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Completely stuck on a birthday dinner place for 12 people...help!!

Looking for a restaurant anywhere in Hollywood, Weho, downtown or the westside where we can have a 40th birthday dinner for 12 people.

Every restaurant I call to make a simple reservation wants me to essentially book a private room and/or do a prix fix meal (was quoted $45 a person just for food for pizzas and salad). We aren't opposed to spending up to $100 a person all in (food, drinks, gratuity, tax), but I just can't find a place to make it work where we will get a good meal for the $100pp. Not even opposed to prix fix as long as they aren't gouging us and giving us a bad menu for what we are paying.

Foodwise we are open to any type of cuisine except Asian (no sushi, thai, indian or Chinese). Ambiance wise, would love a place like Bazaar or Mercato di Vietro.

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  1. How far away is your dinner? What night of the week?

    1. FIG at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica has a semi-private dining room that seats 16 (large square table that can fit 4 chairs on each side).

      We've done FIG at Five (their Happy Hour promo: order between 5 PM and 6 PM and get 50% off) with a party as small as 6 and been placed in that room (I think they just happened not to have the space for us in the regular dining room at the time).

      I don't think they would demand prix fixe, and even if they did the price would likely not approach $100/pp. Excellent food!

      5 Replies
      1. re: PeterCC

        I love love LOVE Fig, but they are very strict about the Happy Hour ending right at 6. Probably going to be too difficult to get 12 adults sat and ordering by 5 on a weekday.

        1. re: schrutefarms

          Yeah, but "luckily" they're doing Saturday at 8 PM so that won't come into play.

            1. re: PeterCC

              Duh. Didn't read that part :) I didn't know they offered the happy hour on Saturdays.

          1. re: PeterCC

            I managed to squeeze 22 into that table. They didn't require us to participate in the Prix Fix, but for the 50% Off Happy Hour menu, we were given a truncated menu so that the kitchen would not be slammed for orders of too many different dishes.

          2. We hosted a party of 10 at AOC. They could not have been nicer. They set up a long table in the patio. No request for a deposit or prix fixe menu. Food was delicious. Everyone was very happy and we did not suffer from sticker shock when the check was presented.

            4 Replies
            1. re: maudies5

              AOC is a great idea. I've also been there with a party of 10 - 11 and they didn't require a prix fixe menu. Patio at Gjelina can also accomodate a group of up to 12 but you have to book pretty far in advance for a Saturday night (no prix fixe menu and right around $100/person all-in for a lot of food and wine). I've also been to really nice large group dinners recently at Wilshire in Santa Monica and Rivabella on Sunset in WeHo, but those might bust your budget.

              1. re: cookie monster

                The problem with Gjelina is the service, which can, at times, be agonizingly slow and/or confused. The food is great. Also, no full bar.
                AOC's service is stellar; very professional. Full bar. Delicious cocktails. Wonderful food.

                1. re: maudies5

                  another problem with gjelina is that they will try to squeeze a large party into a small table.
                  very uncomfortable.

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    That was a problem I had for sure.

            2. Thank you! Will definitely look into Fig and AOC. We are doing this on a Sat night around 8pm.

              1. I did a dinner for 12 on the patio at the Ivy and it was great.
                AOC is another good choice.
                If you like higher end Mexican, Frida in BH could easily accommodate you.

                If you want to do a room, upstairs at Divino in Brentwood would work.

                How much lead time do you have?

                3 Replies
                1. re: Thor123

                  Ivy at the Shore (Santa Monica) or the one on Robertson.

                  1. re: jgilbert1000

                    Robertson. I have always had good luck there and found them very accommodating. I think they get a bad wrap for being snobby which may have been the case in the 80s but in my experience has never been the case.

                    1. re: jgilbert1000

                      I have heard good things about Petty Cash. However, I think all of the tables are communal.

                  2. What about Esquela or Petty Cash on Beverly? They are both Taquerias with small plates, I always find tapas are a pretty good way to go with a large group. Esquela is BYOB, not sure of the corkage, and Petty Cash has wonderful margaritas. Cleo in the Redbury (Hollywood/Vine) is wonderful, too-tapas style mediterranian. Might be a bit pricey, though.

                    1. Have done a large group at Fogo de Chao Beverly Hills and was very happy and love the food and service. An AYCE meat lovers Disneyland and great party location.

                      Park's BBQ in Koreatown could also work for you. Wonderful food.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: wienermobile

                        Park's BBQ is a fantastic idea.

                        Great food, extremely accommodating and a party of 12 people would have a great time in a great atmosphere. I've been involved in a party that size and a good time was had by all.
                        The service is stellar.

                        1. re: latindancer

                          ... "Foodwise we are open to any type of cuisine except Asian..."

                          Though KBBQ was not specifically mentioned by the OP, last time I checked KBBQ is considered Asian.

                        2. re: wienermobile

                          That's a great place for a large group, also super accommodating for vegetarians, with their awesome salad bar. (I'm referring to Fogo de Chao)

                        3. Westside Tavern (Westside)
                          Drago Centro (Downtown)
                          Rivera (Downtown)
                          Whist at The Viceroy (Santa Monica)

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: J.L.

                            Can a person really do Drago Centro and/or Whist for 100/pp total (food, drinks, tax, tip, etc)?

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Talk to the manager and see if they can work something out. Most restaurants wouldn't ignore a potential $1200 deal.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Tru 'dat, but then again, Hiro-san can pretty much do whatever the heck he wants.

                                  Which reminds me - I'm overdue for a visit.

                              1. Amazing ideas, thanks so much for all the replies!

                                1. Over a year ago, I booked the private dining room at Hatfield's on Melrose for a party of 13, with each of us ordering the $55 Prix Fix Menu. Liquor and drinks helped bring the total to the minimum $1,500 they require in order to book the private room.

                                  1. hope this isn't too late..but I did my birthday dinner at Hostaria del Piccolo in Santa Monica. Food, drinks, service were all fabulous

                                    1. Got the perfect place - Waterloo & City. You'll get great food, generous portions and be able to hit your price mark.

                                      Ask them what kind of tasting menu - or perhaps a family-style tasting menu (where they put a few platter of something out and you pass it around, eat it, change plates, another platter) they can put together all in, including tip for 12. I'd think they'd accommodate you, and accommodate you very well.

                                        1. I've seen groups of that size at Marouch.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: katydid13

                                            Ick, I rather take them to Carousel...