Special event near Marina Del Rey
Chowhounder from DC, getting married in LA in September. Need a spot for about 35 people to have a rehearsal dinner near Marina Del Rey. Looking to spend less than $3k total. Funky/youthful is fine (so is more traditional), and we are open to any style of cuisine. Most important thing is good flavor. Help me, L.A. Chowhound; you're my only hope!
Waterloo & City in Culver City is quite close (about a mile from the Ritz-Carlton in MDR), very good gastropub food, and has a backroom you could take over. The patio at the modern Peruvian small plates specialist Paiche in MDR might also be a fun option.
I actually plan weddings and events and I am often looking for rehearsal dinner locations.
Not a fan of the food at C&O. Café Del Rey is great but you may not be able to fit it into your budget.
The patio at 26 Beach is fun and the food is consistently good. One of my clients had a super casual rehearsal dinner at Wurstkuche in Venice. It's just sausage, great fries and beer but they were quite happy. Hal's has a private room upstairs. I recommend doing something completely different than what you are doing for the wedding in terms of location and menu. Congrats!
re: Wurstkuche in Venice
they use brown wrapping paper as a table covering.
the brown paper gets grease stains all over it.
they wipe the paper at all the tables down with the same dry rag.
they don't change the grease-stained paper.
the sausages are served in painted metal troughs that are lined with permeable wax paper. highly doubt that the troughs go through the dishwasher.
i know this doesn't have anything to do with the food, and after i've consumed an old rasputin there the grease stains don't bother me as much. . . . .
also, it should be noted that it takes two sausages (at $8 apiece) and a beer to fill me up. this means that the meal comes to over $20/pp for a "paying at the register" "food served on wax paper" type of meal before tax, tip.
Hostaria del Piccolo? There's one in Venice (never been), and one in Santa Monica. I think it would work quite well for a dinner, and they have an outdoor patio, which might be nice for your party (I think it might barely be able to seat 35?). Food (salads, apps, pasta) is very good, except for the pizza.
Don't know if Café del Rey would fit into your budget, but, if it does, agree that it's a great place for such an event. Location should also be quite convenient.
Waterloo and the City (mentioned in the linked thread above) I think would also be good, but it's sort of a small plates place.
There are some great restaurants about one mile away on Abbot Kinney Ave in Venice. Most are on the small side so I don't know if they can accommodate your party but here is a list of a few: