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Lunch for 40 Near Irvine

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I know this is early, but I'm trying to find a venue for a company holiday party in or near Irvine, and I'm drawing a blank. There will be 30-40 people. We will need a private enough space to have announcements and some new-employee-provided entertainment without disturbing other diners.

Like many other companies, we are trying to recover from some tough economic times, and budget is a concern. Does anyone have any suggestions for "best bang for the buck"?

Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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  1. With 40, you might be able to get Break of Dawn to yourselves for lunch. It is a little south of you guys, but not a by a ton.

    Caspian at Culver and the 5 should have rooms that can accommodate you, though it has been ages since I have eaten there.

    Have you though about doing a food truck event at the office? Bring in a pair of gourmet trucks for an hour or so. Of course, you need an appropriate office space...

    7 Replies
    1. re: ocshooter

      Thanks for the suggestions! I'll look into Caspian and BoD. I thought about the food truck idea, but we have at least two in front of the office every day, so that may not go over so well.

      1. re: OCSteve

        But are you getting the gourmet trucks? Some of those are pretty good, with menus limited to just the few items that the truck does well.

        1. re: ocshooter

          Yes. I work at Park Place Irvine. The landlord is in the processing of rebuilding the onsite cafeteria here, and they're bringing in trucks everyday to fill the void. You're right. Some of the trucks are really good. I've enjoyed what I've had from Soho Taco, Dos Chinos, Viking Truck, Dogzilla and Barcelona on the GO, to name a few. I'm going to check out the Philly Cheesesteak at Lee's Philly today.

          1. re: OCSteve

            What about Daily Grill on Jamboree? I have not been in a long time, but I recall them having private-ish spaces to the sides. Lunch there isn't too bad.

            1. re: ocshooter

              You're right...the food at the Daily Grill "isn't too bad"...but it's not "too good" either. It's really a shame because when the DG first opened many years ago, it was a good spot, reminiscent of diners of the past. Unfortunately, it's slipped quite a bit. I'd look elsewhere.

              1. re: ocshooter

                I have to agree with Josephnl on DG. I remember it being good years ago, but after having a Mothers' Day brunch and a business lunch there in the last year, I don't think I'll be returning.

                1. re: OCSteve

                  I used to work Downtown a few years back and DG was a regular rotation for our weekly working dinners. I liked their chicken pot pie. But this is lunch after all, and lunch on a budget. How badly can they screw it up?

                  Does Tokyo Table have a room that can accommodate you? How about Il Fornaio off Von Karmen?

      2. Just to clarify: this is for lunch, not dinner.

        1. Depending upon the menu you choose, Bistango in Irvine might fit into your budget, but I'm not sure. They have a nice private room, and the food is always excellent. They do very nice salads, small plates, and their pizzas pretty good. If it's too expensive, inquire about their less upscale sibling Kimera which is nearby.

          2 Replies
          1. re: josephnl

            Thanks! I've been to both. I think Bistango is probably out of our ballpark, but I'll look into Kimera.

            1. re: OCSteve

              Another thought....Prego in Irvine! Prego is currently closed due to a fire. They are supposed to open within the next month, and I'm sure that they will be very anxious to book holiday parties. They have many areas in the restaurant that can handle larger private parties. I've been to a few parties there that I'm sure were not overly expensive...serving assorted antipasti, eggplant parmigiana, pizza, pastas, salad, etc. and they were all great fun with lots of choice and great ambiance. Give them a call! I'm sure that they can do a terrific luncheon buffet with a non-hosted bar. Everyone will have a good time!!!