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Jan 14, 2014 06:43 PM

Informal Hound Get-Together Sun Feb. 16, 5:30-

Kevin created a very popular thread over a month ago suggesting a Chowhound potluck. While that proved too complicated, and a restaurant meal perhaps too costly and restrictive, the idea has morphed into a meet-up at a Santa Monica bar restaurant, O'Brien's -- the location on Wilshire about 23rd. It will be informal and individual -- stay as long as you like, eat and/or drink as much or little as you like, take care of your own check, and please be sure to tip well.

Another hound has opened an evite site, so please rsvp if you intend to attend so we have some idea of numbers:


Yet another hound has volunteered to bring name tags and sharpies so we can attach faces to screen names/monikers.

I'm looking forward to the event, and plan to be there. I hope some of the others whom I've learned from and even disagreed with will come. And there are a few -- Servorg, Westsidegal, among others -- who I'd really like to meet.

Please hit the evite link when you are sure you'll attend.

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    1. re: kevin

      Kevin, will you be "Live Blogging" the ChowFest?

      Or how about using your web-cam for one-to-one interviews and food reviews?

      1. re: SilverlakeGirl

        I'm in! If I can finish house of cards before 630...

        1. re: SilverlakeGirl

          Prolly not. I'm too lazy for that today.

          And I'm terrible interviewer too.

          And so it goes.

          1. re: kevin

            I would think it's a god-send and avoid bad pick up or intro lines. "Hi, my name's Kevin". "This is Chowhound's ---- year online and I see you've chosen to attend alone".

            "Mind if I ask your name and what part of town you've come from?".

            On and on about meatballs, etcetera. Oh, well.

            You might have met your next friend, your partner in food.

      2. Just bumping this up to the top in case any interested Hounds haven't seen this :)

        11 Replies
        1. re: Kate is always hungry

          for those of us not inclined to attend, would it matter if we met some place EAST of the 405?

          1. re: barryc

            C'mon, barryc -- I get way out your way for the excellent Friday lunches in the SGV. You can venture west on a lazy Sunday before a holiday Monday where traffic should be minimal for a CH meet-up.

              1. re: nosh

                Where for the entire weekend, the northbound 405 will be closed. Getting there is not the problem. Getting home is a total nightmare for Valley residents.
                Perspectives on meeting up can vary!

                1. re: carter

                  Getting back to the Valley is a breeze! I never take the 405--I zip through Beverly Glen.

                  1. re: Kate is always hungry

                    I typically do as well, but given the closure, everyone else will also be doing so.

                    1. re: carter

                      Drove home through BG last night about 9:15. No traffic at all!

                        1. re: kevin

                          Probably Beverly Glen. And remember the last Carmageddon, there was no traffic because everyone was freaked out and stayed home.

                          1. re: Wayno

                            and bored to smithereens.

                            i wouldn't recommend beverly glen it's usually packed to the gills.

                            1. re: Wayno

                              The upcoming closure of the San Diego Freeway (I-405) ls over the weekend of February 14-18.
                              Work is scheduled to begin Friday night, February 14 starting at 11 p.m. and will last until Tuesday, February 18 at 6 a.m. It will be a mess.

            1. I'll bump it too Nosher.

              1. Isn't a Chowhound group meeting at O'Brien's akin to a couture fashion group meeting at the clothing section of the Goodwill?

                16 Replies
                  1. re: kevin


                    I nearly wrote a similar comment a couple weeks back.

                    But I then this meet-up isn't really about the food.

                    Still - I'd say Pitfire Pizza might make more sense - if you want to eat - get a pizza and share. If you don't get a drink and enjoy the chat. Don't need reservations. Something both casual and food-enthusiast friendly.

                      1. re: JeMange

                        I think previous posts about this venue adequately address the subject; but, I'll add this: I don't shop for clothes at Goodwill (at least not since college), but I happily eat the food at O'Brien's.

                        1. re: Wayno

                          That makes one of us - as far as happily eating at O'Briens.

                          Too much to wade through in the other threads - people seem more interested in commenting on logistics than the choice of place.

                          Seems like a very odd disconnect to me but I hope that everyone who attends has fun.

                          1. re: JeMange

                            Sorry to hear you won't be attending. I think it will be fun to meet people we've been virtually butting heads with over the years. I think most realize that this isn't a food-focused event; it's really an effort to meet in person in a place that can accommodate the crowd and that is easy to work with in terms of not requiring any financial commitment, collective bills or limited menus, that will give us a nice discount on the regular menu, that serves good drinks and that has reasonably good food (though admittedly not the type of food that elicits gushes of acclaim). Not sure if your apparent disdain for the place is based on having ever eaten there, but I have eaten there quite a bit - not as a food destination, but rather as a good and convenient place to watch sports - and found the bar fare quite decent (esp. the fish and chips and stuffed potatoes). I'm not going to confuse it with Gjelina or Bestia, but none of those such places would work for the type of casual, low-maintenance event this is intended to be.

                    1. re: JeMange

                      Feel free to organize the next meet up at a venue you feel is more suitable :)

                      1. re: JeMange

                        Seems like it.

                        Why would anyone go?

                        1. re: BacoMan

                          What's with the negativity? Either come just for drinks or not at all then. Or, plan one yourself like Dirty stated. How many does Urasawa seat?

                          1. re: JAB

                            Damn. You beat me to it. Jabs.

                            I was going to mention Uraswa too.

                            And even then some hounds would still definitely complain about the meet up spot.

                              1. re: Ciao Bob

                                Not me, I'm trying to cut down on my gold intake.

                                1. re: JAB

                                  You can never have too much hold leaf.

                                2. re: Ciao Bob

                                  If so, you may have to slightly subsidize my dinner.

                          2. When is the latest we can RSVP?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: chrishei

                              No deadline. The venue doesn't require a strict head count. I just want to be able to give him a pretty good ballpark of the number, but he told me the other day that he expects that additional people will show up.