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Upbeat vegetarian graduation dinner for family of drinkers

Sister_Dogass Mar 21, 2011 10:46 PM

My university graduation is May 20 in Berkeley. I am looking for a dining experience that can accommodate a big group (less than 30 people), in addition to vegetarian interests. My family and friends are big drinkers, so a place with a great drink menu and a dance floor or even a big patio for smokers would be great.

Desired regions for dining are Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco. My family is going to book a hotel in whatever location we decide to nestle in for this dinner. Therefore, if the restaurant is near the nightlife that would be ideal!

Here is a similar restaurant preference to help guide experts in their suggestions: The Tonga Room.
Because it is a super moody bungalow of a restaurant with a bit of panache. Even though I'm only 22, the big dishes, strong drinks, 50 yr. old tiki band, and cheez-o lightning storms seriously do it for me. If this place had more of a night life near it for my younger friends and more vegetarian dishes I'd book the reservation right now.

Lastly, NO BUDGET. I want to hear about everything, I don't want swanky restaurants to be filtered out just because of their price range. This is a learning experience too!

I appreciate the input,
I look forward to seeing what comes out of all of this...I hope I wasn't too specific. :))

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Tonga Room
950 Mason St., San Francisco, CA 94108

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  1. JasmineG RE: Sister_Dogass Mar 21, 2011 11:06 PM

    I'm not sure how many people their back room holds, but my first thought was Pizzaiolo -- I know they can do at least 20, but I'm not sure if they go up to 30. But the food is great with plenty of vegetarian options, the drinks are excellent, and it's a fun atmosphere, though definitely a different mood than the Tonga Room. And they do group dinners really well.

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    Pizzaiolo
    5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

    Tonga Room
    950 Mason St., San Francisco, CA 94108

    5 Replies
    1. re: JasmineG
      casalbore spirit RE: JasmineG Mar 22, 2011 03:57 AM

      The Conga Lounge on college in Oakland is a lot of fun.It is Tiki bar/tropical motif with music and a dance floor.There is no rental charge for private parties,can accommodate 15-55 people and has various vegetarian options among others.Your family can stay at the Claremont hotel nearby.

      http://congalounge.com/private.html

      1. re: casalbore spirit
        Sister_Dogass RE: casalbore spirit Mar 22, 2011 10:31 AM

        Casalbore! The Conga Lounge sounds like the East Bay sister of the Tonga. I will definitely look into it. My mother just informed me that two dinner will be happening, one after graduation in the East Bay (which will be exclusive for close family) and then another in San Francisco for more of my friends. Now I need to find a place in San Francisco that will accommodate the young and the old and the vegetarian...

      2. re: JasmineG
        Sister_Dogass RE: JasmineG Mar 22, 2011 10:28 AM

        I have heard a lot about Pizzaiolo and mood and menu seems right! I also have some friends from the area who are voting for that place. Thanks a lot! Good choice!

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        Pizzaiolo
        5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

        1. re: Sister_Dogass
          Robert Lauriston RE: Sister_Dogass Mar 22, 2011 10:43 AM

          Pizzaiolo seems like a very good fit, but that's not much of a nightlife neighborhood.

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          Pizzaiolo
          5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            Sister_Dogass RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 22, 2011 11:03 AM

            I agree with you Robert. I was thinking about doing an early lunch/dinner at Gather by the University (this would be exclusive to family) and then that night going to a place in Oakland like the Conga Room with friends. However, the following night my family and friends will be in San Francisco, so I think the SF area is where I'm a little overwhelmed as to where to settle my group...

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