Honestly, what difference does it make if you serve the food family style, from a side board, or hanging from a circus high wire in a tutu while ladling gazpacho into shot glasses?
Etiquette texts of the old and dusty school will say absolutely not; get a staff! Alright, in the real world however, the staff often fails to report for duty (I sometimes wonder if they were only pithy imaginary British gents, anyway) and the food has to get from vessel to lips with one hostess and a house full of guests who seem, at least outwardly, capable enough to have read and responded to an invite, and followed directions to the house; therefore being presumably competent to amass food on a flat surface and get it to their mouth without insurmountable obstacle, all the while chatting on about that messy business in Bedford Garden Club (or, er, what have you).
I dare say, it is fine to put the food up on the counters in the kitchen, next to the plates, silverware, and napkins, and allow the diners or guests to fend for themselves in food-serving. There are times, as in the case of the this supper, with food that needs to be assembled to an individuals preferences (menus involving tortilla's and anything, for example), when the food is perfectly graciously - and more effectively - served in a spotless kitchen.
As a rule, the further the plates will move, the smaller they get (to be lap-friendly) and less precious (fewer tears shed over broken pieces). The same goes for the utensils: No sterling sees light when guests may be returning their own plates to the kitchen; to prevent it ending up in the trash by expensive accident. The napkins remain pressed cloth: Not only because paper is so flimsy, but it is eco-conscious.
Put the food out on the counters. Tell them I said so.
Saturday Night Supper Buffet
Carne Oaxaqueno Tacos with Queso Fresco