Unique group dining spots in Los Angeles aren’t hard to come by. After all, this is one of the country’s major epicurean hotbeds, touting celebrity chefs that never stop surprising. For those who think quality goes down with quantity, they’ve surely never been to LA. These 10 restaurants are the cream of the crop when it comes to group dining in LA — unique, professional and of course, delicious.
Located a short walk from L.A. LIVE and the Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown LA, Rivera Restaurant features the award-winning Latin fusion cuisine of John Sedlar and cocktails by acclaimed mixologist Julian Cox. Rivera offers several group dining options, from the communal-table seating in the Playa dining area to the Spanish-themed Sangre Room. The classy Patina is the perfect segue from a concert at the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall. Run by Joachim Splichal, Patina's fare is billed as French-Californian. Opt for the private chef’s table for 11 guests or the private room, which seats 30. An enclosed patio holds 60. For groups, a separate lounge and outdoor patio like the one at Drago Centro can turn an ordinary dinner into a special occasion. With what Drago calls “tailored hospitality,” the staff knows how to tailor the service to the needs of any group. The San Antonio Winery & Restaurant is one of LA’s largest working wineries and features group tours, tastings and food events. Banquet rooms are available for larger groups to partake in the restaurant’s Italian-Californian cuisine.
Wolfgang Puck’s recently-revamped flagship restaurant Spago will impress even the most discriminating group. The sleek, uber-cool design features black chairs and white tablecloths in the dining room, an open kitchen that showcases chef de cuisine Tetsu Yahagi's new Asian-influenced menu, and eclectic modern art pieces. The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills offers a variety of group options at its acclaimed Culina, Modern Italian restaurant. A private dining room can seat 20 to 40 guests, while the Grappa Room seats up to 14 guests along a table that's hand carved from a 200-year-old Magnolia tree. Culina also features two cocktail lounges: the indoor Culina Lounge has a 3-D High Definition TV and accommodates 35 guests, while an outdoor lounge offers a fire-water feature and movies projected on a water wall. Mastro's Steakhouse combines classic steakhouse fare with numerous group dining options in an elegant setting. With a capacity of 40 guests, the Napa Wine Room can host large parties or be divided into two individual private dining areas. The Mastro's Room is completely separate from the dining room and is ideal for corporate functions or luxurious banquet style dining for up to 50 guests. As an added attraction, there's live entertainment and dancing nightly in the Piano Bar Lounge. The entertainment factor at the adult wonderland known as The Bazaar by Jose Andres will be enough to wow any group. And by “entertainment,” we mean the food: Andres has concocted dishes such as “liquid olives” and “dragon’s breath popcorn clusters.” You’ll have to experience it to believe it, but it’s undoubtedly great fodder for group conversation.
Santa Monica & Beach Cities
The Viceroy Hotel’s Whist certainly knows how to deliver a flawless culinary performance, with the added feature of exclusive poolside cabanas for groups. Located at the entrance to the landmark Santa Monica Pier, The Lobster serves classic American Seafood featuring whole live Maine lobsters. Guests can enjoy 180 degree views of the Pacific Ocean from throughout the two-level restaurant. The Lobster is available for group lunches, dinners and private parties. Group menus are available for parties of 15 or more. The patio seats 50 and can be closed off for privacy. Situated where Sunset Boulevard meets the Pacific Coast Highway, Gladstones features generous portions of freshly caught seafood and signature cocktails crafted with fresh ingredients. Along with its breathtaking 180 degree view of the Malibu coastline, Gladstones offers direct beach access and a setting for private events right on the sand. With a variety of rooms and open spaces, Gladstones offers a myriad of possibilities for group lunches, dinners, receptions, and corporate events of every size.
Nothing says group dining better than family-style Italian. Bucca di Beppo caters to a big crowd with huge portions and an exuberant atmosphere (think red-and-white checkered tablecloths). Locations include Universal City, Encino, Claremont, Santa Clarita and Thousand Oaks. With locations in Universal City, Santa Monica and Long Beach, groups can relive Bubba's dream from the hit movie Forrest Gump at the thematic Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., which features dishes such as “Best Ever Popcorn Shrimp” and “Bubba’s Bucket of Boat Trash.”