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Nov 17, 2008 07:01 PM

Looking for a cocktail reception venue in West LA

I'm looking to find a place in West LA (Santa Monica, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Venice, Marina del Rey, Culver City) to host a casual cocktail reception for about 65 out of town friends and family the day before a Saturday wedding. Interested in having a hosted bar and desserts. Not looking to rent out an entire venue, just want a room or area where we can socialize on our own in a casual setting. Any suggestions??

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  1. One obvious problem you have is the night of the week -- Friday around happy hour time is busy and crowded and most restaurant bar areas anyway. This seems kinda obvious, but isn't there one particular hotel where the wedding party has reserved a block of rooms for out-of-town guests? There's bound to be a party room or you could even rent a suite for the evening, hire a bartender, and either the hotel could arrange desserts or you could bring them in from a good nearby bakery. This also solves any transportation problem for out of town guests.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nosh

      I'm sorry I should clarify one thing, the reception would be post dinner, (say around 9pm) so it would be later than happy hour. Would if make sense to target places that might be busy early in the evening and less busy post/ during dinner?

      1. re: Rockgrappler

        All the more reason to find a way to host it at the hotel. Guests come in from dinner, change clothes, relax, have a hospitality room to sit around and have a drink and dessert and exchange pleasantries. When our family has major events with a lot of out-of-town guests, my dad has the foresight and generosity to reserve a suite at the host hotel and stock the outer room with bottles, mixers, and snacks. you never know when things click -- could be friday night after dinner, but could be the afternoon as people filter in from their flights. or during another lull time. it would be a shame to book the room at Cafe del Rey, which is lovely, but only have a couple of people show up with all of the expense involved...

        1. re: Rockgrappler

          Check with the Buffalo Club on Olympic Blvd. in Santa Monica. They have a patio area that would be great for this type of event. I can't guess at the price but with restaurant business being what it is these days they just might be accommodating.


          Buffalo Club
          1520 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404

      2. i'd give il moro a try.
        they have a separate room, all of their desserts look terrific and many of them taste terrific too.

        1. Cafe del Rey may be an option, they have a back bar area that should fit your group.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Juji

            what area would that be? somehow i don't see the lounge accomodating the group.
            you must mean the private room south of the main dining room? yes? still might be small. . .

            at least with cafe del rey, the food would be good, the wines would be great, the view would be terrific, and they would have enough parking for such a group

            1. re: westsidegal

              Yes, it is the private room south of the main dining room, not the bar/lounge. We've had our company holiday party at Cafe del Rey the past several years, but we take up the entire space. The food is always good. You may be right about the size, I can't quite picture how many people are typically in that area, but I'd give it a shot.

          2. i would give wilshire a call... i'm not sure if the patio could accommodate that many or not, but it's certainly ideal for such an occasion

            4 Replies
            1. re: Emme

              Friday late night. Anywhere from a handful of people up to five dozen or more. Drinks and desserts, but few if any having dinner. Perhaps the most popular patio on the westside. Tell me, how is this supposed to work? same thing with Cafe del Rey. "Hi. Could I speak to a manager please? I'd like to reserve your patio or back room on a Friday night after about 9. Drinks (no-host bar) and desserts. A party of a dozen to sixty...no, I really can't be more specific."

              1. re: nosh

                i thought Rockgrappler specified a hosted bar.
                s/he would have to make a decision about how much to buy in the way of desserts up front.
                the restaurant might specifiy a minimum bar purchase also in order to reserve the room.

                i definitely see your point, though,, , ,

                1. re: nosh

                  nosh - where did your number of a party of a "dozen" come from? I only see the OP saying about 65 people.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    The OP asked for a setting for a casual cocktail reception for out-of-town guests and family to socialize the Friday night before a weekend wedding. While he said about 65 people, from his description (and my experiences at similar events) I was thinking that groups of people would be coming and going over the period of the reception. From the sound of things, this cocktail reception is likely to occur after the usual "rehearsal" dinner or that for out-of-town guests and family. Thus many attendees will have kids and may have flown in that day from more eastern time zones. Each of these factors supports trying to have this casual cocktail affair at the host hotel for the wedding weekend.

              2. Chez Jay has a back room.
                The Galley has a patio.
                Tengu often does this on their patio in the back.
                World Cafe, the room on the side.
                Beechwood patio (upper patio).
                Lilly's bar area or front room (but only beer and wine).
                Chloe (it might be early enough that they'd do it, their crowd is 11pm on)
                The Yard (they would reserve an area for you, but it's the least upscale of the list)
                Warzsawa patio

                1 Reply
                1. re: yogachik

                  Delicacies catering and Factors Deli own an event space called "The Elm Collection" on Elm just north of Pico near Beverly Drive. I recently went to an event there and it is the perfect size, you would have the place to yourself and it has a cozy bar, couches and various seating areas. They can cater the deserts and drinks and staff. Check it out on www.factorsdeli.com "rooms".