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Aug 24, 2012 10:09 PM

Seeking a venue for a birthday party with 30 people on a budget, pref. westside

This is my first post. I have searched old ones but thought I'd try putting in my parameters.

Seeking a space for a birthday party of approx. 30 people, for drinks and a light buffet dinner.

I'd like to spend less than $30 per person, including drinks. Please tell me if that's just crazy! So many of the posts I read had suggestions for really high end restaurants that are just not an option for me, which is why I am doing my own post. I would really appreciate any advice regarding venues and regarding what is realistic.

Location: westside up to malibu, down to LAX, and east to downtown though hoping not to go that far.

Food: prefer Italian, but can do more American or just Continental for the right setting.

I'm looking for a private or semi-private space. My ideal setting would be a patio or courtyard, but I could do a private room if it's a nice space. Renting an event space and having separate catering is an option, but it seems that those places are usually too large and the ones I found were either really hip or really corporate.

We want to have a buffet rather than a formal sit-down banquet, something where people can mill around and talk, but not a loud bar atmosphere.

I think that covers the basics. Thank you!

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    1. re: westsidegal

      Pref. Saturday night (I know that's prob. the most $ and in-demand.) We could do Sunday eve. also.

    2. If you could so Sunday brunch (I know, not dinner, but still) you could do Zengo's with unlimited small plates and drinks for $35 per person...

      1 Reply
      1. re: happybaker

        Zengo's brunch is very good, and the best deal on the Westside. On sunny days, the patio can't be beat.

      2. Maybe Bizou Grill in Santa Monica? I'm more familiar w/ Cafe Bizou Sherman Oaks space, but I was at a birthday party @ Santa Monica branch a few years ago & remember they did an excellent job (it was a sit-down dinner though). THey're very accommodating, do a lot of events, the food is reliably good, the price point is very much in your budget & w/ the $2 corkage, you can bring in your own wine and hold costs down even further. I recommend giving them a call.

        1 Reply
        1. I would suggest Renee's Courtyard Cafe or The Yard.

          1. I don't know if you all will get notified if I do a general reply, but here's where we ended up:

            There were some good options, including Cafe Bizou, but we really wanted Italian, so we are going with Polentoni in Culver City (had mixed reviews, but we liked the space, and the price was good.)

            Other places we considered which were roughly in our price range and had private spaces: Mosto Enoteca in the Marina, Ugo in Culver City, Il Moro in West L.A., Il Fornaio in Santa Monica, Tanino in Westwood, C&O Cucina in the Marina, Amici in Beverly Hills, and Hosteria de Piccolo in Santa Monica.

            Out top choice if we had wanted to travel further would be the Malibu Winery - it has a nice setting, outdoor tasting room, and two spaces that can be rented for events for $300 and $350. Doing that can save money since you can arrange/bring your own food. If you have a small party, you can just go early and stake out tables in the tasting room area and not have to pay for the space rental.


            1 Reply
            1. re: sostrich

              Soleil in Westwood - very nice owner, Luc