Need restaurant suggestions for dinner with friends in West LA
We moved from LA about 4 years ago and we're coming back for a few days at the end of January. We have one night to get together with friends (a total of 8-10 people-none of the couples know the other couples). We'll be staying the Marina and everyone lives in West LA. I'd like a restaurant that could accommodate a group that size and that would be quiet enough so we can really catch up with everyone. This is a group of folks who enjoy eating. I want everyone to be happy with the food but it's not necessarily the primary focus of the evening. Somewhere with a big booth or even a private room would be great but not absolutely necessary. I'm open to all kinds of suggestions although I do think that Chinese gets kind of complicated.
if everyone in your group would be open to seafood prepared in the style of sinaloa/nayarit,
mariscos chente has a booth that would accommodate your group.
whenever i've brought groups this size there, upon entering, i immediately order a mojara fritta (sp?) and a pescado zarandeado for 'the table.' then have everyone order their own stuff in addition.
be aware that this is a mom and pop place that really only serves seafood, soft drinks, and beer.
that said, their food is phenomenal, and their price/quality and price/quantity ratios are unbelievably good.
there are many, many, chowhound threads about this place.
for persian food (many skewered dishes), you could have the folks at shamshiri grill (on westwood blvd north of santa monica blvd) set your party up in their patio area: great price/quantity and price/quality ratios, too.
for italien, antica pizzaria in the marina will set up a table for you but be sure you have a reservation for this.
despite it's name and location on the second story of a shopping center, the food and ambiance here is good.
Tavern would seem to be a good choice. i have been with a group of 12 in the main dining room and we were very comfortable and conversation was possible without shouting. Menu had something for everyone, including a couple of vegetarians. Everyone in the party was pleased with the food and the ambiance.