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21st Birthday in Los Angeles... HELP!!

Hi all!

So my 21st birthday is coming up and I'm looking for a fun restaurant/bar that my friends and I can go to. I want it to be a place where we can start with dinner and have a BLAST afterwards. Maybe close to some other bars so we can hop around? Since I'm not yet 21 I'm not very familiar with the LA bar scene so any suggestions would be awesome!! Also, almost all of my friends WON'T be 21... but they do have something that might say otherwise haha so please keep that in mind. I'm really not looking to celebrate with a house party (I go to plenty of those in college).

Thanks for the help!

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  1. Two ways that I would think you could go for this would be dinner at the Bazaar in WeHo and then over to Bar Marmont on Sunset (and from there to a roof top bars in that same area - like SkyBar - if you want). The other option would be having dinner someplace like Rivera downtown and then end up at the Edison.

    Bar Marmont
    8171 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

    The Edison
    108 W 2nd St Apt 104, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    The Bazaar by José Andrés
    465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048

    8440 W Sunset Blvd West, Hollywood, CA

    Rivera Restaurant
    1050 S. Flower Street, #102, Los Angeles, CA 90015

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      These are the best places. I had my 21st at skybar and my
      Last bday at rivera. You can't go wrong with any of these four choices.

    2. please give us some idea of how much you want to spend on this.

      3 Replies
      1. re: westsidegal

        thanks so much for the feedback!!
        i want the place to be fun but it needs to be as affordable as possible

        1. re: kelseydpage

          imho, most of servorg's recommendations would not really be considered "affordable" by a 21 year old.
          sadly, though, because i'm such an old fuddy-duddy myself, i have no idea of where to get eats and alcoholic drinks that are both fun and affordable.
          also, the fact that some in your party will be using alternate id, complicates the matter. . .

          i'd look into some of the happy hour deals that are out there.

          1. re: kelseydpage

            >>i want the place to be fun but it needs to be as affordable as possible<<

            I think more specifics would be required to zero in on what would really work, e.g., price range with or without drinks, area, cuisine, etc. But with that said, the broad category of gastropubs has expanded over the past couple of years. Most will allow under-21s in as long as they understand that they are not allowed to sit at the bar. On average, the food is good to great, the prices are reasonable, many dishes are meant to be shared, and the mood is light and fun. You determine your budget limit by how many individual dishes that you order. And most gastropubs understand that patrons will come in groups where some drink alcohol and some don't, so many will offer very nice non-alcohol options. I would just mind you folks to be honest about who can drink and who can't. Here's a thread on gastropubs that I inquired about:


            A couple relatively new additions to this category are sausage-intensive places that also focus on beer (a natural pairing). Wurstcuche is the current king but Steingarten LA recently opened and has received positive reviews as well. The later is located on a Pico in West LA, which has a number of eateries and bars of various price ranges, cuisines and ambiance/settings. One of the most popular on this stretch is Westside Tavern. It's very nice inside, large, and the offerings are wide. I'd only warn that folks on a budget can run up a bill here that might tilt the wallets. The Six, another gastropub just up the street from Steingarten LA, plays the number six where each section/category of the menu has six choices. It may be kind of gimmicky but at the same time, if you have six in your party, why not all sample all six of something from a category(ies)? You folks are young, full of energy and willing to try anything...

            Westside Tavern
            10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

            Steingarten LA
            10543 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

        2. For "cost effective" dining why not do a brunch? On Saturdays and Sundays you can get unlimited small plates AND unlimited alcoholic drinks (limited to certain types) at Zengo in Santa Monica for $35 pp, plus tax and tip. It doesn't get anymore cost effective than that.

          395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          2 Replies
          1. re: Servorg

            Brunch is a great suggestion. The only downside for many in the OP's demographic i.e., young, prone to let the light of day hamper enjoying food and drink :), is the bright of day. If that's the case, put on the Jackie-Os and have at it...

            1. re: Servorg

              to build on servorg's rec for brunch,
              i believe that the terrific three course brunch served at Cafe del Rey comes with unlimited mimosas or bubbly for about the same $35 price.

              1. Check out Casa Sanchez on the Westside. I often see 20-somethings having a good time.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Baron

                  the last time i had a margarita at casa sanchez, about a year ago, it cost $12 BEFORE tax and tip.

                2. How about Loteria in Hollywood? (on Hollywood Blvd near Cahuenga). You can eat very reasonably there, particularly if you stick to plates of the sampler mini-tacos (highly recommended), some guacamole & other similar items for everyone to share. I believe (but not sure) that you can order margaritas by the pitcher, which should cut down on drink costs. After, you can explore the nearby Hollywood bars, clubs, etc

                  1. Given your cost constraints and ID situation, I think you should be looking at Koreatown. There are plenty of places in that neighborhood - both Korean BBQ and not -- when the food will come out to under $20 per person. I personally like Soot Bull Jeep, but there's lots and lots (and lots) of debate on this board about the best quality/price.

                    Also think about Bicycle and Gogi in Ktown, which offers unlimited booze for something less than $20, which, depending on how much you drink, can be a great deal.

                    As for going out after, the bars in Ktown are pretty loose with ID's. I'm not going to name names, but this was my go-to neighborhood back in my under-21 days. Or get a private Karaoke room somewhere.

                    Soot Bull Jeep
                    3136 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: terwilliger

                      I happen to agree, I like Soot Bull Jeep. If you are having a large group, they have a small room on the side, you might be able to get that. You would have a lot of fun cooking and eating the food. I have never been, but I was also going to suggest one of the Karaoke rooms.

                      Soot Bull Jeep
                      3136 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

                      1. re: terwilliger

                        Or Tahoe Galbi, which is probably the best all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ places. Some friends of mine did a birthday party there and we went to Brass Monkey after for karaoke. But it might be better to find a spot that has a row of bars and the group can do a pub crawl.

                      2. You're going to be hard-pressed to find affordable options while needing to include the under-21 set. If you really want to do a bar/club setting, I suggest trying to find a bar/club/lounge that serves food. Arrive for dinner with all of your friends, and stay there to hang out the rest of the night. I used to hit Miyagi's on Sunset a lot while I was in college, but it was by no means cheap.
                        The K-town idea really seems the most feasible considering your constraints.
                        You and your friends could try the DTLA bars, but you won't find much luck because you have people underage. Good luck.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: attran99

                          I went by Kay 'n Daves in Culver City and saw a sign for $3 Margaritas. they have decent Tex Mex and reasonable prices. Just a thought,.

                        2. Che Jay in Santa Monica is a really fun dive steak house with a good bar and close to other bars and action. Not too expensive and a really fun place for a 21st!

                          1. hmm..lets see...
                            1. you can do Umami burger on La brea and then head over to Busbys( on wilshire..a few blocks away from umami burger)..its a sports bar with a huge dance floor.
                            2. or you can go to the cahuenga/hollywood area. tons of bars (beauty bar, back room, etc) and eat around there too...katsuya, hungry cat, boho, etc

                            have fun!

                            1. Hey! The Edison is pretty fabulous in decor and will feel quite festive, but you'd need to reserve a table and then you'll have a minimum food/beverage requirement to hit. Friends meeting up there can be tricky because if others arrive late they might face a long line. Also, men have to wear nice dress shoes, sneakers won't be allowed in.

                              The issue of hopping around is always a problem in LA, as the coolest bars tend not be in a big cluster (except for the gay bars around Santa Monica Blvd in WeHo, which can actually be a really fun place to bar hop, but I digress....)

                              Downtown there are a few nice bars within walking distance (Golden Gopher, 7 Grand, The Library) alas the Edison is not one of them. But if you plan ahead the Standard rooftoop bar towntown could be fun. (sometimes there's a private party).

                              Bar Louie downtown is a nice restaurant that is not that expensive....