Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Feb 10, 2011 07:01 PM

Large, yummy, casual group dinner in Orange County

My partner and I are looking for a place to host something like a rehearsal dinner for out of towners in April. For some reason we're having a terrible time finding a place that will be casual, comfortable, delicious and not too steep in price. We'd love to feature local fare and flair: Mexican food, California cuisine, Korean BBQ, etc. Do you have any suggestions for a place that isn't so uptight or expensive? We'll probably have somewhere around 30 people. Thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My boyfriend's family just hosted his grandmother's birthday at Muldoon's Irish Pub in Newport Beach. We had a party of 50 or so in a private room with a bar and some awesome food. The USC Marching Band came through to help us celebrate, so there is ample room to mingle. The food was great! Moist and crispy fried chicken with a honey dressing, roasted salmon, Irish stew, delicious green beans and an awesome staff. The room is furnished with dark wood and has large windows in the corner that let in a lot of light, it's a great space. You should check them out. Good luck!

    Muldoon's Irish Pub
    202 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660

    1. Anywhere in particular in OC? I mean, Surah or Shik Do Rak or Cham Sut Gol could easily host a party of 30 and none of them is stuffy or rude. For Mexican(-American), what about Amorelia? Most of the great Mexican is hole-in-the-wall-y, but say if you want that... you could go to Mariscos Licenciado #2 in Anaheim and 30 people would fit just fine.

      Mariscos Licenciado
      1052 N State College Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92806

      Cham Sut Gol
      9252 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92844

      4 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Thanks for the replies! I think we would like to stay in south county. We live in San Clemente and would maybe go about as far north as Irvine. I don't know any of the places you (Das Ubergeek) recommended, but I will check them out. And in terms of Muldoon's, I don't think it's quite right -- my Jewish New Yorker parents aren't gonna love an Irish pub, sadly, though I do. Thank you again and keep the recs comin'!!!

        1. re: jessostuff

          Those are all central and north county, sadly.

          I'm not, sadly, familiar with the Korean options in South County.

          1. re: jessostuff

            If it helps, the couple that own Muldoon's is named Schwartz.

        2. Great location (the ocean is right across the street) but just ok Mexican food at Olamedi's on PCH Dana Point. I've been to parties there and they do a nice job. This is a link to their party menu options:

          34660 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92624

          2 Replies
          1. re: wienermobile

            Had our wedding rehearsal dinner in a private room in the back at Olamendi's. Like wienermobile said, the food isn't going to impress. But it definitely was casual and not too expensive. You'd have no problem fitting 30 people in there.
            You could check to see if Taco Rosa can make space for you. You'd get a better quality meal there than at Olamendi's. Taco Rosa does a great Sunday Brunch, and they have a catering menu, but I'm not sure if they do private events at their restaurant:

            1. re: I got nothin

              Thanks! I had wondered about Olamendi's actually, since I've past it a million times. And I was actually thinking about Taco Rosa, too. So, thanks!

              Taco Rosa
              2632 San Miguel Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660

              1100 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

          2. It isn't really local flair, but The Derby would be fun. And I think they have pretty good thick cut pastrami.

            Coyote Grill in South Laguna has a decent sized patio and a peek-a-boo view of the ocean, but I don't know how easy it is to get a group in there.

            Coyote Grill
            31621 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

            Derby Deli & Dueling Piano Bar
            27741 Crown Valley Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92691

            1 Reply
            1. re: ocshooter

              Coyote Grill is a wonderful choice...especially if they would let you have their entire outdoor patio.

              Another consideration would be Sage in Newport Beach. They have a beautiful outdoor space, and if you go for lunch, or even do small plates at dinner, you can keep this pretty reasonable.

              Coyote Grill
              31621 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651