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Expert Advice: Places and Spaces 

When home just isn’t big enough

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Photo by Debra DiPaolo

The size of the party and the location will determine your venue options. If you’re throwing a small get-together for fewer than 50 people, chances are your favorite restaurant can accommodate you. Some of them even have private rooms and preset party menus from which you can choose. For larger parties, there’s the Hotel Bel-Air (210 guests); the Argyle, the Conga Room, Nacional and the Figueroa Hotel (250 guests); A.D., the Bel-Air Bay Club, Buffalo Club, and the Century Club (500 guests); the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Biltmore (1,000 guests); the Wilshire Ebell (1,100 guests); Barker Hangar, Hollywood Athletic Club and the Park Plaza (2,000 guests). Keep in mind that venue guest counts change depending on what elements you bring into the venue such as décor, staging, lighting, etc.

—Event coordinator Gary Levitt of Sequoia Productions

We are on-site at Smashbox and have several sizes of studios from which to choose. Other places in town such as Quixote Studios or Miau Haus Studios also have several studios. Location companies used for scouting locations for films and shoots are a good resource, and generally have a good inventory of private homes and spaces available specifically for events. One of my favorites is the Paramour in Silver Lake. Keep in mind that if you go to a restaurant or club, you have to be ready to “buy them out” for the night, and this may be cost-prohibitive.

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Caterer Phillip Weingarten of GoodFood Catering

Falcon on Sunset; Soho on Ivar; the courtyard garden with mad D’s and karaoke at Yamishiro, the soon-to-be-vacant Patina Restaurant on Melrose.

—Event coordinator Rob Smith of Laurels Custom Flora & Events

A state beach; a photo studio redesigned for your party; rent a house; Union Station.

—Caterers Dana Williams and Daniel Flores of Bread & Wine

Four Seasons private dining room for 35 or fewer; buy out Morton’s (on Robertson) for 125 and fewer; Maggiano’s has great party rooms, such as a private room for a party of 10; parties of 60 or fewer, Spago Beverly Hills; Il Cielo patio.

Event coordinator Mindy Weiss of Mindy Weiss Party Consultants

A hot new place is Lucky Strike, which is a bowling alley and club in Hollywood. Many restaurants are willing to close a room or a portion of their restaurant for private parties. As far as venues go, Level Three is also a cool place to do an event – that’s is in the Hollywood & Highland complex, and you reach them through Lucky Strike. The Henry Fonda Theater has been turned into a cool location for events. The Hollywood Athletic Club is okay, but you really have to bring everything in that you need there.

Caterer Mary Micucci of Along Came Mary

Make sure the space matches the vibe you want and can accommodate the number of guests you want. A few to consider are Astra West; Union Station; a downtown loft; the beach, a local art museum, the Henry Fonda Theater.

—Event coordinator Marianne Weiman-Nelson of Special Occasions, Inc.

The Music Center’s newly remodeled fifth floor offers floor-to-ceiling windows; the new Walt Disney Concert Hall; MOCA; LACMA; Hollywood Bowl (off-season) provides a variety of venues; C2, a new restaurant and event space in the heart of Century City; Oviatt Penthouse; Quixote Studios; and there are private homes in the Hollywood Hills that are available to rent.

—Caterer Stephanie Edens of the Patina Group

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