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Wedding help . . . venue Twin Palms has closed

Unfortunately, this is going to happen more and more as restaurants continue to go out of business. Do you happen to know the size of the group? And like mentioned earlier, what was most appealing about Twin Palms?

As much as I love to support smaller operators, when planning an event with a long lead time, I always suggest going with a location that will be there for the long haul - museumss and hotels (although some will also go out of business or change owners) are usually safe.

I know too many people who have lost deposits given months in advance, so better safe than sorry.

Oct 05, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

AWFF - anyone else attend?

As always, Lydia Shire was my favorite - a perfectly rose double lamb chop, crab cake, and a fried tuber of some sort (salsify?). I also loved Mozza's pig trotters and the cauliflower, lobster and caviar presentation from Terra/AME. This year, like last year, saw fewer guests at AWFF, so the lines were not nearly as long as in years past. A few design flaws (that big table in the courtyard where Mozza, Church & State, et al were placed was a BIG mistake) but all in all, a wonderful evening I look forward to every year.

Oct 05, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Best Brunch in LA?

I like I Cugini in Santa Monica. Lots of selections, so if it were the one and only place I would eat for the rest of my life, I would have many choices. Just don't sit so close to the jazz band!

Mar 21, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Boule Atelier

Looks like Ortica and Comme Ca Bakery will be right next door to each other - like Campanile and La Brea Bakery.

Mar 20, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Need to find a great place for a girls night out dinner in the Hollywood area

Citrus is closing at the end of March, and is only open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Mar 14, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Selling Tap Water as Bottled Water.... [moved from Los Angeles board]

They are actually pretty different - the Natura bottles are much wider/stout than the Voss bottles. And the Natura bottles are in etched glass rather than clear glass. At any rate, IF a restaurant is trying to pass it off as something it's not, then that is a shame. However, I would be happy if this economy saw the end (or at least curtailing) of bottled water sales. It's a waste of our resources, including the carbon spent sending the bottles from Europe, on a boat, to other parts of the world. Natura (or any other brand) is such a great alternative that I think we should embrace this change.

Mar 06, 2009
parmamom in Not About Food

Selling Tap Water as Bottled Water.... [moved from Los Angeles board]

Many times restaurants have both Natura and regular bottled water. The price difference is usually half - approximately $3.50 for Natura, and approximately $6.50 for San Pellegrino and the like. I think the restaurant should specifiy the difference (bottled water versus house-filtered water, versus tap water) and the diner should be clear in what they are requesting. Not too long ago a "soda" meant "soda water", now it can mean any type of soda, so one must clarify (coke, pepsi, etc). Personally, I think Natura water is great, and I prefer it to tap water and bottled water. Not to mention the many environmental positives.

Mar 06, 2009
parmamom in Not About Food

Party in Santa Monica

Budget is also helpful

Mar 02, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

A Party for 300

Oh, forgot about Twin Palms! It is quite big, but keep in mind that you have some guests inside and some guests outside. Do they still have a cover for the patio? If not, be sure not to book it in months that could have rain!

Feb 22, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Cheese store in Santa Monica

Andrew's Cheese Chop on Montana

Jan 23, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

wedding caterers/restaurants in LA

Tastings for caterers are very expensive, and I am not surprised that many won't have one without a contract. Restaurants, on the other hand, have an easier time and less expense, since they are prepping for lunch or dinner service anyway. Of course there are many restaurants that have catering divisions, which may be a good way to go. Since I'm in the business (I'm an event planner) I would find out as much about the bride and grooms needs before contacting any food providers for quotes and menus. Most restaurants and caterers receive many requests from brides that go nowhere, so it would be cost prohibitive to have a tasting when so many of these events will not confirm. Best bet is to try a restaurant or hotel.

Jan 22, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

WOLFGANG'S STEAKHOUSE and other beefy thoughts

I had to snap myself out of my daydream about a "steak sampler" to ask about Citrus saying they were closed for a ktichen remodel. Did a real live person tell you this, or was this on an outgoing voicemail? I ask because I went to one of the opening events and saw the kitchen for myself. Apparently there were changes done when Michel Richard took over, so I hardly think they would need to remodel less than a year later. This sounds fishy to me.

Jan 11, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Elegant but beachy feeling restaurant for Engagement party

I haven't tried it yet, but the photos look great at Malibu Beach Inn. The property has just reopened after a full renovation. Looks like American style foods in a beachy-elegant location. If she is still there, ask for Jill Jennings to assist you.

Jan 08, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Wife is turning 40 and need a nice place for 90-100 people....

Do you require a private room, and are you looking for a usually busy night, like a Friday or Saturday? If not, then you may be able to work with someone like Church & State, or Ciudad. The Edison is a really fun place for a party - there is a great area downstairs - but I can't speak for the food.

Jan 07, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Near Staples for 40-50

You can try Uno, the owner of Hotel Figueroa. He has a Moroccan caterer who has a very competitive price point. There are several different areas for a group of your size - some indoors, some outdoors. It's a very unique experience, especially in the warmer months when you can hang outside by the pool.

Jan 07, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Need venue for South Bay wedding reception

The Marmalade Cafe in Palos Verdes has an outdoor patio that is really beautiful. It is enclosed by a wall and has a separate entrance. I think there are two fireplaces, and I think it's very quaint. The food isn't out of this world, but it is very approachable, which is good for larger events. The price point is very attractive too, around $25-$30 for 2/3 course lunch, $35-$45 for dinner. The only draw back is that it's located in an outdoor mall, but once you are on the patio, I think it's worth it.

Jan 06, 2009
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Comme Ca? You're kidding, Right?

I have been twice, and both times at lunch. Although the noise level is deafening, both of my meals were great. The first, although I went for the burger, I chose the braised beef sandwich instead (can't remember the name). It was one of the best beef sandwiches I've ever had - like eating a short rib on a delicious roll. My friend had the burger, and really enjoyed it. She has a very simple palate (doesn't like lots of spices) so she may have liked it better if it were slightly or under seasoned. The second visit was for the recession menu, and I enjoyed the pumpkin soup with hazelnut cream (delicious and rich) followed by the seared chicken on mustard potatoes. Although the potatoes were a little to "mustard-y" for me, the chicken breast was perfect and moist - with a crispy skin. Dessert was bread pudding, and fabulous. Although the plastic chairs seemed a little out of place to me (the first time I sat on the banquette side, the second time on the chairs) I found them to be VERY comfortable. Our servers were both very accommodating, quick, and accurate. Everything you want in a lunch spot - and both experiences were around $25pp.

Dec 18, 2008
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Wolfgang's Steakhouse

They have a great lunch menu as well - lower priced (the dinner menu is quite expensive) but still pretty large and inclusive. I was craving tuna tartar, and normally would save that craving for a different restaurant, but I'm glad I went with it. The tuna was fresh, tasty, with lots of crisp cucumber. It resembled a steak tartar. I also had a side of the bacon mentioned above (which isn't thin, crispy bacon, but thick cut-it-with-a-knife bacon.) It may have been a strange combination in retrospect, but both were really delicious.

I did try a bit of my lunch companions' porterhouse, and it was just perfect....

Dec 15, 2008
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Dinner for 30 in LA

Private room at Comme Ca?

Dec 15, 2008
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

One year anniversary dinner

I really love Grace for a romantic meal, and will also toss in my support for the Spago tasting menu - especially if you have never been there before.

Oct 14, 2008
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Wanted: Rehearsal Dinner in Manhattan Beach

How many guests? How many of that count are children?

Oct 09, 2008
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Affordable Wedding Caterer

Vegetarian items will help, but when you compare your budget with what is needed (food, staff, rentals) I think it may be a bit tight.

Tables, chairs, linen, china, flatware and glassware will set you back around $10 - $15 per person, (a round table is appx. $10 each, linen tablecloth appx. $20 each, chairs appx. $3 - $15 each (there are many types of chairs), glassware/flatware appx. $1 per piece) leaving you with around $40 for food, staff and tax. Not to mention your cake...

Staff are either paid an hourly wage ($15 - $30 per hour, depending on skill level) or a percentage of your food (15-20%). For a buffet of 80-90, I would suggest no fewer than 1 bartender and 5 waiters.

If food is really an important part of your event, you may want to adjust your guest count down a bit, if that is possible.

That said, try to find a caterer during your search that will include items like china, flatware and glassware, as well as all items to service your buffet (chafing dishes and serving utensils)

My overall suggestion for lower budget events is to try a restaurant with catering abilities. They will have more equipment to use than a caterer that doesn't have a restaurant.

Good luck!

Sep 29, 2008
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Catered Brunch Ideas

What area? If you are near any of their locations, maybe Marmalade Cafe?

Sep 25, 2008
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Looking for a restaurant in LA/OC area for birthday party that's accomidating to large groups (15+) and has a fun atmosphere

I think the PV location of Marmalade Cafe may do the trick. It's close to the LA/OC border, fits into your price point, and I believe it has a private room. There are many choices available within your price point, and they have a full liquor license. Granted, it's not earth-shattering food, but good, filling, and fairly inexpensive.

Aug 18, 2008
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Party of 13 at The Hollywood Bowl, dinner budget: under $500

Here are a few things I've picked up over the years. First, room temperature foods are really best, considering the amount of time it takes to drive, park, take the shuttle, and walk up the hill. I'm sure that other hounds have great ethnic grub ideas, so I'll just speak on the logistics. Since you don't have a box, I would recommend arriving early, and grabbing table and chairs at one of the picnic areas. I have never been able to enjoy myself when eating at the bench seats, so this point is rather important to me and my group of friends. There is usually a line up at the turnstiles (next to the will call area) with like-minded folks, so I like to arrive two hours before the show in order to snag a seat on the "Plaza". Just take a sharp left just after going through the turnstiles, and you will easily find it. There are other picnic areas around the bowl, but I prefer this one since it is close to the restrooms and Staccatto, where you can purchase any last minute items that you may have forgotten. Once on the plaza, grab a table and chairs, and spread out your tablecloth, utensils and grub. I personally believe that part of the Bowl experience is having the niceties like linen, so I don't skimp on this. You and your friends, of course, may be different! After a nice, leisurely meal, I like to save dessert (easy to eat stuff while in your seats) for intermission. Cookies, brownies, nice fruit...but a birthday cake may be much. If you need a birthday cake, I would have that down at the plaza with the rest of dinner. And, if you split up the duties among your friends, you should be able to get away with a shopping bag of materials per-person. Have a great time!

Aug 16, 2008
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

Domed Plate Covers

Do you mean a cloche, that is used at French/fine dining restaurants? The best use of a cloche I've seen was at Per Se, and the staff were actually really amusing when removing them (which may have been because my group was not as formal as most, and the staff seemed to "read' us well). I seem to recall Bastide using them, back a few years ago. Both times they were small, china versions, not the large metal ones.

Jun 27, 2008
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

OC Brunch spot for 40

I'm helping a friend plan a post-wedding Sunday Brunch for 40 guests in the Dana Point/Laguna Beach area. Most guests are from out of town, so something with a view, or a good California "vibe" would be great. She's trying to keep the price around $50 per person (food, beverage, tax and gratuity). Private room or area is preferred. Buffet or seated options work. Thanks for your help!

Jun 18, 2008
parmamom in Los Angeles Area

The Waffle -- worst restaurant experience EVER

I just had lunch there yesterday, and I was expecting a fairly bad experience based on what I have read here. Perhaps it's because I didn't order breakfast, but I really enjoyed my lunch. We were seated quickly (at 12:30pm) and the hostess apologized that only outdoor seating was available. We were greeted within two minutes, and although my iced tea was forgotten, it was dropped of soon thereafter. I had the meatloaf sandwich, which although not easy to eat (meatloaf was not in a perfect slice, so it crumbled) it was still very tasty. The meatloaf was moist, the bread was fresh (I opted for sourdough) and the sauce was a good compliment. I had the coleslaw as a side dish, which was standard but tasty. My date had the roasted turkey sandwich, also on sourdough, and also a little hard to eat. He said it was not dry, and much better than the standard turkey sandwiches. Our iced teas were refilled when appropriate, and when I asked for an extra lemon, the busser returned quickly with three wedges. The bill was $33.24 including tip. I have to say that my experience was good enough for me to return, and soon!

Feb 28, 2008
parmamom in Los Angeles Area