always seem to find room. It's a very original place and I have not been to a birthday party there yet that was not a blast. Plus, you can always move the party across the street to the Cha Cha lounge if you need a change of scenery...

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: kellydeez

                        Red Lion is a good choice, big enough to accommodate a large party, good beer, decent food. I recently went to a birthday party at Cha Cha Cha and it is not a mill around, drop in kind of place. I have also been to Edendale Grill in Silver Lake for big birthday parties on the back patio and bar area- great atmosphere and though their dinners are not so great and expensive, they do have a good bar menu with I believe a good happy hour deal of 5 bucks for any plate on that menu (otherwise run 8-12 bucks I think) Drink prices not cheap, but standard for the area. No one has mentioned Ye Rustic Inn in Los Feliz it definitely fits the bill for divey with strong drinks and good bar food. Ye Rustic does get crowded though…

                        1. re: LaLa Eat

                          ***Update***Thanks for all the recommendations. We picked Red Lion as our spot for this weekend. Invites are out. Non back-peddling now. I haven't been there in years but remember this place being fun and accomadating for everyone. Does anyone have any food or drinks recs? Do they have any great secret menu items I should know about? Do they have a full bar or wine and beer only? Are there any great places in walking distance I should visit?

                          1. re: missmodular818

                            I recommend getting there early...unless you were able to get a reservation. I had my brithday there a few months ago and they wouldn't accept a reservation; I even tried to give them a deposit!? We got there ~6pm on a Friday night and it was PACKED, well at least on the patio. They were able to accomodate us inside, but the patio would have been much nicer.

                            I love their sausage platter and fish & chips...of course, they have a great beer selection and also a full bar. Have fun!

                            1. re: missmodular818

                              Right across the street is Cha Cha Lounge, standard hipsterish Silverlake bar that is also very popular. Unfortanely, nothing else is within walking distance, though Edendale's Bar is close on Rowena.