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takeout/informal catering

I am turning 60 and hosting an afternoon party for about 25 friends in a backyard. I am looking for great takeout or informal, serve yourself catering. Last time I did something like this I ordered from Pizzeria Mozza's store, but want to give my friends a different experience. Looking for more than Bristol Farms or Whole Foods Catering but can't afford a $ 30.00 a person. Any suggestions? The party is in West LA, but I am willing to pick up the food anywhere in the basin--downtown, Hollywood, Santa Monica, etc. Thanks!

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  1. How informal / different? We have had Joe's Falafels cater several of our gatherings and the food was inhaled.

      1. re: J.L.

        Thanks so much. It's quite informal. We are a laid back group, but we have discriminating taste when it comes to food (my taste is way beyond my pocket). We aren't huge meat eaters so a deli and meat centered afternoon isn't the best way to go (including some meat is fine, though). Spent lots of time traveling and eating my way around Mexico, so my standards for Mexican food are very high...

        1. re: smokemirrors

          I liked Tinga a bit more than Loteria. And I get the feeling the owner would work with you.

      2. take a look at Huckleberry's catering menu.
        www.huckleberrycafe.com

        1. Bay Cities Italian Deli (sandwiches, pasta, salads and more)

          1. Lemonade.

            Papa Cristos

            Pollo A La Brasa

            1. You could do one or two of the large party trays from Bludso's BBQ. Best BBQ in town. 2 Slabs Ribs, 1 Lb. Tips, 1 Whole Chicken, 1 Lb. Sliced Beef, 1 Lb. Links, 1 Qt. Baked Beans, 1 Qt. Potato Salad, 1 Loaf Of Bread.
              $99.00 +tax
              http://bludsosbbq.com

              2 Replies
                1. re: chrishei

                  You may want to check out OP's response above about the group not being big meat eaters....

                1. If you don't mind driving to Sherman Oaks, Carnival (on Woodman just north of Ventura Blvd). Wonderful Middle Eastern (Lebanese) food, wide variety, massive portions, well w/in your budget.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: archer

                    more geographically desireable than Carnival, and, imho, better food, also well within budget is SHAMSHIRI GRILL on westwood blvd.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      I think all of the Lemonade venues are pretty consistant.

                      1. re: Thor123

                        Great idea. Will do a taste test meal!

                        1. re: smokemirrors

                          They have a huge range of salads, stews, sadwiches and daily specials to pick from.

                    2. Clementine's also has some very good choices....

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: perk

                        Clementine does, indeed, do a good job

                        1. re: maudies5

                          Thanks. Sadly, Clementine is closed on Sunday, the day I will host my party. I will try them next time round.

                          1. re: smokemirrors

                            I've picked up the food on a Saturday for a Sunday event and been fine.

                      2. I think that Ricky's Fish Tacos will cater for $12 per person all you can eat.

                        1. komodo, the cafe, not the food truck, does large "batches" of it's menu items. (scroll down to page 3 for the prices)

                          http://komodofood.com/menus/Komodo_Me...

                          If you like Asian fusion, their food will fit the bill. The gambas is very garlicky, the Blazin' shrimp is very hot, and the Nasi Goreng is flavorful (warm, not hot).

                          Lemonade, the cafe, is an excellent choice also.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: vickie2172

                            Thanks for the terrific ideas. Have heard and read about Komodo, but never eaten at their truck.

                          2. The Park's Finest BBQ

                            1. Remember Bite on Pico? The restaurant and bakery have been closed for a couple of years. Elizabeth was very talented. I think it is worth checking out her catering ideas
                              www.bitecatering.net

                              1. Hi Everyone,

                                Well I visited and taste tested many of the recommendations below, including one additional one: Thyme on Ocean Park. Komodo charged 30.00 for a tasting dinner and the manager sat with me and talked me through all the offerings he brought to the table. He was very friendly and full of suggestions. I really enjoyed Lemonade and Bay Cities, but found the food at Thyme to be clean but not exceptional considering the price. I decided to go with Komodo. I did experience one glitch so far and that is an order form that charged 150.00 more than the originally discussed priced. It was corrected after I spun into a panic. Will report on the results after Sunday. Thanks everyone for your suggestions

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: smokemirrors

                                  I missed this thread when it was initially posted, but I was just thinking of suggesting Thyme. I agree that the food at the restaurant is good but not exceptional. However, and I don't know if you sampled food from their menu or their catered offering (I realize there's probably a great deal of overlap), but I found the food at a birthday party they catered to have been better than the food at their restaurant.

                                  Glad to see you were able to find a place. Hope everything goes well on Sunday, and happy birthday!

                                2. Thanks for the happy birthday wishes PeterCC. My party was today and the Komodo food was a clear winner. Everyone just gushed about it..all of it. We had beef and chicken rice bowls from the regular menu the they agreed to prepare in bulk (which they refer to as batch), soft taco shells that I warmed up on the grill on an as needed basis, crab cakes plus the tuna tartar crispy wontons. As you can imagine the names do not reflect the medley of food contained in each dish. So thank you everyone for the great suggestions. If it wasn't for this list serve I would not have had such a great celebration with my friends.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: smokemirrors

                                    Happy belated birthday, smokemirrors! Thanks for coming back and telling us about your experience - that food sounds wonderful!