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Reasonably priced food for 2 year old birthday party

We're having a small party at our house for our daughter's 2nd birthday. I'm expecting about 4 kids and 8 adults. We had a similar sized party last year and got food from Portos. I was happy with Portos but I'm hoping to find something a little closer to Culver City. I'm pregnant this year and I will not have the energy to drive across town that morning.

Any ideas? We need food that would be good for a bunch of 2 year olds and adults alike, without breaking the bank. Portos was perfect for that. Everyone likes potato balls and empanadas!


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        1. re: wienermobile

          imho, if one is going to get mac 'n cheese for 2 year olds, you might as well get the stuff from Costco and actually have the meal come in at budget.

        2. Since all children love pizza, what about Pitfire or 800 degrees?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Butter Fight

            imho, respectfully disagree with the recommendation of 800 degrees for take out pizza.

            don't get me wrong.
            i LOVE LOVE LOVE their pizza when it's consumed immediately upon leaving their oven.
            Neapolitan pies, like theirs, are exceptionally poor travelers.
            couple that with the fact that Neapolitan pies are constructed with "fork and knife" eating in mind, they are an especially poor choice for a group of 2 year olds.

            1. re: westsidegal

              Fair point. Consider that suggestion respectfully withdrawn.

              1. re: Butter Fight

                the best time to take two year olds to 800 degrees is at the opening on sunday mornings IN THE RESTAURANT.
                the stroller brigade practically owns the place at that hour.
                the adults are shoveling the food in their mouths as if they haven't had adult food for a week. . . .

          2. what about grand casino bakery? kinda like porto's, just closer.

            1 Reply
            1. re: aizan

              yes, I was considering this. I'll have to look more closely at their prices.

            2. Maybe falafel, skewers and crudités?

              1. Amandine? Not exactly super-close to Culver City but still much closer than Porto's. Lots of cakes, tarts, pastries, plus they sell savories (sandwiches, quiche).

                1 Reply
                1. re: ilysla

                  I suspect this could end up getting expensive and sandwiches are hard for 2 year olds.

                2. do 2 year olds eat anything that would impress them?or are we talking about feeding your friends?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Raffles

                    I don't need to impress my friends, I just need it to be edible to all. In other words, sandwiches are to difficult for 2 year olds to eat, but I don't want to serve adults chicken nuggets.

                  2. Two year olds want chicken tenders, hot dogs or mini corn dogs, fruit, or cheese quesadillas. If you are worried about the adults how about a taco bar catered by your favorite taqueria?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Coribdx

                      Bah. Only if that is what they were fed 18m-24m.

                      1. re: JudiAU

                        Not necessarily. I have two grown (18 & 21) kids. They have both been fed the same way since birth. I always serve a lean protein, a starch, at least one vegetable, and a salad. I made it a habit to not cook "special" things for either one of them if they didn't want to eat what I was cooking. It is either what I make for dinner or nothing. One of my kids is a veggie lover and will now eat anything. The other is picky, and would rather eat cheese pizza and chicken tenders. He is just not a fan of many vegetables. So.. two kids, same food, two very different palates.

                      2. re: Coribdx

                        Coribdx: when my daughter was two she soundly rejected corndogs, chicken tenders, and hot dogs very time: she was focused on things that she could dip in peanut butter, hummus, or yogurt. she liked fruits, vegetables, and ICE CREAM

                        will admit, that when she was in middle school, there was a brief interest in corn dogs though, but cheese pizza took control over the field during middle school.

                        1. re: Coribdx

                          I like the idea of a taco bar. Though that could get pretty messy with the kids. But it sounds really delicious to me. I'll have to look into prices.

                        2. Zankou?
                          Joe's Pizza (Century City)?

                          We had Shunji's Kagoshima A5 wagyu sukiyaki for my Chowpup's first taste of beef. It was inhaled. Not sure how smart a move that was... :-P

                          1. Perfect for you in Culver City: Victor Jr.'s, on the north side of Washington across from the studio. Meatballs very good -- smaller than Bay Cities. Rolls softer. Can buy a bunch of meatballs in sauce and some rolls and assemble yourself or just give meatballs to the toddlers. Eggplant park very good. Italian-style beef sandwiches with au jus very good. italian salads very good. They have pastas and cold sandwiches. In fact, almost everything very good -- avoid the pizza, overpriced, thick and bland. Service very friendly. Will not be terribly expensive.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: nosh

                              I'll check this out. Even if it doesn't work, I have been looking for a good eggplant parm!

                            2. What time of day? Quiche is a good standby. Susina is a good choice. Med. options like roast chicken/hummus/pilaf from various places. Zankou or Moishe's at Farmer's Market. We sometimes do Vito's and it is the rare case that the adults love their pizza as much as the adults (Garabaldi - meatball and jalapeño or veg/ricotta one)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: JudiAU

                                roast chicken, with the bones, can be very problematic in a party of two year olds where every kid is not monitored every second.

                                if you need to serve chicken, boneless is a lot safer for a party of two year olds.

                                1. re: daislander

                                  I think a fruit platter is a good idea, but I would definitely need something else to go with it.

                                2. Not a total answer to your question but Empanada Place on Sawtelle and Venice does mini cocktail Empanadas I think you may be able to get them Baked rather than the standard fried. You order them by the dozen per flavor.


                                  1. We've got our cakes from HotCakes or Jamaica's cakes and they have been great. Also we ordered a lot of food from C&O, people love their garlic knots and the toddler set love their pasta (as do the adults). Win win for everyone. That's what I would do if I were in your pregnant shoes.