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Orance County Recommendations for Special Event

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I am looking for restaurant recommendations for a special event in Orange County (think along the lines of an engagement party). Here is what we are going for:

-Not a sit-down meal. We are looking for something with an "open house" feel, where guests can come and go as they please over the course of a 2-4 hour window.

-We would like food (appetizers, or perhaps more substantial buffet food) and drinks to be served during the entire course of the event.

-We would like either a private room, or a sectioned-off area of non-private room.

-We will need some seating, but regular or bar tables will do. Most people will probably remain on their feet.

-Should be big enough for 90-120 people.

-We want to avoid chain restaurants.

-Price is somewhat flexible, but we can't go super high end (we won't be spending CUT prices, for example).

-We would like to keep it to Northern OC (Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Newport, Huntington, Yorba Linda, Brea, etc.), but we would be willing to go further for an outstanding venue.

-Type of cuisine is open.

Any ideas? If you need more info to make recommendations, let me know!

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  1. Your requirements exclude most places that come to mind. One restaurant that might be able to accommodate you is Prego in Irvine. They have a few spaces for private parties, do very nice buffet foods, have great bar service and are moderately priced. Give them a call!

    1. Try Catal or Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen at Downtown Disney.

      1. Bah, I just now realized the title says Orance County instead of Orange County.

        Anyway, thanks for the recommendations so far. Any more suggestions if we took price out of the equation?

        1 Reply
        1. re: sk8uno

          North OC = Costa Mesa, Newport, Huntington? In any case, sounds like you might need a banquet room from a hotel. If price is out of the equation, you might look into golf courses or maybe the Summit House in Fullerton (great view)...or other restaurants who're accustomed to wedding-type events. I was recently at the Spring Field Banquet Center also in Fullerton; the space is okay and the food is decent.

          If you're willing to do Newport or Costa Mesa, there's always Mastro's.

        2. Villa Park Catering in Orange has a private facility called The Villa that could probably accommodate you. I have attended different functions there and they are always nicely done.

          http://www.villaparkcatering.com