You say it's your birthday? It's my birthday too yeah...but mine is more important. So help out.
February 20, 2007 2:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm turning 35 in Los Angeles next week on Wednesday the 28th. What should I do for my birthday? And if anyone says Karaoke they're gonna have to remove my shoe from their lower intestine.

Not that I have anything against karaoke. But I've done it three out of the last five years. And this year I want to do something else. Something memorable. Something...different.

But there are a bunch of caveats so let's just get to them:

1) Numbers. I know a lot of people. I invited 200 people last year. About 60 people showed when all was said and done. We were at a bar called "The Backstage" in Culver City and that seemed a decent sized space (if you know it). I'm inviting a few more this year but figure about 60-70 will come this year. Maybe more. So anywhere I do anything should be able to take on that many folks. AND have reasonable parking for them.

2) Some of my friends are poorer than others. So any 120 dollar hang gliding lessons (Which I looked into) aren't gonna cut it.

3) I don't want another dive bar. I ALWAYS end up at dive bars. I like em, but I think this year I want to shoot for something else. Don't ask me what, I don't know.

4) I don't want to do batting cages, mini golf or rollerskating. I thought about all three and the logistics get really complicated.

5) It's gotta be either on the westside, hollywood or possibly downtown. Anything else is gonna get people lost. Two people are still missing from the last thing I planned in Silverlake. But, again, in any of those areas, decent parking.

6) most important: At least three of my ex girlfriends and my current one are all planning on coming. So I need something with clearly marked and easily accessible exits.

Aside from that (har har - sarcastic laugh not pirate laugh), I'm completely open. And if anyone has any personal connections to places in LA that might want a lot more than the usual business on a wednesday.

Oh...and I need this info like right now. If you don't get an evite out a week ahead of time you might as well just forget it. So hop to it metas. Here's a chance to give me a present a week early and in a way that actually might pay off.
posted by rileyray3000 to Food & Drink (11 answers total)
jesus man.

find out if lucha libre is in town. go bull riding at the saddle ranch. maybe a party at the griffith park observatory? go see a movie at a cemetary? go play 9-hole in los feliz? go have dim sum downtown? go watch a kings game? go to a billiards hall?
posted by phaedon at 3:13 PM on February 20, 2007

How about an afternoon of volunteer work? Habitat for Humanity is building 16 houses in Harbor Gateway. That's kind of Westside.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:16 PM on February 20, 2007

Strip Club
posted by Dr. Lurker at 3:38 PM on February 20, 2007

Little too Valley for you geographically, but hands down I'd have a potluck picnic at Forest Lawn. Nothing says "I'm getting older" like corpses. And whenever I've been there there's always been plenty of parking.
posted by crinklebat at 5:13 PM on February 20, 2007

Do you want to distribute the cost to your guests [they are going to buy their own drinks, etc, and you don't want to be out any money?] Or are you spending money yourself on the event?

For starters:

I like the Hollywood Canteen for groups your size. For a weeknight they'd probably work with you.

Cinespace will also usually work with you on a weeknight.

For a restaurant, I like the patio at LaLa's on Melrose. Or Tony P's in the marina.

I like to force people to do things that are touristy sometimes, so for that reason I mention Encounter at LAX. Most people haven't been there. And it's trip-y.

People enjoy Lucky Strike at Hollywood and Highland

People also enjoy more old fashioned

You can charter a doubledecker bus from Starline and do a custom sightseeing tour.

You can go to citywalk to Howl at the Moon which is part lame and part fun and is like karaoke that doesn't totally suck because other people sing.

The museum of neon art is closed for relocation. Drat.

Vinum Populi, Culver City is tight if you will really have that many people. But it's a good party concept. People get cards that they load with money and then you buy 1 oz of wine for astronomical prices for tasting. I hate the thing on a personal level but it's great for getting people moving around and interacting.

Whatever you do you could probably get entertainment on craigslist be it tarot readers or dancing girls.
posted by Mozzie at 6:36 PM on February 20, 2007

Bowling. Something that adds an activity that everyone can do to drinking that appeals to your friends.
posted by sien at 6:36 PM on February 20, 2007

I don't know when Clifton's Cafeteria in downtown closes, but that sure would be different.
posted by Mozzie at 6:47 PM on February 20, 2007

According to their website, the Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax would be able to host a film night for you--or there's a Paul Robeson movie screening on Sunday.
posted by brujita at 11:15 PM on February 20, 2007

My apologies for posting so much, but this is my area of expertise so I just keep spewing.

Arclight sometimes has 21+ screenings making it the nicest brew-and-view. They also have an upstairs bar area that you can use for private parties during the week. But I think you'd have to guarantee.

I think I might have my birthday at the Bigfoot lodge, but I enjoy kitsch.

The hotel Figueroa downtown has an awesome bar by the pool, there is a semi-private courtyard area in the back that I think they call "Rick's". The hotel owner is slightly crazy, but overall this is usually a screaming good value. He can even hook you up with fire dancers.

If you are all about pirates there is the Redwood Bar downtown. There is also a buzz about Edison, but they have a dress code.

I'm going to shut up now.
posted by Mozzie at 12:22 AM on February 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

The idea is for me to spend as little as possible myself but I'd be willing to kick in a couple of hundred bucks. Which rules out any sort of party boat or anything like that (which runs a few grand for my number of guests).

I thought about Hotel Fig, but I think it's gonna be too cold at night by the pool (I was there for a Nov party with that problem).

Cinespace wants a 5 grand buyout for the bar so that's no good.

Silent Movie theater is running a film so that's out.

Lucky strike is done to death and, also, I'm not a big bowler. For one thing I've never done drinking and bowling well.

I guess I'm going to end up with just a bar or something, which just seems so lame and anti-climactic.
posted by rileyray3000 at 2:42 PM on February 21, 2007

The Fig also has indoor function rooms, but I've literally never had to use them for anything and I don't know what Uno would want if you used one. They usually have some space heaters, I'd be more concerned about the chance of rain. If you could use the private courtyard with it's built-in bar [I think this is Ricks, it is beyond the pool next to the parking lot] 4-5 spaceheaters would keep you toasty.

Gotham Hall just closed or else I'd say that.

You can invite everyone to some sort of activity-- but that isn't particularly social. Wednesday at IO West is Free Harold Wednesday which is interesting, free, there is a bar in the lobby, and people can come and go between the performing teams. I think one of the comedy clubs has a balcony or something you can reserve... I'm blanking on which one. One that isn't on Sunset. There is also the BB King club at Citywalk.

Being in a bar is only as lame as you let it be :) Have you been watching too much Super Sweet Sixteen? If you have a few hundred to throw in, I'd say use it on getting some entertainment, which is something that will set your party apart no matter where you are. Unless you know someone who is a member at Magic Castle, there just isn't all that much really cool going on in LA that you can exploit like this.

Depending on your personality and your friends, one big trend is kids games for adults [pin the tail on whatever, twister, magnetic fishing games]. But if you try to have a spelling bee with the wrong crowd, it isn't pretty.

Or you could get the nicest suite at a semi-random hotel. The Marriott at LAX has a nice pres suite with a pool table. You'd have to figure out the whole food and drink issue though.

There is Hollywood Park Casino. or Santa Anita or something like that.

And it is in Woodland Hills, but I've had groups that liked the Rack.

I tried to see if there was roller derby action or something offbeat like that. But I came up empty.

Citysearch has a roundup of where to throw a party in LA here. And sometimes LA blogs will turn up random things.
posted by Mozzie at 4:12 PM on February 21, 2007

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