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Mr Taster requests the *impossible* (or just improbable?)... Office holiday party for $25 per person (including tax+tip) at or around the Grove/Miracle Mile

It's an office holiday party with unadventurous eaters and a super slim budget. Where would you recommend? I can't take another year at flavorless glop at Maggiano's.

Obviously It can't be a divey place inside the Farmer's Market... someplace we can sit comfortably. We need to stay local to the Farmer's Market/Miracle Mile area, but if you have any brainstorms for places *slightly* further afield, I'd love to hear them. Koreatown is too far, sadly (and Korean food likely would be vetoed anyway).

Oh, and we've got a vegetarian in our party... good lord.

I'm stumped... really don't know if this is possible.

Please help!

Mr Taster

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  1. normally i'd suggest Meals by Genet, but since it's an "unadventurous" crowd, how about Terroni or Marmalade Cafe? certainly not the most Chowish of places, but they're both in the area & should meet your criteria for budget & food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Believe it or not, I'm actually making some headway with the Meals by Genet idea. I think the option of non-Ethiopian dishes is highly appealing to this group.

      Mr Taster

    2. You should check with Bloom Cafe...

      2 Replies
      1. re: mollyomormon

        Second, and you might be able to try there wine bar and rotisserie place they own across the street, though it might be small.

        -----
        Bloom Cafe
        5544 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

        Chic
        5545 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

        1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

          I was going to suggest Chic as well. I don't think of Bloom as "fancy" enough for an office holiday party, but i guess it depends upon the office!

      2. OK, I've never been so I can't really know if it fits your bill, but how about Lulu's and that other place (Cayenne?) on Beverly near La Brea?
        Also, how many people? I'd think Susina would be too small, but maybe you have a small office?
        There used to be and maybe still is a Thai place on Fairfax but I can't recall the name and I have no idea if it would accommodate a vegetarian.
        Hhhhmmm... Luna Park? Maybe not for $25.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bad nono

          I have inadvertently implied more people than there actually are. This isn't a situation where we'd need a banquet hall-- it's just five people. One vegetarian (though she is not the type to ever complain-- she'd go to a steakhouse and be satisfied with a baked potato and salad). The three others (aside from me) are conservative eaters to varying degrees-- if 10 implied an extremely open minded eater, I'd say we've got a 2, a 3, and a 5.

          And yes, the $25 is all inclusive per person, including drinks. But let's assume for the moment that we'll all be drinking water, and any beverages will come out of our own pocket.

          Mr Taster

        2. You might be able to arrange something with Tart off of their Happy Hour menu (food will be perfect for your crowd.) You didn't mention lunch or dinner, but if its dinner you also might try to talk to the management of Quality Food about catering something for you in their restaurant, which isn't usually open for dinner. We did a little dessert reception there a few years back, and in these desperate times for restaurants, there is always room for negotiation. Another really cheap dinner we did one night was at the erstwhile Big Wasabi down on Wilshire at La Jolla. I don't remember the restaurant's new name. We fed 25 people for a couple hundred dollars off of a preselected menu of basic stuff, like pad thai and teriyaki chicken. It was asian gentle (for a midwestern crowd); we had the whole restaurant, and they have a liquor license.

          6 Replies
          1. re: coffeebrownies

            You know, I thought of Tart-- though one of our group ate there previously and didn't like it.

            What about the Farm of Bev Hills at the Grove? Is it worthwhile?

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              Honestly, the Farm has always seemed a little pricey to us--you pay for location.

              1. re: coffeebrownies

                agreed, and there's really no way to get out of there for $25 pp for dinner

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Alright, good to know. I'll start investigating some of these various options and report back. I'm gearing towards Luna Park, though I'm intrigued by Bloom. Thanks 'hounds!

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    Bloom is good for a small party and your vegetarian friend should be able to get something nice. For the conservative eaters they have a good burger and good pizzas in the evening.
                    But they don't serve any alcohol and I'm not sure you can even bring your own or if there's a corkage (someone else would have to confirm this). On another hand if you are going for dinner you could all cross the street after and try the wine bar at Chic Café.

                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    def agree Farm is overpriced, and i personally feel it's meh on quality... the only thing that we've had good experiences with are the brownies, the french toast, the BLTA and the veggie burger.

                    as SandraW does below, i was going to suggest Moun of Tunis, but now that i think on it, it might be too... adventurous.

                    One more thought... Umami Burger? veggie burger avail...

            2. maggiano's. at the grove although technically on farmers market property for parking. create a family style meal-full portions are HUGE and shared you can do it . i suspect you are not being so cheap that drinks must be included. by the way even NORM"S would have a hard time filling your order. out of the 80"s please!

              1 Reply
              1. re: donlabrea

                Mr Taster said in his OP that he "can't take another year at flavorless glop at Maggiano's."