Tag Archives: City of Orange

La Bartender in Orange County for Two Parties

31 Oct
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Metropolis themed Halloween party in Orange

Shaken Not Stirred, the LA bartender service was in Orange County last weekend to service two big parties. This was Halloween weekend for most people in Southern California and most of the Halloween parties were held Saturday night. I can’t tell you how many calls I had from people wanting bartenders at the last moment. My client was smart and booked me months ago.

The Halloween party in the city of Orange I guess is an annual event, but this was my first time doing it. They had the house decorated very nicely with a Metropolis, speakeasy type theme. I was nervous and arrived plenty early to get things set up. My motto for bartending is be prepared. I was nervous because the bartender who was supposed o work with me on this party dropped out at the last minute. I had to use a bartender I had never used before and I was afraid he was going to suck. I got a barback too that I had never used before.

The extra bartender showed up early which was a good sign and he brought a big cooler with him. I think he did a good job, but don’t know for sure because once the party started we were so busy at our seperate bars we didn’t have a moment to spare. At most times during the night I had a line of people leading up to the bar. The barback showed on time and helped us alot. We served out of almost everything by the end of the night. We used almost 300lbs of ice.

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Shots!

LA Bartender Service

  • Birthday parties and anniversaries
  • Corporate events
  • Weddings
  • Holiday parties
  • Openings
  • Reunions

One thing I want to mention was the entertainment, Phil Shane. He was just incredible and I guess he is kind of an Orange County legend. He can sing Elvis better than Elvis, and did a whole range of Elvis songs, Jimmy Buffett, Neil Diamond, Conway Twitty, and many other classics. The guy did not singing the entire five hours I was there. He was a genuine human juke box. At the end of the party he came up to me and tipped me, because I kept sending him drinks. I told him, that it was me that should be tipping him.

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Some of the ladies at Laguna Beach Reunion

I stayed at a motel in OC Saturday night because on Sunday I had to do a reunion at the Laguna Beach Women’s Club. The reunion was for a group of ladies that went to a Catholic high school in Tehran, Iran in the seventies. Their families had to leave the country after the Iranian revolution in 1979. So, many of the ladies traveled from far and wide to attend this event.

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Vintage photo at Laguna Beach Women’s Club

They had a great time and danced to traditional Persian music and ate traditional Persian food. I served Mojitos and margaritas, and I helped clear the plates from the dinner. I drove back to LA after the party and was dog tired. I was supposed to do another event tonight (Halloween), but they cancelled this morning. I was just as glad. The LA bartender had a full weekend. This week I am bartending an event I have done twice previously – the Gingerbread Boutique in Westlake Village. Then on Friday I am returning to Silver Lake to bartend a birthday party that I also did last year.

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Laguna Beach after the rain

LA Mobile Bartending Service Does Five Events

25 Oct
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Uber driver taking me to event

Last week was a very busy week for the LA mobile bartending service, Shaken Not Stirred, with five big events all in the Los Angeles Area. Two of the events were at the same residence in Pacific Palisades, there was a fundraiser in Sherman Oaks on Tuesday, a birthday party in Sylmar on Saturday, and then an open house at a store in Venice on Sunday. I think all of the events went well, but I was not operating at full capacity on three of them, because I think I got food poisoning somewhere along the way.

On Monday I was sitting at home at around 5pm in Van Nuys when I got a call to do a bartending job in Pacific Palisades at 630pm. I told the guy I didn’t think I could make it in time. It was not somebody I had ever worked for before. He said, “Would it help you if I sent a car to come get you?” “Yes, that would help me,” I said. He arranged an Uber and within 15 minutes I in the backseat of a Lexus on my way to Pacific Palisades. I did the job, and they sent me home in a different Uber. I must say that spoiled me a bit. Ironically I had done another event at that same house for a different group of people before.

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“Sucah” in Pacific Palisades

On Tuesday I returned to a house in Sherman Oaks to bartend a fundraiser for the City of Hope Chancellors Club. There were many dignitaries in attendance including the LA County Sheriff, Jim Mcdonnell, many superior court judges, and other political and business leaders from around Los Angeles. The Chancellor’s Club supports the City of Hope in its cancer research and sounds like a very worthwhile cause. I served a lot of wine and a few mixed drinks and the organizers of the event were very happy with me and said they would use me for future events in different parts of the city.

The next day the guy from Pacific Palisades called me again. He offered me another job for Friday night at the same household. He didn’t offer the Uber again and I didn’t ask. It was not last minute. So on Friday I drove out there in my own car (imagine, the horror).  I had time to kill in Santa Monica and was hungry. I was looking for a place to eat on the Third Street Promenade. I finally decided on a place with a nice patio and good guitar player performing on the street nearby. It was pricey and pretentious and I was irritated by the slow service. I am not one to usually complain, being in the service industry myself, so that tells you how bad it was. The food matched the mediocre service. I was thinking about writing a bad Yelp review, and a place has to be terrible before I will do that. Well, I went to do the second event in Pacific Palisades and it quickly became clear that something was wrong. I could barely get through the event, though I don’t think it was apparent to the guests I was serving. When I got home I was having fever and chills. I tossed and turned all night and was nauseous.

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Grandmother and family at 70th birthday party

The next day I felt horrible and knew I had to do a 70th birthday party in Sylmar that night and then have a quick turnaround and be in Venice for the store event in the morning. I tried to take it easy all day Saturday, but I had no appetite. I hoped that I could make it through the two events I had contracted to do. I showed up on time to the event in Sylmar and I pulled it off, though I must admit I was not operating at full capacity. The people that hired me have a catering company and they were so much help to me. They thought I did a great job, but I felt I could have done better. I was miserable operating on almost zero sleep and very little food. I got home at midnight with chills and fever again and set my alarm clock for seven the next morning. I had to be in Venice by nine.

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Band playing at Sylmar birthday party

I made it to Venice on time and with coffee I was able to muster enough energy to pull the final job of the week off. The store Christy Dawn is a specialty vintage inspired dress shop and they were holding a promotion where they had matching dresses for mothers and daughters. I served mimosas and Kombucha. It was a very mellow event which was about all I could handle. The owners were super nice people and they started their business in their garage and are now having great success both online and in their storefront.

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Kombucha – an acquired taste

This weekend is Halloween weekend and the LA mobile bartending service will transition into Orange County to do a Halloween Party in the City of Orange on Saturday night, and then a reunion in Laguna Beach on Sunday. November is looking to be very busy, as there are many corporate weekday events already scheduled.

Villa Park Dinner Party

14 Oct
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Guests mingle for cocktail hour

One of my best clients called me to provide bartending service for a Wednesday night dinner party she and her husband were hosting at their home in Villa Park. Villa Park is a very nice upscale community near the city of Orange in Orange County. The dinner was a business event and 25 guests were invited. I was there to make cocktails before dinner and assist with serving the dinner.

I have said this before, but these clients have the best backyard bar I have ever worked at. It is well stocked with top shelf liquor, and is better equipped than many restaurant bars. It is a real pleasure to work from. I was serving Veuve Clicquot champagne and many of the guests drank that at cocktail hour. It is an exceptional brand of champagne. I made a few cocktails and the catering service, Jillian Fae Chef Services, put out some amazing appetizers, including oysters on the half shell, fresh scallops, and a wonderful spread of cheeses.

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Oysters on the halfshell at Villa Park dinner party

After the cocktail party the guests moved to their tables for a four course dinner. I poured wine and kept the cocktails coming, while a waiter from the catering company started serving the dinner. When I wasn’t busy pouring wine and making drinks, I helped the waiter serve the food and clear the plates. It is something I have quite a bit of experience doing, because I worked in fine dining for years. The chef put out an excellent dinner that included a pear salad, short ribs, and many other goodies.

Dinner Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Find a caterer to go with theme
  • Invite interesting guests

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    No cheap wine served in Villa Park

The dinner party in Villa Park was a big success because it was well planned and executed. Hopefully I will return there many more times. Tomorrow I will travel to Woodland Hills to bartend a birthday party, and then next weekend I am going to Sylmar to make drinks for a 70th surprise birthday party. Call are starting to come in for the holiday season and I booked two repeat holiday parties in November yesterday. There are still many dates left in December, but they will go fast.

40th Birthday Party in the City of Orange

1 Jun
Friends and family enjoy a toast

Friends and family enjoy a toast

Saturday night Shaken Not Stirred traveled to the City of Orange to bartend a 4oth birthday party. They requested a server and I took one of my best with me. We arrived on time, but no thanks to my GPS, which took me on some convoluted route that potentially cost us 30 minutes on the road. I hate being late, and always leave plenty early – I would rather arrive way early and hang out in the area, than be stressing in heavy traffic with only minutes to go. In Los Angeles, traffic on Saturdays is murder.

The drink special of the night was the Vodka Collins. I make the drink with vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda. The drink seemed to be a hit because many people kept returning for another. I also made some Old Fashioneds, and we served Victoria beer, which seems to be the popular new Mexican beer on the scene. Moet Chandon was the champagne of choice, and we also served Nero D’Avola, the red wine from Sicily.

Makeshift dance floor

Makeshift dance floor

The party took place in a condo and we set up the portable bar in the kitchen. We used real glassware, which was always nice. They did not hire a caterer, but instead got empanadas and finger sandwiches. My server kept replenishing the food and helped me with glassware etc. We both kept pretty busy the entire party.

Shots!

Shots!

I was hired to do this party from another party I had bartended at in Orange County. I was booked to do another party in October, at this one. It is always nice when I don’t have work so hard to generate new business. I am constantly bidding on Thumbtack, Gig Salad, and leads that come from Yelp and this blog. My phone skills are much better than they were in the beginning, and if I can get new clients on the phone, I can usually close the deal.

Shaken Not Stirred has been in business for over two years and I have bartended at over 150 events.  This week I have three events scheduled, including a wedding at the McCormick Ranch Home in Camarillo, a Vegas themed cocktail party in Manhattan Beach, and a champagne tasting in Santa Monica on Sunday.

Christmas Party in the City of Orange

15 Dec

Last night I bar tended a Christmas party in the City of Orange – the hills of Orange actually, at a very nice residence in a gated community. As a mobile bartender I have gone all over Southern California and have worked at many nice homes and venues, and have met an interesting cross section of people. Some of my clients are very wealthy and have huge fully stocked marble bars and fire pits outside and restaurant style patio heaters, and fine glassware, and some are working class people who throw backyard parties with a folding table set up for a bar, tubs full of beer, and plastic cups. I like doing all kinds of parties, and meeting all kinds of people.

Last night’s event was a small party of around twenty people. The bar was stocked very well, and had a nice selection of fine vodkas, including Jean Marc XO vodka, which is a French hand-crafted vodka, which is very refined for straight sipping. The host had ice balls that fit right into a cocktail glass and were just right for straight sipping different liquors. That was the first time I had ever seen those. I learn something new each time.

The hostess came up with the specialty drink, which was a Peartini. It was made with Pear infused Grey Goose vodka, a dash of Disaronno, a dash of Sweet and Sour, and topped off with champagne with a pear slice garnish. The drink was a big hit. I came up with a Fireball Martini, which was vodka with a dash of Fireball Whiskey, and a dash of bitters. I don’t know about that one – a couple people said that they liked it, but they didn’t order a second one.   

Peartini

Peartini

Christmas party bar

Christmas party bar

Guests mingling

Guests mingling

Next weekend I am doing a holiday party in Santa Barbara, and am renting a bunch of glassware for the party. If you need glassware, I can get most of what you need and rentals range from .75 to $1 per glass. I have a New Years Eve party booked in Upland, and have started to book weddings in the spring. Book your event now – don’t wait until the last minute, but if it is the last minute, call me anyway, I may be able to help you. Shaken Not Stirred is a mobile bartending service that covers the entire Southern California region.        

Shaken Not Stirred: Serving the Entire Los Angeles Area

3 May

I have bartended for all around Los Angeles for all kinds of events – small private birthday parties, corporate office parties, weddings, and large scale fundraisers. Last weekend I worked for another event company at a Cal State Long Beach, fundraiser that had over eight hundred guests in attendance. There were eight bartenders working the event and I manned one of the VIP bars. Needless, to say – we were busy. I was facing a wall of people waiting for drinks from 5pm to 10 pm. Basically I had no break that entire time.

This was good experience for me. I have done it before but it is always good to get thrown into the fire once in awhile because it prepares you for all kinds of situations that arise. Halfway through, I ran out limes and straws, I didn’t have enough wine bottles pre-opened, which slowed me down. I did the best I could and got through it, but I will definitely be better prepared next time. A good bartender anticipates problems before hand and takes extra precautions. I probably served hundreds of drinks at the fundraiser – I think most of the people were happy. I went through a case of Absolut vodka and at least three cases of wine and a bunch of everything else.

Spring is the season for many events – weddings, pool parties, concerts, and holiday parties. This Saturday night I will be working a private Cinco De Mayo party in Norwalk. Shaken Not Stirred is a Los Angeles bartending service and I travel all overLos Angeles,Orange, and Ventura counties doing gigs. I was offered a job in Palm Springs last week and was prepared to go, but the deal fell through. I’m sure the opportunity will come up again.

I love bartending part time. I like making good drinks that people enjoy and I love going into all different kinds of situations and areas in Southern California for new experiences. I can honestly say I have not had a bad experience at one of these gigs yet. The secret I think is that I serve people the way I would like to be served. I am happy bartending on a back yard picnic table or at a fancy marble poolside bar beside a waterfall. Shaken Not Stirred serves private and corporate events from Burbank to Beverly Hills, from Ojai to the City of Orange.