Mexican in SM or Venice for big group
Looking for atmospheric and need to be able to handle a big group. Would be great if they had their own bar or were fine with us lingering. It doesnt have to be gourmet, and the more hole in the wall the better, but need to not freak out at big group.
Naturally, I'm going to suggest a place that's not in SM or Venice.
But Don Antonio's WLA location (on Pico) is very close to the LA/SM border.
I mention it because they have a back room area that's comfortable for large parties.
Their food is solid to above solid. I think everyone would find something they liked on the menu. It's not Omigod-this-is-so-amazing-I-must-immediately-post-a-review-on-Chowhound amazing, but it's good.
Monte Alban on Santa Monica Blvd. would be a great choice! Food is Oaxacan style - but very good. Not a hole in the wall, but definitely not an uppity kind of place. And, the food is wonderful. I've heard of people hosting larger parties there quite successfully. . . .good luck!
La Cabana has a back area and is definitely a hole in the wall. The drinks are good and they even have a woman making tortillas to order. The food is very good though I am sure it has its detractors. Give it a test run tonight and then decide if you want it for your big group.
La Cabana Restaurant
773 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291
I've been to a few birthday parties at La Cabana on Rose. The food is very average but if you are looking for atmosphere, they have a patio that has a separate bar attached. Don Antonio's as mentioned is also a good choice- it is sometimes super crowded when they do their taco nights (which I think is on Wednesday).