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takeout/informal catering

smokemirrors Sep 11, 2013 10:07 PM

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. ElsieDee RE: smokemirrors Sep 11, 2013 11:30 PM

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

    1. J.L. RE: smokemirrors Sep 12, 2013 01:44 AM

      Loteria Grill

      2 Replies
      1. re: J.L.
        smokemirrors RE: J.L. Sep 12, 2013 03:37 PM

        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
          Dirtywextraolives RE: smokemirrors Sep 13, 2013 01:50 PM

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

      2. m
        maudies5 RE: smokemirrors Sep 12, 2013 11:42 AM

        take a look at Huckleberry's catering menu.

        1. wienermobile RE: smokemirrors Sep 12, 2013 11:47 AM

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

          1. t
            Thor123 RE: smokemirrors Sep 12, 2013 12:29 PM


            Papa Cristos

            Pollo A La Brasa

            1. wienermobile RE: smokemirrors Sep 12, 2013 12:44 PM

              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

              2 Replies
              1. re: wienermobile
                chrishei RE: wienermobile Sep 13, 2013 03:22 PM

                +1 Bludso's for partays

                1. re: chrishei
                  Dirtywextraolives RE: chrishei Sep 13, 2013 04:07 PM

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

              2. perk RE: smokemirrors Sep 12, 2013 12:51 PM


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                  archer RE: smokemirrors Sep 12, 2013 01:00 PM

                  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
                    westsidegal RE: archer Sep 12, 2013 01:26 PM

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

                  2. Servorg RE: smokemirrors Sep 12, 2013 01:29 PM

                    Lemonade http://lemonadela.com/content/menus/E... in Venice

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Servorg
                      Thor123 RE: Servorg Sep 12, 2013 01:43 PM

                      I think all of the Lemonade venues are pretty consistant.

                      1. re: Thor123
                        smokemirrors RE: Thor123 Sep 12, 2013 03:38 PM

                        Great idea. Will do a taste test meal!

                        1. re: smokemirrors
                          Thor123 RE: smokemirrors Sep 13, 2013 11:16 AM

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

                    2. perk RE: smokemirrors Sep 12, 2013 06:57 PM

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

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: perk
                        maudies5 RE: perk Sep 12, 2013 09:22 PM

                        Clementine does, indeed, do a good job

                        1. re: maudies5
                          smokemirrors RE: maudies5 Sep 12, 2013 10:40 PM

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

                          1. re: smokemirrors
                            perk RE: smokemirrors Sep 13, 2013 02:29 PM

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

                      2. JAB RE: smokemirrors Sep 12, 2013 07:26 PM

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

                        1. v
                          vickie2172 RE: smokemirrors Sep 12, 2013 07:59 PM

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


                          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
                            smokemirrors RE: vickie2172 Sep 12, 2013 10:38 PM

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

                            1. re: smokemirrors
                              Dirtywextraolives RE: smokemirrors Sep 13, 2013 01:49 PM

                              Komodo's is quite tasty.

                          2. JAB RE: smokemirrors Sep 12, 2013 08:14 PM

                            The Park's Finest BBQ

                            1. m
                              maudies5 RE: smokemirrors Sep 13, 2013 03:10 PM

                              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

                              1. s
                                smokemirrors RE: smokemirrors Oct 4, 2013 12:01 PM

                                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
                                  PeterCC RE: smokemirrors Oct 4, 2013 12:41 PM

                                  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. s
                                  smokemirrors RE: smokemirrors Oct 6, 2013 10:19 PM

                                  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
                                    ElsieDee RE: smokemirrors Oct 7, 2013 06:40 PM

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

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