Hi there. I'm looking for a place to celebrate my 30th birthday in the Santa Monica/Venice area, maybe Culver City, too. There will probably be about 20 people coming and going throughout the evening. Ideally I'd like a place where people could mingle and not just be stuck sitting at a table. Someplace with a private area/patio/nook/ would be perfect, but I don't want to pay to rent a room. I'm flexible with price range, open to something like a casual Mexican restaurant or a swankier hotel bar. Tasty food is, of course, a huge plus. In past years I've taken over the bar area at Rustic Canyon, lounged on the couches at Casa del Mar and slummed it at the old Townhouse in Venice. I've read the numerous postings on this same topic and have come up with some ideas, but would love to get your feedback since I haven't been to some of them lately.
La Cabana (not sure if you can reserve the patio?)
Lares (is the upstairs all tables or is there room for mingling?)
Shangri - La Hotel
1414 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401