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West LA Friday dinner--ten 3rd grade boys

Scotty Nov 15, 2012 10:44 PM

Dinner will take place on Friday, December 14, around 5:30-6:00

Ten 3rd grade boys, almost all with two parents each going as well. So it would be great to seat around 30 at the same time. Someplace the grown ups can relax (with good (at least not bad) food and a drink or two) and the kids still have fun.

Totally open as to type of food, price sort of open too (but don't go too high)

Center on Webster middle school, near 405/10 intersection-so not a far drive on a Friday would be nice too..

I know I'm asking for a lot....any ideas??

  1. wienermobile Nov 15, 2012 11:03 PM

    See if you can reserve the patio at Plan Check.

    Pitfire Pizza on Westwood Blvd might work.

    1. j
      Jwsel Nov 15, 2012 11:38 PM

      You might be pushing the limits at Talpa or Don Antonio's on Pico, west of the 405. Another option might be Maria's, west of the 405. None of those would be what I consider great food, but 20+ people on short notice and a lot of kids is tough.

      The problem with a place like Plan Check is parking. It's just brutal with the number of cars you're probably talking about.

      Century City or Westwood are a little farther, but they have places that could fit groups your size. But I'm thinking of places like BJ's Brewery (in both locations) or CPK in Westwood.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Jwsel
        Servorg Nov 16, 2012 05:35 AM

        I see groups of pretty good size on the patio at Maria's Kitchen. What about Hokkaido Seafood at the Westside Pavilion? It's a buffet with something for everyone and the kids can get what they want when they want. And they have huge long tables.

        1. re: Servorg
          westsidegal Nov 16, 2012 10:54 AM

          i used to be a supporter of hokkaido.
          sadly, it has gone downhill.

          it would definitely fit the bill logistically, but the food now has declined to the level of pf chang's, california pizza kitchen, et. al.-- not inedible, but not good either.

        2. re: Jwsel
          latindancer Nov 16, 2012 07:50 AM

          <The problem with a place like Plan Check is parking.>

          Last Friday at 6:30pm two of our cars were turned away from Valet...couldn't accommodate us. While the food is excellent, finding a place to park on Sawtelle is murder.

        3. J.L. Nov 16, 2012 01:38 AM

          Westside Tavern - Ask if their private room is open, unless you're looking to dine in the main dining area...

          1. s
            Scotty Nov 16, 2012 08:49 AM

            Some great ideas!

            I have ate at Maria's Kitchen and thought it was OK-I would have forgot about it.

            I haven't ate at Plan Check, but agree parking would be hard.

            Pitfire Pizza may define the place nobody goes to anymore because it is too busy all of the time, right?

            Westside Tavern may be just a little too $$.

            Yelp really tears into Hokkaido Seafood and sort of scares me.

            Talpa or Don Antonio's?? Maybe these and Maria's Kitchen, BJ's Brewery or CPK can work too.

            Thanks so much for the help!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Scotty
              latindancer Nov 16, 2012 09:02 AM

              If you're considering CPK (the food is so mediocre since they sold that I wouldn't waste my money) then I'd say go to the Santa Monica Pier and eat at Mariasol at the end of the pier.
              I was asked to attend a party with about 50 people/children. They reserved the large room in back, the service was great and the food was just fine and what I liked about it was that it was away from the rest of the restaurant so the noise level wasn't a problem.

            2. westsidegal Nov 16, 2012 11:11 AM

              it is with hesitation that i make this recommendation because i've never been there on a friday at 6:30 so i'm not confident about how crowded the place will be, but my recommendation for the FOOD would be TLT on westwood blvd.
              i generally go there about 1pm on weekdays for lunch, and, at that time, there is lots of space available.
              parking for all would be available in the public parking structure on broxton.
              i can't remember if they have a full bar, but they definitely have a decent selection of wine both by the glass and by the bottle (they probably serve beer too, but didn't look at that)

              the prices are low.
              they have several communal tables and a counter with bar stools.(imho, the seating at the communal tables is very comfortable,but the bar stools not so much)

              it's a self-serve place with very solid food offerings.
              you place your order, and they give you a device that lets you know when the food is ready to be picked up. that way you can sit and drink until your order is ready.

              here is a link to their menu:

              here is a chowhound thread about it:

              3 Replies
              1. re: westsidegal
                Scotty Nov 16, 2012 01:03 PM

                Thanks westsidegal

                I feel a little dumb that I never heard of TLT despite living within walking distance.

                1. re: Scotty
                  wienermobile Nov 16, 2012 01:20 PM

                  Don't feel bad they've only been open a few weeks. Here's LA Weekly's review:

                  1. re: Scotty
                    westsidegal Nov 16, 2012 06:08 PM

                    i'm honored to further the purpose of the board.
                    nobody should be "left out" when any good restaurants emerge.

                    tlt's menu is short, but the food quality is good.
                    also, i now know that they do, indeed, sell beer as well as wine.

                2. s
                  Scotty Nov 16, 2012 10:49 PM

                  Presented all the recommendations tonight to the parents and the winner is ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Maria's Kitchen.

                  One of the other parents will reach out and set things up. I'll be back if things don't work out.

                  Thanks for the heavy lifting Chowhounds!! There are VERY few places that fill all the requirements.

                  BTW--I was pulling for TLT, but Maria's Kitchen was my 2nd pick. Have to try TLT on our own soon.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Scotty
                    westsidegal Nov 17, 2012 07:24 AM

                    let us know how it goes.
                    maria's kitchen should be easy logistically, and with a group like yours logistic ease counts for a lot.

                    1. re: Scotty
                      Scotty Nov 18, 2012 08:17 PM

                      Got moved to Saturday. I'll add Marie Calender's, Islands, and Buca di Beppo to the mix!

                    2. scottca075 Nov 17, 2012 08:22 AM

                      Dare I mention Marie Calender's? I am assuming this isn't an Intro to Being a Foodie course for the 3rd graders? It is close, decent and the kids will like the menu.

                      Billingsley's probably has a private room, they are close too. Bossa Nova isn't far and maybe Chan Dara if Thai is okay.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: scottca075
                        BSW6490 Nov 17, 2012 04:25 PM

                        Bilingsley is scary and would possibly scar the kids. If we are going Marie Calendars, why not Islands?

                        1. re: BSW6490
                          westsidegal Nov 17, 2012 08:25 PM

                          i don't know even one person that frequents bilingsley's that is younger than 40.

                        2. re: scottca075
                          westsidegal Nov 17, 2012 04:46 PM

                          respectfully disagree with the chan dara recommendation.
                          the place, as i last saw it about a year ago, would be terrible at accommodating this kind of group on a FRIDAY night.

                          chan dara has a lively happy hour in order to draw in the kind of clientele that they they are aiming for: childless parties of 6 or less.

                        3. a
                          AMC1210 Nov 17, 2012 04:36 PM

                          I see you made your choice, but i'll mention Buca di Beppo in Santa Monica on 2nd Street. the food is OK, but the kids love the place and it's made for large groups especially kids between 8-12. they serve very large portions of Pasta and Pizza.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: AMC1210
                            westsidegal Nov 17, 2012 04:49 PM

                            although not chow worthy, this is the kind of group for which Buca di Beppo was made.
                            good idea.
                            their kitchen could easily turn out food for a party of 30 fast enough so that the first people served aren't finished eating before the last folks get their food.
                            not many restaurants can truly swing this.

                            1. re: AMC1210
                              maudies5 Nov 17, 2012 04:51 PM

                              Agree that Buca di Beppo is a good choice for a group of kids.

                            2. r
                              ronsilverado Nov 18, 2012 12:40 AM

                              I have not been since the fire, but Monte Alban might work for a group that size.

                              1. s
                                Scotty Nov 25, 2012 06:30 PM

                                The coach really likes C & O Trattoria, so how could I turn him down (GREAT bread!!)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Scotty
                                  westsidegal Nov 25, 2012 06:45 PM

                                  for thirty people C & O may let you take over their upstairs room
                                  C & O, imho, offers chain restaurant prices with food that is substantially BETTER than normal chain restaurant food.

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