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May 21, 2008 04:59 PM

HELP! I need a place for a get-together with way too many complications...

A friend/former co-worker is moving to the Bay Area in a few weeks, and a group of us want to get together and wish her farewell. We've finally been able to pin down a date - the evening of Saturday, June 7. But now we need a spot. Of course, there are a lot of complications involved, especially when dealing with people not so dedicated to going out as 'Hounds are.

- The guest of honor has asked not to have an actual dinner but rather drinks. However, the place should serve food, I think, because many people who are not dedicated drinkers tend to want something to eat when they are at parties, and some are complete teetotalers.

- The party will be on the older side. Loud music and standing room are not appreciated. A volume allowing conversation and enough room to for the party (probably about fifteen to twenty) to sit is essential.

- A central location for all members coming from the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys, the Westside, the Eastside, and even as far out as Whittier is desired.
Proximity to freeways and potentially subways/train lines is prime.

Nothing fancy is really being sought, but something fun, laid-back, suited to people who are past the loud crazy bar period of life. For a younger crowd, I'd have lots of bars to recommend, but right now, I'm drawing a blank. So can you guys help?

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  1. El Cholo on Western is pretty central to freeways.
    Maybe Eat on Sunset? It's right off the 101.
    The Hotel Figueroa downtown, which has a lovely poolside patio.
    Don't do as I did for a similar group and suggest the Third Stop -- we were all standing up and it's incredibly noisy! Bad Chowpatty!

    1. The lounge areas at either Table 8 or Citizen Smith would probably work.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hrhboo

        Table 8 is closing May 31 for its move to the other side of Fairfax. Would Lou's on Vine be suitable (might be small for your group)?

      2. I'm wondering if Upstairs 2 would work? It's right off the 405. It's not a bar, it is a wine tasting and small plates dinner place connected to a wine store. You would definitely need to make a reservation for a party that I'm not sure if it's as laid back as you are looking for. But it definitely offers a nice selection of wine and tasty small plates, in a quiet atmosphere suitable for an older crowd, right off a major freeway. (I should add that since it's not a bar if you are thinking of ordering very little and just hanging out, I wouldn't go there because you'd be taking up a lot of prime real estate on a saturday night.)

        1. How about Magnolia on Lake in Pasadena?

          1. a general suggestion"
            find a hotel that normally caters to business travelers and meet in their bar/lounge area.
            most such hotels are pretty empty on saturday nights.
            when you know your head count, call ahead and ask to speak to the manager to let them know that your group will be coming so that they can staff up appropriately.

            2 Replies
            1. re: westsidegal

              This is a great idea.

              I'm not from the area, but have done a lot of party booking for restaurants, and no actual restaurant is going to want a group of twenty people, not eating dinner, to take up space on a busy Saturday night.

              I think you're going to have to do a bar or the hotel suggestion. I'd be very surpised if a restaurant can spare that much space for people having a few drinks and maybe some nibbles.

              1. re: invinotheresverde

                Agree that this is a great suggestion! I had the same concerns about taking up the space if they are not ordering dinner...places that have that much seating usually intend that you use it to sit and order a meal. This kind of hotel lounge scenario would be the exception.