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Nov 7, 2007 09:57 AM

Rehearsal dinner in Southbay, MDR, Venice

I'm looking for a place to host a rehearsal dinner. The wedding is taking place in Palos Verdes, but I'd be open to locations as far as Venice. Ideally, I'm looking for a private room that will host 50 people or less. We're on a budget, but it has to be "nice", so if you can point to any particular values, it would be much appreciated.

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  1. Cafe del Rey in MDR has delicious food and I've been there for the prix fixe dinner, which is about $40/person. I am sure they could accommodate you and the view of the marina is nice.

    8 Replies
    1. re: kotter

      I wasn't crazy about Cafe del Rey- for the Marina, though, it's probably a decent bet. Not sure it qualifies as "nice", though. Isn't it more casual? Don't go to Jer-ne. They overcharge for below mediocre food and HORRIBLE service. I told them I was allergic to nuts 3 times and they still brought something out with walnuts in it, ...

        1. re: Renault78law

          Cafe del Rey has a room available on the date that I need it. And the price is right. I'm probably going to take a look this weekend. Does anyone else have a rec?

          1. re: Renault78law

            Did you look at Jer-Ne at the Ritz Carlton? If not, check it out.

            You might also check out Lilly's for their back patio, as well as Joe's (though I fear may be budgetarily undesirable).

            1. re: Renault78law

              I've heard Shanghai Red's is also nice for ambience but I don't know about the food. Honestly, though, having been to Cafe del Rey, the two are probably about even. (Shanghai Red's is a seafood place)

              Again- I would skip Jer-ne. It's expensive for mediocre food (you are paying prices similar to Hatfields for food that tastes like you could get it from a slightly nicer TGIF or Claim Jumper) and horrible service. (See my earlier post) My BF had planned a surprise dinner for me for my 30th birthday which I ended up spending in a benadryl coma after forcing myself to throw up and stabbing myself in the thigh with an epipen.

              1. re: PrettyPlaty

                Cafe del Rey is MUCH better and classier than Shanghai Red's...they're really not in the same league. You've got lots of options here, including Joe's. What about Primitivo on Abbot Kinney? They would probably give you part of the back outdoor patio depending on how many people you have.

                1. re: lsla

                  My co-worker originally wanted to have her wedding at Shanghai Red's which is why I mentioned it- she said there's a nice view. (She ended up having her wedding in Algeria which I am sure is much more interesting, but that's another story) I wasn't crazy about the food at Cafe del Rey but agree that it would probably be okay for this type of event.

                2. re: PrettyPlaty

                  there is no comparison between shanghai reds and cafe del rey.
                  cafe del rey serves a number of very lovely dishes.
                  shanghai reds is mostly about the quantity of the food, not the quality.

          2. You might look into the Belamar Hotel in Manhattan Beach. A friend of mine who was looking for a place to do her wedding on a budget really liked it, although she ended up going elsewhere. It's cute, in the neighborhood, and, from what I understand, on the affordable-side for events (subsequently, she helped a friend throw a birthday party there).


            Edited to add: another friend of mine who got married in Palos Verdes had her rehearshal dinner at the Red Onion in PV -- it's not super-nice, but since she'd grown up in the area, it had memories. If you are into "old school" mexican, it might be an option.

            4 Replies
            1. re: DanaB

              Thanks! The Belamar looks really cool and modern. Unfortunately, they were out of my price range.

              I'll check out the Red Onion this weekend. I've heard good things about it.

              I had a friend have a rehearsal dinner at Portofino, which was really nice. It's on the water and they have a private room. I don't want to have my rehearsal dinner at the same place, but I thought I'd mention it to generate some discussion. Right now, the front runner is probably Cafe del Rey.

              1. re: Renault78law

                A couple of places I know in the So Bay that have private rooms:

                Cafe Paradiso (?) I think that is the name. It's in Riviera Village
                Aioli-Spanishy gets good reviews here and is in Old Torrance on Cabrillo

                You may want to check The Depot across the street from Aioli to see if they have a private room.

                1. re: Densible

                  I had a departmental Christmas dinner at The Depot before, so I'm pretty sure they can handle a rehearsal dinner. Food & service was really good, I would say on par with Cafe del Rey, though since it's in the middle of Torrance, no view at all.

                  1. re: Densible

                    Does anyone know the exact name of Cafe Paradiso? I can't find anything about it on the web. Thanks

              2. Does anyone have any experience with the Marmalade Cafe in Rolling Hills Estates (or other locations for that matter)? It looks like they have nice outdoor patios and a reasonable menu, but wasn't sure about their reputation.

                1 Reply
                1. re: haas623

                  The food is consistent, and it's generally good for groups with children, picky eaters, unadventurous eaters, etc. That said, the food isn't particularly flavorfully mindblowing, though the breakfasts in my experience surpass the lunch and dinner items. It's one of those places that I wouldn't necessarily elect to recommend for a small social get-together with friends, but with larger groups, pickier groups, families, it's a good option, especially because it is chain that is "safe" for those types of groups, but doesn't feel as chainy as say TGIFriday's, and the food tries to be a bit more California/eclectic cuisine.

                  Go have a meal there, and see for yourself if you think it might be right for your group... It won't set you back much.

                2. Where did you end up doing the Rehearsal dinner? My sister is thinking about doing their's at Cafe del Rey.