Dance, drink and eat at the Conference Room, Playa Vista’s newest spot for ‘restau-tainment’
Story By Lawrence Yee | Photos by Jake Ahles
When Peter Georges — whose HASH and Rodini Park have become gastro go-tos in Playa Vista — was planning his third restaurant in the area, he didn’t have to look far.
His newest venture, The Conference Room, isn’t just adjacent to Rodini Park on Bluff Creek Drive, it’s actually part of the same space.
“We signed a lease for that one space where The Conference Room and Rodini Park share,” the restauranteur explained. “The landlord wanted to put in a Rodini Park. But I thought it was too large to put in [just the] Rodini. So we thought it would be great to take this huge space and carve it up into two and do two different concepts.”
With HASH catering to breakfast and Rodini to lunch, it was only natural that the Conference Room would be an evening concept. But Georges envisions it as much more.
“Happy hour is going to be our big thing — with live entertainment. We want to do a community thing, every day have something different: movie nights, a game night, maybe an open mic night. We will have live entertainment on Friday starting at happy hour.”
Georges reteamed with chef Gena Lora, who created HASH’s menu and the desserts at Rodini Park, to conceive the Conference Room’s offerings.
“The happy hour menu is going to miniature versions of what we’re serving for lunch and dinner: smothered fries (mac & cheese sauce, bacon, green onions and sour cream), a tray of four sliders (fish, chicken, beef and lamb), as well a vegetarian (jalapeno hummus, cauliflower wings) and gluten-free options,” Georges explained.
Main plates will include Scallion and Sweet Corn Arepas, Chicken Loves Waffles (buttermilk fried chicken on a cheddar waffle topped with a fried egg), and the signature CR Burger (topped with cheddar frico, caramelized onions, picked cucumbers, tomatoes and a special sauce).
But save room for dessert, which include big ice cream sundaes in see-thru margarita glasses, as well as the decadent baklava cheesecakes that are a Rodini Park favorite.
The drink menu includes wine, beer and twists on classic cocktails such Harriot’s Hemingway and Mae’s Mule. They can be enjoyed at the sleek, modern bar or one of the more intimate lounge spaces or booths.
The Conference Room is also offering non-alcoholic pick-me-ups in the form of an all-day international
coffee menu, inspired by Georges’ business travels.
“What we plan on doing is opening early and doing an international coffee menu in the morning with counter service. I used to travel the world as an executive and there were some great coffee drinks you’d have in other countries like India and Thailand and Vietnam that you can’t get here. We’re working with Groundwork to come up with an international coffee menu. We’ll see those all day long even with lunch and happy hour and dinner.”
Georges’ business background helped inspire the tongue-in-cheek restaurant name, as well.
“We’re in the corporate campus. We’re looking to capitalize on the double meaning; people coming in, talking, meeting and eating,” he explained of the Conference Room’s name. “We just thought it was such a great idea. Companies are always looking to rent out a conference room for off-site meetings, and the only thing they’re left with is those sterile bland places at hotels with nothing to offer. We hope that our neighbors catch on.”
If there’s enough interest, Georges can envision the Conference Room ballroom or hip-hop dance classes.
He hopes the formula of food plus fun will catch on.
“We’re trying to make it a really good hangout. There’s a term that caught on a year ago — ‘restau-tainment.’ It combines restaurant and entertainment and makes it more attractive. Coupled with great food — we definitely have a chef-driven menu.”
Visit conferenceroomplayavista.com for restaurant updates.