Epic celebrations deserve special planning. What makes this group of contenders special? They’ve also got catering on lock. Check out one or more of these venues the next time you’re short on ideas; it’ll take care of two checklist items at once.
The Patio Marketplace (Intersect) – Irvine
An office complex at the corner of Von Karman and Main contains more than worker bees. An on-site restaurant caters to everyone– whether dining in or ordering online and picking up lickety split. Their entire space includes an extensive outdoor play area, featuring ladder ball, volleyball, hoops, ping pong, putt putt and even a hen house! A secondary bar with upstairs seating is perfect for a summer get-together. This won’t be a best kept secret for long. 17877 Von Karman Ave., Ste. 110, (949) 490-5906; www.thepatiomarketplace.com.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar – Newport Beach
A downstairs private dining room received one hell of an upgrade this year, as Fleming’s launches a multi-sensory dining experience. Being called an Immersive Wine Dinner, think Soaring over California (when it was still the Disney attraction) with food and beverage service. Photos of the space won’t do it justice. The multi-course dinner is coordinated by Chef/Partner Kevin Monahan. Give guests a truly unique meal. And yes, they serve much more than steak. 455 Newport Center Dr., (949) 720-9633; www.flemingssteakhouse.com.
Soho Taco – Santa Ana
Most food truck aficionados will already be familiar with the brand, but did you know they also do respectable catering? Tastings take place in their modern, yet cozy showroom. You can certainly book one of their tricked out taco carts, but we also advise a tasting of their appetizers and fruity lemonades. And yes, the showroom is definitely available for rent. 132 E. Dyer Rd., (714) 793-9392; www.sohotaco.com.
SeaLegs at the Beach – Huntington Beach
From the cheeky team that brought you SeaLegs, they’ve got a venue built for partying. The first annual Dîner en Blanc was held on the sandy property. And you can’t beat the proximity to the ocean. Show your out-of-town guests how it’s done in the OC, and hold your next celebration somewhere with excellent sunsets. 17851 Pacific Coast Hwy., (714) 698-4188; www.sealegsatthebeach.com.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.