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May 9, 2008 04:40 AM

"fancy" Westside dinner suggestions for group of 20?

I'm looking for a "kind of nice" restaurant that the UCLA wushu club (guys with big appetites) can go to for a "kind of nice" senior appreciation dinner. I say "kind of nice" because we're college kids and I think the price max is about $30 per person, but I'd like it to be formal enough of a restaurant where we could dress up nicely and not look awkward or come out smelling like beef (no KBBQ). Since we're from UCLA, a place in West LA would be best, but I'm looking to avoid a place like CPK. halp plz? muchas gracias!

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  1. I would say OPus, but not sure about if the price is $30 or not. I mean, it could be.

    IF you could get to West Hollywood, you'd have a few more options.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Diana

      Opus is nowhere near West LA and will certainly be more than $30pp. Id recommend Bandera or Houston's. Nook or Violet would be good too, if they're careful about what they order. Perhaps something like Il Fornaio would work as well.

      1. re: hrhboo

        I don't know about the ability of Nook or Violet to accommodate a party of that size? Even Bandera, as far as I know, can't fit that many in. Not sure about Houston's.

        What about Javan or Darya? Both are quite nice restaurants in terms of their interior space and I think the price point is doable too. And both are on the westside, well within striking range of UCLA.

        1. re: Servorg

          I was thinking of the communal table at Nook. And there's room for a large table along the wall on the left hand side.

          I've been to dinners of that size at Violet.

          1. re: hrhboo

            Nook's communal table seats a maximum of 14. How does Violet sit parties that large? Is it just their normal seating with everyone spread out in the restaurant?

            1. re: Servorg

              They just pull together a bunch of tables in a long line in the center of the room. It doesn't take up as much space as you would think.

        2. re: hrhboo

          I highly second the Bandera recommendation. Good food, good prices, good atmosphere.

          1. re: mstinawu

            The can only accommodate a party of that size by putting them at 5 different booths. So if the OP is looking to have everyone gathered at one table Bandera won't be a good choice.

      2. why not one of the persian spots on westwood (shahrzhad, falme, shamshiri) or javan on smb? big ole servings of food and no one will bat an eye if you get a lil dressed up...especially at javan or flame.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wilafur

          you could probably commandeer the patio area of shamshiri grill in westwood with a party of 20.
          the food is very good,
          the prices are within your range if you don't order a lot of alcohol
          the portion size is great
          the variety of items on the menu is huge.
          getting a little dressed up would 'fit'

          it is in westwood, on westwood blvd just north of santa monica blvd south of wilshire blvd.

        2. Of course! I was confusing UCLA with USC, I guess (ducks quickly).

          What about Caffe Angeli? They could do 20 at a communal table, the food is good, and $25 per is doable. heck, if you call far enough ahead, maybe they could put together a sort of pre fixe of some of their best stuff.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Diana

            Cafe Angeli is a good reco...I hosted an office dinner for 15 people and they served family style for $25 pp and it was great --- started with appetizers, salad then had a few kinds of pizza and pasta plus dessert.

          2. I agree with Darya they could put tables together for 20. How about Bizou Gardens on Colorado or Broadway, used to be Cafe Bizou. Definitely can handle 20, and you can dress up a little, and easily do it for 30 dollars.

            3 Replies
            1. re: paprkutr

              A very old crowd at the ol' Cafe Bizou. I used to work in the building and while some of the young professionals used to frequent the place for after-work cocktails, it was all walkers and wheelchairs after that. I'm not trying to be insensitive, but I think for a bunch of young guys you can find a better match in the area. In that immediate area I'd go with Buffalo Club down the street, although it might get a wee bit pricey.

              1. re: Frommtron

                Buffalo Club is good but no way are they going to keep it to $30 pp. More like double that at least.

                1. re: Servorg

                  Most likely true since they said they were big eaters. Okay, I'll just say avoid Cafe Bizou then.

            2. thank you! nook is a definite no. we would not fit at all. anything where the group would be separated I don't really prefer. but I'll definitely check out the shamshiri grill, caffe angeli, and the other recommendations.