Thursday, June 23, 2016

Good Restaurants for Biggish Groups

Today (Thurs.) was the annual Thurs. Writers Summer Solstice Potluck Picnic.  Actually when we all got tired of the hassle of potluck picnics (this one can't eat that, that one can't touch this,) we shifted to lunch at a restaurant a few years ago. 

Today's lucky joint was the El Torito at 600 S. Sepulveda, Manhattan Beach.  We occupied the patio on the eastern side of the restaurant.  We had a good day - sunny, but not hot and better still the 15 of us had the whole patio to ourselves. 

Service was thoughtful - waiters brought more chairs without being bidden; orders were taken and delivered accurately and the food was hot!  Donna, on my left, had shrimp and mahi mahi fajitas on a platter so hot it sizzled and steam wafted off of it for a good five minutes.  And Donna was hungry!  And here's all of this food! 

We all sympathized (briefly);  as we tore into our own plates.  We weren't raised by wolves, but one does have an obligation to the chef to eat his creations while still warm.  I knew you'd agree!

All of the checks came to the right diner (and there were at least eight of them.)  Very professional.

I can only tell you our tab and if we hadn't had four Pacificos at $26.36, our tab would have only been $12.99 (bacon-wrapped shrimp) and $15.99 (shrimp Mazatlan) and would have been relatively inexpensive.

Other venues we have tried.  All had good food, reasonably priced.

The Fish Store, Pier just south of PCH, right hand side.  We had the patio, but we also had individual tables for four which made visiting difficult without leaving your table.. 

California Pizza Kitchen, inside, at long table in the main dining room.  It was so loud, no one could hear anything.  Both ends had only their next door neighbor with whom to chat.  Because it was busy, you took your life in your hands to get up and work the long line of diners.  We agreed - Patio next time.

Something Promising - Rosa's on PCH, Hermosa Beach, has a huge dining room and very few customers using it at lunch.  We could really hold forth there and Rosa's is a very pretty restaurant  - handpainted Mexican-themed original art work on the walls.  Slit your eyes and you could be in Mexico. 

Writers are canny and we can almost always find a suitable bolt hole.  If you've got a few, let us know!  We tip well!

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