Need recs for 12-person staff dinner in DTLA, Hollywood or K-Town


My organization is holding a departmental retreat, where we’ll be bringing together 12 people from across the country, who all have different food preferences. Some are vegetarians (not vegans), some are not adventurous eaters (one will only eat beef or chicken; no pork, seafood or fish), and some want to feel that they are going to place that has just a bit of LA “hipness.” I’d like a place that is not too noisy, where we can all be seated at the same table or in a separate room, if possible.

In the past, we’ve gone to Rivera and Mo-Chica (when they were still around), The Exchange (noisy, not great service, but the food was well-liked) and Bar Ama (way too noisy, food was disappointing). Finally, I’d like to keep this in the ballpark of about $35 per person for food (not including alcohol) - which may be unrealistic. But my boss is constantly saying things like “Why don’t you just take everyone to La Gondrina on Olvera Street?,” so I’m not going to be able to go some place like Redbird or The Palm.

As always, much thanks in advance!

Hi @kohrla,

If it’s $35 before tax & tip, and the company can arrange shared appetizers (and let the guests choose their own pastas) you might be able to do:

There’s also:

If you’re letting them order anything off the menu (including appetizers, main course and dessert), then none of the above would work. I’ll keep thinking about possible other places.


What do think of Drago Centro? Is it good? Thinking of taking someone for a birthday there this week…but never been.

Manuela might make a good option. Have enjoyed my two meals there, it’s beautiful and hip, veggies are good, and the menu is pretty approachable. Might push $35 but is probably doable.

Guelaguetza is also pretty great for a big dinner with legit LA style, and the cautious eaters could get quesadillas lol.

Maybe Oficine Brera?

maccheroni republic
baco mercat

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Hi @skramzlife,

We haven’t been back since Chef de Cuisine left. When Chef Gresik was there, Drago was solid. Beautiful, elegant dining space, quiet, romantic (so you can talk without shouting). The pastas were good to great (nothing mind-blowing, but perfectly fine for a nice dinner). :slight_smile:

El Cholo in K-Town for Cal Mex; Ocean Seafood or Fortune in Chinatown for Cantonese (just order a set dinner from the banquet menu;

Drago Centro’s food is modern-ish Italian and unadventurous but very solid with an upscale-ish environment.

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great choice

I can’t imagine a party of 12 at Little Sister DTLA.

Baco Mercat might work. Good food, shareable portions, moderate prices, and I’ve never seen the place very busy.

But it gets loud… Don’t know if they would take a party of 12 given the size of the place and the kitchen, and there isn’t a separate dining area where they can eat and converse in a more private setting.

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