Tag Archives: Persian

Porter Ranch Engagement Party and Los Angeles Sip and See

29 Jun
Guests arriving to Porter Ranch engagement party

Guests arriving to Porter Ranch engagement party

This past weekend Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services at two events – the first being an engagement party in Porter Ranch, and then a daytime party in Los Angeles, as new parents celebrated the birth of their daughter.  Summer is here and so is the heat, the backyard parties, pool parties, large wedding and barbecues. Each type of party has its own kinds of challenges.

The engagement party at Porter Ranch was a backyard event that had two bars, and I provided two bartenders to serve 100 guests.  The future bride was of Persian heritage, and engagement parties are a big part of the Persian wedding tradition. I have done several Persian themed engagement parties and they have all been quite large and elaborate affairs.  For this event, I took my long time associate Mia to help me. She is always dependable and always a pro.

We set up two bars from scratch and that is all part of the preparation. The engagement party is structured similar to a wedding, and there is a program where certain things have to happen at certain times. The future bride’s brother acted as the MC of the event and he did an excellent job.  We served lots of Jack Daniels, Bacardi, and Kettle one.  The party went until midnight and the people were still dancing and having a great time as we broke the bars down.

Shots!

Shots!

I had a quick turnaround, because I didn’t get home until after one am, then had to be in mid-city Los Angeles to bartend the “sip and see” Sunday morning. The Cathay neighborhood of Los Angeles near Olympic and Fairfax is where I lived when I first came to LA, over twenty years ago. The nice thing about that neighborhood is that they get a nice ocean breeze, and it is typically 20 degrees cooler than the San Fernando Valley in the summer. The “Sip and See,” was a party organized by the parents so friends and family could see their one month old daughter. They did not have a baby shower, and instead chose to do it this way.

I set up my portable bar on the patio and we served Bloody Marys, Mimosas,  and Ginger Peach Bellinis. We always served  Bellinis for Sunday bruch when I worked at the former Frascati Ristorante in Redondo Beach, so I was quite familiar with them. I made the Bellini mix with ginger syrup and peach puree. All you need to do is pour in champagne.  It was a fun event and many of the guests sat out by the bar socializing. Simple Things of Los Angeles provided the food and I highly recommend it. They had the most amazing breakfast sandwiches and unique finger foods.

Urban garden in Los Angeles

Urban garden in Los Angeles

The Fourth of July is coming up next Saturday and I will be traveling to Orange County to bartend in the community of Villa Park. I am still available for Friday and Sunday parties, if anyone in the Los Angeles or Orange County is interested.

Shots!

Shots!

Valentine’s Day Wedding in West Hills

15 Feb

westhills1Saturday was Valentine’s Day and Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service and servers for a wedding in West Hills. This was my first time bartending an Ethiopian wedding, and it was quite an incredible experience. This is what I love about doing event bartending. I am exposed to so many different cultural customs and traditions at landmark events in people’s lives. I have bartended at Mexican weddings, Armenian Christenings, Qinceaneras,  Vietnamese engagement parties, Persian weddings, traditional Jewish weddings, military weddings,  and all kinds of birthday parties.

This Valentine’s Day wedding was held at a house in West Hills, on the far North west edge of the San Fernando Valley that overlooks the entire valley. The weather could not have been nicer. When you are planning weddings in Southern California, the odds are pretty good that there is a ninety percent chance of no rain. This particular house is available for weddings and other events, and I did not get the name of it, but it was an incredible venue.

Traditional Ethiopian wedding dance

Traditional Ethiopian wedding dance

I brought two servers with me and three of us were busy the entire time. I had spoken with the bride several times leading up to the event and I helped her plan a shopping menu.  Unfortunately, we had plenty of alcohol, but everybody seemed to only want one choice – Grey Goose. We ran out of Grey Goose vodka two hours into the reception and I sent one of my girls out to buy more.  Then a couple hours later we ran out again! I left the reception leaving the girls to hold down the fort and went and bought more. I am not a big believer in Grey Goose and think that it is way overpriced, but it was what the hosts wanted.

We served the champagne toast and we helped serve the wedding cake and then the party started winding down. I am bartending a 60th birthday party in Northridge on the 28th and am still available for the 21st, so who knows where that will take me. In March I have three events in Palm Springs, all on weekdays, so I still have three Saturdays open. The final Saturday of March I have a big wedding in Santa Ynez, where I will provide bartending service. And winter is almost over.

February in Southern California

February in Southern California

Chatsworth Engagement Party

22 Sep

Shaken Not Stirred manned another successful back yard event last night – an engagement party in Chatsworth. Over 100 people attended the party and it seemed a great time was had by all. Although I wasn’t contracted to bring a barback, I brought my son, Willie, to train him. As it turned out I really needed him and he was a big help. I usually recommend having a barback or second bartender for parties over 100 people.

As you see in the pictures, the “bar” was made up of six foot folding tables covered by table cloths and that worked just great. People often ask me if I have a bar for rent, or if they should rent a bar. Bar rentals cost as much as $300 a night, and it really isn’t necessary. In fact, I prefer working with the table set up, because there is more room and the table is usually just the right height. The moral of this story is, unless you think a real bar will make your party look that much better, it really isn’t necessary – a folding table with table cloth works just fine. If you have a home bar already, great!

A friend of the engaged couple donated the beer and it was a big hit. The beer we served was St. Archer Blonde Ale and is brewed at St. Archer Brewery in San Diego. We went through at least four cases over the course of the night. As the weather gets cooler, wine becomes more popular. We served several bottles of various red wines, and several bottles of white, as well as a few bottles of champagne. This was a younger crowd, so they drank quite a bit.

Traditional Persian cuisine was served including lula, chicken, and beef kebobs, saffron rice, and other traditional dishes. I was so busy that I didn’t get a card from the caterer, which I usually try to do. They had a DJ and a dance floor also and the party went on until after midnight.

Party before the action

Party before the action

Willie in training mode

Willie in training mode

Party raging...

Party raging…

Table bar setup

Table bar setup

Holiday season is fast approaching and I have booked one Halloween party so far. I still have a few weddings booked in October and early November and then I imagine the focus will shift to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. parties. It is best to book early. Shaken Not Stirred serves all of Los Angeles County, and we also go to Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties. In fact, we’ll go anywhere for the right price.