OUE Skyspace Los Angeles. Photo by Christopher Todd Studios

Unique Los Angeles venues for bar and bat mitzvahs


Your child has worked hard studying and preparing for their bar or bat mitzvah, so you’re going to want a party venue that suitably honors their achievement — and that delivers the wow factor for friends and relatives. Here are seven spots to celebrate the big day in style.

OUE Skyspace Los Angeles

Everyone loves a view. And OUE Skyspace Los Angeles, in downtown’s US Bank Tower (the tallest building west of Chicago), offers a spectacular one. The 70th-floor event space can seat up to 150. Rental rates range from $10,000 to $15,000. Note that this price does not include tables, chairs or food. Nor does it include access to the clear glass slide on the side of the building that shuttles the brave from the 70th floor to the 69th. However, that attraction can be rented for the exclusive use of your guests for $4,000 an hour.

633 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles. For more information, call (213) 894-9000 or visit oue-skyspace.com.

California Science Center

If your child is interested in science and space, it’s hard to imagine a better venue than the California Science Center in Exposition Park. The Wallis Annenberg Building makes for a dramatic setting with its partially open roof and central reflecting pool, and there’s nothing like partying next to the space shuttle Endeavour in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion. The museum’s in-house caterer, Kensington Caterers, offers a full kosher menu, but guests are welcome to use an outside service for an additional fee. Rental pricing, which includes tables, chairs and basic staging, starts at $10,000.

California Science Center. Photo by Nadine Froger Photography

700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 724-3623 or visit californiasciencecenter.org.

Annenberg Community Beach House

Have a beach-loving kid but don’t want a venue as formal as a beachfront luxury hotel? The Annenberg Community Beach House might be just the ticket — especially if you have a lot of out-of-towners coming in. Nothing says Southern California quite like Santa Monica State Beach. The Garden Terrace Room, which can seat 120 and has a dance floor, features floor-to-ceiling windows that look directly out to the sand. Summer rentals are limited and off-season rental rates for this room start at $1,500. There also is the option to add on the adjoining lounge. The neighboring Back on the Beach Café, which offers kosher menus, caters many events here, but guests can select from more than a dozen approved caterers.

415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica. For more information, call (310) 458-4904 or visit annenbergbeachhouse.com.

Calamigos Ranch

Four distinct venues on Calamigos’ 200-acre Malibu property can accommodate 80 to 500 people. In addition to the idyllic setting in the Santa Monica Mountains, the appeal of an event here is that the staff handles just about everything, from rentals to food to staffing. Of the four buildings, the Redwood Room is the most popular for b’nai mitzvah celebrations. It’s rustic but beautiful, with an impressive stone fireplace, slanted wood ceiling, bar formed with wine barrels, and lots of natural light. The $3,500 rental fee for the Redwood Room, which seats up to 400, can be applied to the required minimum (food, drink, special fabric treatments, etc.) of $20,000 to $25,000, depending on the day of the week.

327 Latigo Canyon Road, Malibu. For more information, call (818) 889-6280 or visit calamigos.com.

Petersen Automotive Museum

Petersen Automotive Museum. Photo by Vince Bucci Photography

With its knockout mountain and city views, the fourth-floor rooftop space at this venue on the Miracle Mile’s Museum Row is gorgeous. But if you or your bar or bat mitzvah wants to be surrounded by cars, consider the second floor — especially now, as a Ferrari exhibition, “Seeing Red: 70 Years of Ferrari,” is running in the Meyer Gallery through April 2018. The second floor can accommodate 300 for a seated dinner or 250 if you want a stage and dance floor. Rentals start at $6,000. The go-to caterer is the in-house Drago Ristorante, known for its pastas, pizzas and other Italian specialties. For kosher cuisine, the museum works with Pat’s Restaurant. Clients with a different caterer in mind have the option to pay a fee to use their preferred provider.

6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 930-2277 or visit petersen.org.

Lucky Strike Live

Lucky Strike Live. Photo courtesy of Lucky Strike Live

In the heart of Hollywood, at what may be Los Angeles’ first boutique bowling alley, the Marilyn Room, featuring a mural of Marilyn Monroe, accommodates approximately 100 guests for a reception-type fete. The room rental comes with its own four bowling lanes. And while you can order a teen-friendly menu of sliders, mini corn dogs or similar fare, the on-site kitchen’s offerings go well beyond the usual bowling alley grub, with items such as steamed duck bao and ahi tuna poke. Pricing available upon request.

6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. For more information, call (323) 467-7776 or visit bowlluckystrike.com.

Museum of Flying

The Museum of Flying at the Santa Monica Airport is home to several antique and experimental planes, including a Wright Flyer replica and a Boeing 727 cockpit. You don’t need pricey centerpieces when you have all this eye candy. Rental pricing starts at $5,000, which includes the required city permits and parking lot rental. If you want to treat your guests to rides in the two-person flight simulator that does 360-degree rolls and loops, add another $1,000. The museum can accommodate up to 350 guests for a formal, sit-down dinner.

3100 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. For more information, call (310) 398-2500 or visit museumofflying.org.