Catering Article 9/08
„Tis the season to entertain, to gather your friends, family and colleagues together in one
grand gesture of well wishes. You know you will entertain. The question is how? Black napkins
or festive prints? A demure or decadent theme? A hearty palate of rich foods or a sort of grazing
of hand passed hors de‟ oeuvres? Whether you plan to accommodate five or five thousand of
your inner circle, you want your holiday party to be more than a meal. You envision an
experience. In this grand city, entertaining in one form or another is practically synonymous with
life, and myriad venues and caterers await your beck and call to roll out a festive spread for you
and your guests.
“Taking food alone tends to make one hard and coarse,” noted cultural critic Walter
Benjamin. “Those accustomed to it must lead a Spartan life if they are not to go downhill. For it
is only in company that eating is done justice.” Fortunately, there are those whose lives‟ work
revolves around making sure that eating is, indeed, “done justice”.
One of the best is Wolfgang Puck Catering. Whether you plan to entertain in the
privacy and comfort of your own home—or other location, for that matter—or want to take
advantage of one of their seven exclusive Los Angeles venues, they offer options to boggle the
mind and dazzle your guests. The Hollywood and Highland location actually features five
separate venues for a total of over 200,000 square feet of entertainment space that can
accommodate intimate gatherings or holiday galas. With two sites, the Pacific Design Center is
perfect if you want equally to dazzle your party-goers with the fare and swathe them in elegant
style. Sony Pictures Studios gives you dramatic options for creating a party fit for the big screen.
The Kidspace Children’s Museum, located in the historic Arroyo Seco area of Pasadena, offers
almost four acres of rolling parkland with exhibit galleries and gardens. Given LA‟s gorgeous
winter weather, it‟s perfect for an outdoor party. With breathtaking views, the iconic Griffith
Observatory site is open for select events. The historic and newly remodeled art deco El Rey
Theater operates as a concert venue but also accommodates full scale parties.
Regardless of the venue, the menu or the theme, Wolfgang Puck prides themselves on
fresh, seasonal and (when possible) organic ingredients that comprise menus of what they call “a
la minute” cuisine. Reception items range from Artichoke Pizzas to Duck Wontons. Dinners may
be simple or run several courses, offering everything from Wild Roasted Sea Bass with
Mushroom Ragout to Garlic Rubbed Prime Rib along with breads and a plethora of sides. Their
desserts this time of year take on a certain delight. Full bar services are an option, and themed
parties replete with holiday splendor from design to cuisine?…well, the possibilities are endless.
If you are equally mindful of your desire to host a smashing party and of your passion to
protect the ecosystem, then Eco Caters just may be the catering company for you. Executive
Chef Nick Brune and co-founder Adam Hiner started their company with that mindset, offering
only organic, fresh, seasonal foods and buying produce from local farms where fair trade
practices are used. They also use biodegradable and compostable products, recycled paper, and
soy inks for printing. To top it all off, your feast is delivered to your private venue in hybrid
Eco Caters can design your holiday party from the smallest detail to the overall theme.
Offering chefs, servers, bartenders and valet, they want your only concern to be mingling with
your guests. All rental needs, floral arrangements and entertainment can even be arranged in-
Their holiday menu is already in place. Hors de‟ oeuvres run the gamut from a simple but
elegant fruit, cheese and cracker trays to Duck Confit Terrine and Salmon Rillette. Then comes
organic wines, top shelf drinks and a spread of delicate blend of Winter Greens, Cajun Injected
Deep Fried Turkey with Hush Puppies, Stand-Up Rib Roast with Fresh Herbs and Pan Juices,
Roasted Baby Potatoes, Oyster Dressing with Lardons and Green Bean Casserole. By the time
the Yam Ice Cream Profiteroles with Avocado Honey and Sweet Potato Pie with Cinnamon
Whipped Cream are served, your guests will probably be looking forward to your next party.
With an impressive client list, Crumble Catering has long been one of the most popular
caterers in the Los Angeles area. The catering branch of popular Mark‟s Restaurant on La
Cienaga, they stand on a firm foundation. Whether you‟re hosting a party of 5 or 5,000, Crumble
loves the challenge of transforming even the most quirky and difficult theme into a breathtaking
party event. They offer complete floral design and can liason with rental companies for all of the
tables, chair, linens and lights you‟ll need. You can opt for valet service, and all servers,
bartenders and event managers are bonded and insured. Bring them your rough idea and they‟ll
give it the holiday splendor it deserves.
They offer a basic gourmet menu that ranges from delicate and exquisitely herbed and
spiced salads and appetizers—like Spanish vegetable gazpacho with Dungeness crabmeat and
fresh California avocado—to hearty entrees and decadent desserts—like English sole roulade
stuffed in Portobello mushroom cup with roasted red pepper coulis and Flourless Belgian
chocolate cake with espresso ice cream drizzled with a white chocolate sauce. Menus vary
depending on whether you choose a sit down dinner or buffet, but one thing remains the same.
Crumble Catering enjoys creating customized holiday events based on your taste preferences and
Il Fornaio translates to “the baker” in English, but this Italian restaurant offers far more
than baked goods. Area locations in Beverly Hills, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena and Santa
Monica offer off-site catering that can turn your home or favorite venue into an authentic Italian
destination. With menus developed by the company‟s two-dozen Italian chef partners, sheer
volume of choices means that your party guests can enjoy fresh ingredients and authentic
cooking in innumerable combinations of appetizers, entrees and rich desserts. And with offerings
from tents, to dance floors, to lighting, they create custom themes, as well, for holiday parties of
any size and scale.
Of course, the specialty items are classic Italian dishes with custom twists. The Lasagne
Ferrarese features a spinach pasta layered with meat ragu, porcini mushrooms, parmesan and
béchamel. Vegetarian options include such delectable items as the Melanzane Farcite, eggplant
filled with pasta and baked with marinara sauce, smoked mozzarella and parmesan. Fresh pastas
are made daily and dried pastas are imported from the mother-land. Sit-down dinner options
include soup, salad or appetizer, dessert and coffee service…along with fresh baked breads and
all the trappings! Buffet packages come in mind-boggling options. And last but not least if, like
British comedian Jo Brand, you believe that “anything good is made of chocolate,” Il Fornaio‟s
decadent holiday desserts will elevate your party to divine.
After more than twenty years in the thriving Silverlake district, Cha Cha Cha continues
to bring exciting, innovative cuisine to its diners. It brings the same energy and enduring family
recipes to its catering clientele. Executive Chef Toribio Prado‟s passion for contemporary
Caribbean cuisine is practically legendary, his signature dishes having graced the palates of
Sophia Loren (he was her personal chef) and diners at The Ivy long before he opened Cha Cha
If you are looking for a delicious, fun and casual individually plated or buffet style event
for 2 to 2,000, this is your destination. Many of their restaurant classics translate well to their
catering menu, too, including the Jamaican Jerk Chicken, which is practically a cult favorite (and
secret recipe), having been featured in films and on numerous cooking shows. Other main
courses include innovative dishes like Halibut Tropical (Filet of halibut sautéed with garlic &
white wine, topped off with strawberries, mango & papaya) and Bistec Argentino (aged New
York strip with sweet onions in an Argentine steak sauce). And they create dishes with Plantains
that you can‟t imagine and lay out smooth, creamy and spicy desserts fit for any palate!
Like Wolfgang Puck, Patina Catering is another option for fine food in numerous on or
off-site locations of your choice. Executive Chef and founder Joaquim Spilchal and his team
have created varied menus, customized for over a dozen locations. With an emphasis on cuisine
that is as contemporary and artful as Patina‟s restaurant locations, their buffet or sit-down menus
will bring elegance and style to your holiday gathering of any size. Full service design options
are yours for the asking. http://www.patinagroup.com/catering/
Mrs. Garcia’s Catering offers an intriguing blend of Mexican and Hawaiian cuisines.
Owner and Chef John Lee was born into the restaurant business, with a father who was a chef at
the classic Brown Derby. Everyone from Bob Hope to King Gustof of Sweden have enjoyed this
unusual blend of international fare. Mr. Lee can customize a menu for your off-site holiday
party, accommodating anywhere from 10 to 2000. Here the emphasis is on the food, which they
pride in customizing to your existing theme and décor. http://www.mrsgarciascatering.com/
Capers Catering offers a personal touch so important to holiday party hosts. A favorite
among gay clients who sought quality catering for their recent wedding festivities, owner and
chef Roberta Deen pairs an empathetic ear and connections with top LA vendors with your
entertainment vision. Combining those things, she can create the holiday event of your dreams at
the venue of your making. With an emphasis on “service, style and fine food,” she and her small
staff enjoy the challenge of customizing menus and themes to meet your needs.
For an eclectic taste of European fare at your holiday event, try the California Canteen.
Banquet or buffet menus can be delivered to your private venue. Or reserve the Le Patio Cigale,
their moderate indoor banquet space themed after a Parisian Café. From Italian pastas to French
seafood and simple but rich and classic desserts, the Canteen offers the quality essential to the
success of a memorable holiday soiree. http://www.californiacanteen.com/
Wokcano Restaurant, with six locations in the LA area, is another event favorite. Onsite
or off, their extensive Chinese fusion and sushi offerings can be customized to fit the taste and
scale of your party. They also offer full-bar service. http://www.wokcanocafe.com/
Priding themselves on offering “fresh fast food”, Gourmet a go go operates from a
small-hands on restaurant where service and quality are inseparable. Chef Gail and her intimate
staff handcraft everything from Coconut and Macadamia Crusted Chicken to Mushroom and
Asparagus Risotto to a plethora of pizzas. They get great reviews on their holiday spreads.
If it‟s simply a space you need there are banquet facilities galore in this fine city. The
Edendale Grill in Silverlake was once home to a 1920s fire station and pays homage to old
school Hollywood. Their private party and banquet space is charming and yours for the
For a more resplendent holiday frolic, consider Hollywood‟s iconic Roosevelt Hotel.
Home of the first Academy Awards in 1929, it‟s been restored to its original Spanish colonial
architecture. The Blossom Room is perfect for a large gathering.
Studio City‟s Sportsmen’s Lodge has ten event rooms available, ranging from small to
large enough to hold 1,000 of your closest friends. From complete A/V systems to dance floors
to lighting systems, this historic landmark still has what it takes to rock some of the finest parties
in the city. http://www.sportsmenslodge.com/
From casual fare to fine cuisine and elegant destinations to custom deliveries, may you
find exactly what you need to make your holiday party not just a gathering, but an event to be
remembered and emulated for years to come!