dinner parties done right?

city view

I have a few friends working for cool-sounding start-up companies, but when they get down to explaining the concept behind the business, I bet sometimes I’m making a very perplexed expression on my face. In fact I probably did that when I first heard about Zokos, but now I think I’m getting it. Maybe you’ve got some skills in the kitchen and like to throw parties with good food, but you’re living on more of a spaghetti budget these days. You could ask your friends to chip in for the ingredients to throw a party, but that gets a little awkward. Maybe they forget to contribute, or they invite a surprise guest who doesn’t pay their share. No one bothers to bring along a dessert or even bottle of cheap wine. After hours in the kitchen and $200 blown at Whole Foods, your friends may be impressed, but you’re thinking, “I just can’t afford to throw dinner parties anymore.” Zokos takes care of the awkwardness. Friends buy “tickets” to the event, paying up front. There’s a minimum number of people required for an event to happen at all. Everyone chips in, so it’s totally fair. And if for some reason nobody signs up for your “Frog’s Legs 13 Ways-themed Tasting,” you can simply call it off. Well, that’s my understanding of Zokos so far, and I’ve been to a couple of their events recently (I paid my own way both times, for the record). The party I attended over the holiday weekend was great for a few reasons.  Reason #1 — the view (above). If I had that view from my roof deck (ha, I don’t have a deck at all), I’d want to throw parties all the time too.

Veronica Chan and friends

Reason #2 — the people. That’s one of the hosts in the middle, my friend Veronica. She co-hosted the dinner party with Joann and Andrew (not pictured, and full disclosure, Andrew works for Zokos). I met a lot of cool, new people there too, like Quinton and Greg in the photo above, and too many more to list them all here. And Veronica is holding a tray of Reason #3 — tacos!

nori popcorn and kabobs

Reasons #4 and #5 — Veronica’s nori-flavored popcorn and food on sticks. Isn’t anything served on a stick just a little bit yummier?


Reason #6 — kimbap, more kimbap than I’ve ever seen in one place before.  By the way, if you don’t know, kimbap is a sort of Korean sushi, as you probably guessed from the photo.

gazpacho with shrimp

Reason #7 — gazpacho with shrimp, and a big tray of extra shrimp for people like me who can’t get quite enough.


Reason #8 — well, there were some other reasons I skipped (and one I missed because they apparently served a tray of this dessert after I’d departed), but I saved the best for last… oysters. And see, that’s the cool thing about the event. If I was throwing a party at home on my own tab, I probably wouldn’t spring for oysters. Call me cheap, but I think that’s a serious splurge. But when everyone chips in for the meal in advance, it might just fit the budget. That’s pretty cool, if you ask me.

8 thoughts on “dinner parties done right?

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