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Restaurant Recommendations for My Mom's Funeral Reception Needed

My 92 1/2 year old mom, who fell and hit her head, died after 2 weeks at UCLA hospital in the ICU last Thursday night and we were just able to get the date of the funeral scheduled today, next Thursday, December 3. A tough time for my family and especially for me since she was living with me. I miss her so much.

She's going to be buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City (near the former Fox Hills mall). I'm asking for recommendations for a group of about 25-30 or so for a restaurant after the burial (about 1-2 pm). Keeping costs down is a concern after just laying out nearly $8000 for the funeral but I am looking for a place with good food and a nice atmosphere for family and friends to share memories of her (maybe a private room?). She was quite unpretentious and liked Mexican, American and Italian food so likely those would our choices. Probably somewhere on the Westside from El Segundo north to Westwood and Culver City west to the Marina.

I've never had to plan something like this before so any advice is welcome. Thanks.

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  1. My sincere condolences to you...

    1. i am so, so, sorry for your loss.

      1. I can't help you out but wanted to offer my condolences. What a loss.

        1. since i'm not a fan of 'american' food, i can't talk to the food issue, but you might see if Dear John's on culver blvd near sepulveda would close the restaurant for you for a couple of hours in the afternoon and structure a menu for your group.
          they have their own private parking lot.
          the room is fine.

          i see folks eating there all the time.
          here is the link:
          http://www.dearjohns.net/home.php

          1. I am sorry for your loss and offer my condolences as well.

            I am not that familiar with the area and just looked on google maps for possible places within the area.

            I know these are chains but in the Howard Hughes Center there is a Callendar's Grill and in the Westfield Mall area there is a BJ's restaurant. Both are reasonably priced and would keep costs down. Haven't been to either particular location but wanted to be of some help.

            Callendar's Grill - 310.417.9980
            BJ's - 310.574.5170

            3 Replies
            1. re: TNT Adventures

              Sadly, the Westfield mall isn't the classiest of places. I hate to say it because I know they just spent a ton of money to do a remodel and make over the place... but, I definitely wouldn't go there for any kind of special occasion.

              1. re: Azizeh

                i completely agree with azizeh on this.

                1. re: westsidegal

                  I'll third this. No way I would stage an event like this at the Westfield at Howard Hughes Center. Yikes!

            2. It may be a bit too much East for you but Brunello Trattoria is good and unpretentious, I don't know if they have a private room.
              My condolences, too.

              1. I'm very, very sorry for your loss. I know all too well what this kind of situation is like. My heart goes out to you.

                If you can't find an appropriate restaurant, maybe consider a venue space that does catering. I'm not all that familiar with what's available, but I know people in Santa Monica like The Victorian. Nice setting and good food. I'm sure there are many event spaces in your desired area. Hopefully there aren't too many Christmas parties planned everywhere.

                Good luck to you.

                1. I am so sorry. I lost my father over the summer and know how deep and overwhelming the pain is.
                  Bad nono's suggestion of Brunello in Culver City is a good one. They do have a private room and the food is pretty good. Though I've never been, you may also want to look into 26 Beach, C&O, Antica Pizzeria and Casa Sanchez.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: whatsfordinner

                    My sympathy and condolences as well.

                    I agree with Brunello, 26 Beach and C&O as well, given the constraints.

                  2. Please accept my deepest condolences.

                    I would call Carlo at Campagnola on Westwood Blvd. His prices are reasonable, there is a private room, and I am sure he would work with you to meet all of your needs.

                    Best of luck.

                    1. Thank you all for your suggestions and condolences.

                      I did not decide until Tuesday of this week for Thursday, yesterday. I called Shanghai Red's in Marina del Rey and they offered their normal daily all you can eat lunch (that is on until 3 pm weekdays) including bread, coffee and tea served at the table w/ a dedicated server for $18.95 (regular $23.95) plus 20% tip and tax. They gave us the large private room overlooking the Marina that could have accomodated 100 on the left side of the restaurant for no charge. There were only 18 of us total at the restaurant as some could not make it after the funeral mass.
                      Staff was excellent especially our server Pedro. Everyone was very nice. Food was very good, especially the desserts, for a buffet. When I came in to sign the contract on Tuesday afternoon, Hengameh, the director of catering, asked me if I'd like to eat so I got a chance to sample the buffet while she was typing up the contract and tell everyone how it was before Thursday. That was a very nice touch especially considering the state of my mind when I was at the restaurant. I wasn't even thinking of eating. I can't say enough good things as to how friendly the staff was and how well this worked out for my sister and I plus our guests and other family. I also use iDine (former Rewards Network) and got the 15% discount on both the deposit ($300) already and I expect the final check (which was about $145 more). Valet parking was a flat $4.50 or you could park in the Fisherman's Village lot and receive a 2-hour validation ($1 per 20 minutes over 2 hours). They have a beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby with some glowing bulbs I'd like to find as I've never seen anything like them.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LAItalian11

                        Hmmmm....maybe someone was expressing her GLOWING approval?