A friend's asked me to scope out the possibilities for a party of 20 people in their late 20s. She loved my suggestion of Aziza, but felt like $55 (plus alcohol) was a lot to ask from a group of people that includes starving students.
Criteria are fun and casual. It's a special occassion, but they don't need a private room or realy fancy setting. They just want a place that will let them lounge, eat, and drink without it being a proper sit down dinner where they'll have to dine and dash.
So I thought about it and checked out some websites, and it looks like these are good possibilities:
Orson--this was the only idea I had that really excited me. The mezzanine seats up to 30, and I've eaten a nice dinner there for about $40 including a cocktail. There was sharing involved, but it was doable. And since it's a great place for dinner, drinks, and dessert, they can linger for hours.
Some other ideas:
I'd like to get some suggestions that are even more casual than these, but still nice. Alas, 20 is a huge crowd for most SF restaurants. Any help?