The deeper we get into November, the more the mind reels with thoughts of the holidays, entertaining, and social obligations. If the idea of throwing a party appeals to you, but the idea of preparing, cooking, and cleaning up after a soiree gives you pause, we offer you this alphabetical list of Top 10 private dining rooms in Los Angeles.
Whether you're hosting the party at the restaurant or organizing a large group get together, be sure to understand the costs of the event and requirements up front. Large parties--regardless of how careful you are--cost more than a usual night out. Private dining rooms often have their own set of charges to consider and budget for. Be sure to ask about room charges, food and beverage minimums, alcohol costs, and booking fees. And remember, all of those charges rarely include tax or tip.
If picking up the entire tab yourself isn't possible, be sure to ask your guests to bring plenty of cash. Splitting a check twelve ways at the end of a party isn't advised (especially if your server looks like they could break you in half with their bare hands).
1. Campanile: If white table cloths, subdued music, and European-influenced California fare appeals to your party-throwing aesthetics, then this La Brea restaurant is a good choice for a private dinner party. Campanile's multiple private dining rooms have an old Hollywood charm and seat groups of 18, 34, and 45. Arrange in advance your multi-course, prix fixe menu to ensure a seamless night. Additional costs (like a three per cent administrative charge), gratuity, and sales tax are added to all food, beverage, room charges and special rental fees. Campanile: 624 S. La Brea Ave.; (323) 938-1447.
2. Chosun Galbee: Get a big group of people together in a stuffy dining room and you have the potential of more than a few awkward situations. But put that same disparate group around long table with a BBQ grill and umpteen bowls of steaming noodles and spicy side dishes, and you'll be pleasantly surprised to hear all the friendly food-inspired banter. With no room fees, minimums, or fixed menus, Chosun Galbee offers a comfortable environment and flexibility for parties of twelve or more. Call in advance to secure a room for dinner or lunch. Chosun Galbee: 3330 W Olympic Blvd.; (323) 734-3330.
3. Cube: If gourmet cheese plates, cured meats, and elegant Italian food is what you're wanting for your little party but a buy out of the private dining room at one of the Mozza's is way beyond your budget, may we suggest this lovely neighborhood restaurant and gourmet shop. Located in a cozy little side room, this private dining room holds a minimum of 8 people and a maximum of 12. Cube offers a six-course chef's tasting menu for $60 or 8 courses for $75 per person. Cube: 615 N. La Brea Ave.; (323) 939-1148.
4. Fleming's Prime Steak House and Wine Bar: Have far away friends or family that you'd love to invite, but you can't afford to fly them in? This Woodland Hills steak house has private dining rooms equipped with video conferencing systems and T1 internet lines that allow distant relatives to make a virtual appearance. Private rooms serve multi-course meals at a pre-set price, with our without wine pairings. Flemings Prime Steak House and Wine Bar: 6373 Topanga Canyon Boulevard, Woodland Hills; (818) 346-1005.
5. Gordon Ramsay at The London: Since a hotel room could be just an elevator ride away, The London is the responsible choice for a party that's interesting in seriously indulging in lots of great wine and food. The hotel restaurant has five private dining rooms that can accommodate up to fourteen guests for lunch or dinner. Though there is no room fee for dining, there is a minimum of $1,000 for six to eight people and $1500 for parties of nine or more.Gordon Ramsay at the London: 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd.; (310) 358-7788.
6. Henry's Hat: This casual restaurant and sports bar located near Universal City is a good choice for a large group of friends that insists on paying for themselves. Guests order at the bar and food is delivered to the tables, so it's easy to create separate tabs so you don't have to worry about having to pay extra for that friend with expensive tastes. Henry's Hat is serves comfort food in a room with more flat screen TV's than the CNN newsroom. There's no fee to book either of their two private rooms but there is a $600 minimum. With a bottle of beer starting at $4 and entrees ranging from $8-$12.50, there will be plenty of room to try a few extra items. Henry's Hat: 3413 Cahuenga Blvd West; (323) 512-2500.
7. Little Ethiopa Restaurant: Serving traditional Ethiopian food and a collection of American comfort food dishes, Little Ethiopia is a neighborhood restaurant with a no-frills private dining room that seats up to eighty people for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Menus are flexible and are designed to fit any budget. Little Ethiopa Restaurant:1048 S Fairfax Ave.; (323) 930-2808.
8. Madeleine's: This intimate Pasadena restaurant serves California-Creole cuisine and has multiple areas for private dining. An interior courtyard serves small parties outside, a banquet room seats up to fifty guests in a closed off dining room, and a cocktail bar area can seat up to twenty six guests. Madeline requires a dining minimum. Prices vary, depending on day of the week and month. Madeleine's: 1030 E Green St., Pasadena; (626) 440-7087.
9. Providence: Whether your are planning to throw a holiday party for employees, friends, or family, this award winning restaurant has all the bells and whistles of a special occasion restaurant: an elegant dining room, impeccable service, two Michelin stars, and thoughtful dishes. The restaurant has two private dining areas, the Sonoma room seats up to 16 people and the wine cellar can serve up to twenty-two. Pricing varies according to the date. The Sonoma Room currently requires a minimum of $2,200 of food and beverage sales for a weekend booking (not including tax or gratuity). Providence: 5955 Melrose Ave.; (323) 460-4170.
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10. Terroni: When a private dining room has walls lined with Italian wine bottles, a head of a wild boar mounted on the wall, and a foosball table occupying a corner of the room, you know it's been built for fun. Terroni's private room seats up to thirty people and is an adult pizza party in the making. One of the most ingenious elements of this recently built private room, are the overly wide wood tables that allow for plenty of sharing of food without losing any valuable table-top real estate. Pricing varies, according to the party's size. 7605 Beverly Blvd.; (323) 954-0300.
Brooke Burton is also the author of Foodwoolf.com.