Where To Have A Big Group Dinner In LA guide image


Where To Have A Big Group Dinner In LA

At these 15 spots, it's not as painful as you think.

Let’s face it: No one likes planning a big group dinner. It’s tedious, complicated, and no matter how much discussion goes into it, you usually end up at a place nobody cares about anyway. Our suggestion? Take matters into your own hands and use this guide. These aren’t just restaurants big enough to accommodate large parties (for our purposes, let’s say more than six people), they’re restaurants that actually excel at making big group dining an enjoyable experience. At these spots, reservations are generally easy to come by, menus cater to all levels of pickiness, and no matter how big the group gets, you won’t be forced into some private room with a prix fixe menu you didn’t ask for. Big group dinners have never felt so easy. 


photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Mírate review image



1712 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles
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We’ve been to Mírate several times now and we’re still not sure we’ve seen all of it. That’s due to the fact that this modern Mexican spot in Los Feliz is objectively massive. There’s an open-air courtyard, the second-floor patio, a bar area, the other bar area, and several main dining rooms (we told you it’s big.) All that means for your big group of friends though is you’ll almost always be able to snag a table, even last minute. Though the menu can be hit-and-miss, you’ll have a good time if you prioritize the taco arabes, churros, and any cocktail from the bar.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Monarch review image




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Between dim sum palaces and legendary Sichuan spots, the SGV is no stranger to big group dining experiences, but this area has never seen anything like Monarch before. Walking into this maximalist Hong Kong-style cafe in Arcadia feels like you accidentally crashed the Mad Hatter’s tea party. The technicolored dreamscape includes plush, tie-dye chairs surrounding giant circular tables, wavy blue wallpaper, and a waterfall mosaic made from thousands of glass beads. Even the monogrammed dinner plates will have everyone in your group pulling out your phone. But it isn’t just vibes and aesthetics—the family-style dishes are delicious, too. We particularly love the salty, slippery egg crab fried fun and the curry noodle with briny squid ink noodles.

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Farmhouse Kitchen is a colorful, kitschy Thai restaurant in West Adams imported to LA from the Bay Area. There is neon pink lighting, a giant back patio, over-the-top shareable entrees, and cocktails that are served in foot-high plastic crowns—in other words, this place is clearly built for groups looking to party. The yellow curry, Thai-style fried chicken, and the panang neua, a braised short rib shank covered in rich panang curry, are all standout dishes. Although the elaborately-plated dishes here are more pricey than at other Thai spots, it’s actually worth it for a sort of silly, energetic night out after a long week of taking things too seriously.

If you haven’t had a rowdy, big group dinner at El Coyote, it simply means you haven’t lived in LA long enough. The classic Mexican restaurant on Beverly Blvd. has been around since the 1930s, and while the food isn’t anything to write home about, no one’s here for thought-provoking takes on the sopa. You’re here to drink very dangerous margaritas, eat big plates of enchiladas, and stumble out a few hours later wondering what happened.

Raffi’s is a classic Persian restaurant in the heart of downtown Glendale. While the Americana-adjacent location makes this an ideal spot to grab a quick kebab before seeing a movie, the best way to use this place is to grab every person you know and have a feast that lasts longer than the entire Godfather trilogy. The massive patio space can accommodate any size group and its party-like atmosphere makes the whole place feel like one giant family reunion. The barg, thinly sliced filet mignon, is a must-order.

Located on the second story of a West LA strip mall, Sichuan Impression has a massive dining room that can accommodate a group of just about any size. But the real reason you need to come here is that this San Gabriel Valley original serves the best Chinese food on the Westside, period. Whether it’s the sinus-clearing mapo tofu, the crowd-pleasing spicy wontons, or the tea-smoked pork ribs that’ll ruin all other ribs for you, this is food that brings people together.

As you might guess from the giant neon sign affixed to the building that shouts PASTRAMI, Johnny's—a longstanding late-night stand in West Adams that was revamped a couple of years ago—is a great destination for thick-sliced pastrami sandwiches on marble rye. But less apparent is that Johnny's is one of the best spots in the area to assemble a gaggle of hungry friends: There's a gorgeous patio in the back with enough room to seat a marching band, a menu that includes everything from matzo ball soup to crispy chicken sandwiches to banana cream pie, and a full cocktail bar next door where the fun people in your group can extend the evening if so inclined.

Serving as the ground-floor restaurant for The Mondrian, Casa Madera is a massive, clubby “Tulum-inspired” restaurant with an undeniably beautiful patio filled with white wood accents, hanging flowers, and very impressive views of the city. In other words, it’s the exact kind of place you want to be eating at when you’re looking to put on a risque outfit and get a little wild with friends on a Friday night. The food is fairly average clubstaurant-type food (save for a flavorless burger, which is just plain bad), so we recommend keeping it simple and sticking to ceviches, tacos, and margaritas.

Night + Market is one of the few good reasons to go eat on the Sunset Strip. This always-packed Thai spot consistently feels like a really great house party, one with better-than-average spicy wings, fun cocktails, and a long list of natural wines. Although there are three locations now, the Weho original is best for when the whole friend group decides to tag along, mainly because it has the biggest dining room and a back patio for overflow.

Ideally, you’d be able to host a big dinner with all your friends at home, passing around excellent-tasting potluck dishes everyone made themselves. Problem is, your best home seating option is a card table and you are all terrible at cooking. Head to Messob instead. This Ethiopian spot on Fairfax has round tables that are big enough that you all won’t be elbowing each other, and their family-style combo platters come out to under $20 a person.

The best strategy at this giant, destination restaurant in Chinatown is to bring as many people as you can squeeze into a reservation. It’s the only way you can reasonably try the giant, hunks of meat that cost three figures and are some of the best things on the modern Korean menu. Start with a few of the smaller dishes, like the bings (Chinese flatbreads that come with everything from caviar-topped eggs to spicy shredded lamb) and the macaroni and chickpeas, before moving on to the enormous, bone-in smoked short ribs. They’ll tell you they feed four to six people, but you can easily stretch it to eight.

Located on the southern edge of Koreatown, Guelaguetza is a massive Oaxacan restaurant and one of the biggest parties in the neighborhood. Whether it’s green, red, or black, this place is all about mole and you should come here with the expectation of eating a lot of it. There’s live mariachi music most nights of the week, and over 150 different kinds of tequila and mezcal. That said, the place is still very kid-friendly.

Open since 1981, this Westwood landmark is one of the oldest Persian restaurants in the neighborhood and a place you can walk into any night of the week to find first dates, family meals, and giant friend get-togethers all happening at the same time. We’d rank their tahchin, a baked basmati rice cake layered with yogurt, saffron, and barberries, as an essential dish of the neighborhood, and their curry stew isn’t far behind. Luckily with a big group, you’ll be able to try both, and then fill up the rest of your table with koobideh platters and shawarma. 

When it comes to finding a place for really big group dinners, Korean BBQ is always a good place to start. There are tons of options in Ktown, but you should go to Park's BBQ. The price point is a tad higher than others in the neighborhood, but the quality of meat is fantastic, and the atmosphere is festive without feeling like an off-the-rails college house party. The menu can be a little overwhelming at first, but as long as you stick to any of the combo platters on the back, no one goes home hungry.

Figuring out how to split up a check with a big group is right up there with bee swarms in our worst nightmares. Bludso’s makes paying easy. Their party tray feeds 12 people, and comes with brisket, ribs, whole chickens, and a heap of sides for $280 (or about $23 per person). Now that we’ve done the math for you, you can focus on the important things, like the fantastic beer selection, or making sure you get a seat facing a TV so you have something to do when you get awkwardly stuck between two separate conversations happening on either side of you.

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