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Aug 14, 2001 07:03 PM

large party

  • n

any suggestions for a fun place for a group of 25 for a birthday dinner. looking for a festive atmosphere and moderately priced on the westside or hollywood area.

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  1. v
    Vanessa On The Town

    I've heard Buca di Beppo's is good for large parties and there's a new one in Santa Monica on 2nd Street. It's not fancy or gourmet, more like Old World New York Italian style, but supposedly a good affordable way to go for large parties. They serve various pasta dishes and salads and such in large family style portions, so five or six dishes might feed your whole group. If you want something more eclectic you might try Safety Zone in Korea Town on Wilshire. The have a huge outdoor patio and you can reserve a large table. They cook Korean barbeque at your table. It's pretty good, but your entire party has to be open to the adventure. Not everyone likes Korean food. They've definitely accomodated us with large parties and they have a full bar.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Vanessa On The Town

      Buca di Beppo is one of the worst places I've ever been to. I went to the one in Brea. The food is terrible. Service is worse. How can an Italian place screw up something as simple as spaghetti. They must have used some rotten tomatoes to make the sauce. The portions were huge but we left most of it one the platter. It was a bad experience and one that I will never try again. Unless I like waiting for 20 minutes for refills on drinks. Or I like drinking hot not even warm white wine.

      As Italian food is one of my favorites I can say Buca di Beppo is one of the worst Italian places ever.

      1. re: Schudog

        I like Bucca. I have always found the food to be better than it has to be for the price. It is not great food but it is good food and they provide quite a variety of dishes for large groups. The have a cheap red or white wine that is just the thing for this type of food. When you look around the room, servers and customers are having a good time at the party (the whole restaurant is run like a big party). So many different dishes are served that everyone has to like something. Been a few times, never disappointed.

        1. re: Larry

          i think if your issue with c&o was limited menu, you should stay away from bucca. they have much less of a selection than c&o, the atmosphere is not nearly as festive or quaint, and the food is less than adequate in comparison. on the other hand, i can't recommend c&o highly enough! they have a vast selection of yummy pastas (something for everyone), they always have some interesting specials and the atmosphere is perfect for a large group event. oh yeah, and great inexpensive wine served in carafes left right on the table for self-service.

        2. re: Schudog
          Vanessa On The Town

          Thanks for the info on the Brea Buca. My feedback came from someone who has been to the Santa Monica Buca several times, and they have nothing but good things to say. Maybe because it's newer, or because it has to compete on a level with other westside restaurants it's better. I personally haven't been there myself yet, so your input is appreciated. I do know that they can comfortably accomodate 25 people, which is rare in the L.A. area.

          1. re: Schudog

            Here's the deal with Buca--not great food, but a good choice for a large group. It's an old-fashioned, red tablecloth and red sauce Italian place of the kind that predominated in the 50s--pictures of Sinatra on the wall--very campy/kitschy. Portions are HUGE. The food is very unsophisticated compared to most Italian restaurants in LA these days--mostly staples like spagetti with meatballs, lasagna, eggplant parmesan, etc. It all tastes a bit too sweet, but, washed down with cheap red wine, is bearable.

            Despite that less-than-enthusiastic review of the food, I would still recommend this place for a large group. I find that dining at most restaurants is a big pain in the butt--the wait staff feels overwhelmed, it's impossible to get a table of the right size, etc. Say what you will about the food, but Buca is great at accommodating large groups, and the size of the family-style orders makes sharing easy.

            Bottom line: don't even think about going here if you want a quiet date place with subtle, interesting, sophisticated food. But if you your first priority is a fun place that won't flinch when you ask for a table for 15, Buca isn't a bad choice.

        3. C & O Trattoria in Marina del Rey is f great for a large crowd. We had our rehearsal dinner for 23 people there last September. They will put you out on the heated patio which is much nicer than inside the restaurant.

          They sing a few times a night, if you are into that kind of thing.


          2 Replies
          1. re: Muhlyssa

            I LOVE C&O!! I look forward to any time I can go there. They have the best garlic rolls there, and the best part is when you have to wait for a table, a waiter or waitress comes around to the lobby with a tray of fresh garlic rolls.

            I highly second this rec.

            1. re: Can

              Thank you all for your input. C & O was actually my first pick, but because of the limited menu choice for such a group size I thought I'd check out other recommendations. Sounds like I should keep the reservation. Thanks.