Christmas and New Year's restaurant roundup
Looking to celebrate Christmas and New Year's out on the town? Whether you're in the mood for caviar and truffles, prime rib, roasted leg of lamb, crab salad, sushi or a pizza party, several restaurants are here to help with the festivities:
Bäco Mercat: The new downtown restaurant from chef Josef Centeno is celebrating Christmas Eve and New York's Eve with family-style dinners. On Christmas Eve, braised beef shank comes with a stack of bäco flatbreads, salad and sides for $75 and serves two to four people. On the New Year's Eve menu is suckling pig with bäco breads, salad and sides for $80 and serves two. Call for reservations. 408 S. Main St., Los Angeles, (213) 687-8808, www.bacomercat.com.
BOA Steakhouse: The Sunset Strip steakhouse will feature menu specials such as prime rib and whole branzino on Christmas Eve. For New Year’s Eve, the restaurant will have live entertainment with a DJ,four-course prix-fixe menu and two seatings: 6:30 ($95) and 9:30 p.m. ($165). The Santa Monica location offeres a “surf & turf” NYE menu ($75) including dishes such as pan-seared scallops with truffled foie gras risotto with a wild mushroom demi-glace, smoked chipotle, coffee-braised prime short ribs with snow crab cluster and strawberry honey biscuit shortcake with white chocolate cream. 9200 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 278-2050, 101 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 899-4466, boasteak.com.
Cafe del Rey: Ring in 2012 seaside at Café del Rey with a three-course prix-fixe menu centered on fresh seafood. Some menu highlights include lobster thermidor with brandy and hollandaise sauce, and Wagyu beef tartare with black currants and olives. Additional New Year’s Eve specials such as duck confit crostini and truffle risotto will also be available. The first seating begins at 5:30 ($65 per person), and the second at 8:30 p.m. ($95 per person, including a glass of sparkling wine). 4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, (310) 823-6395, www.cafedelreymarina.com.
Cecconi's: Dinner at Cecconi's this New Year's Eve is a black-tie affair. The restaurant is serving an elegant four-course dinner at $235 per person. For the first course, diners can choose between cream of parsnip soup with white truffle, corn Madeleine with crème fraîche and caviar, or hamachi tartare in a plantain cone. The next courses range from smoked ahi tuna carpaccio with blood orange and wild fennel pollen to wood-roast spicy rock lobster, clams and saffron guazzetto. For dessert, chocolate fondant with coconut gelato, panettone delizia with warm Moscato zabaglione or torrone semifreddo with pistachio sauce. Reservations are available for 8 p.m. and will secure your table for dinner and DJ until 2012. 8764 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 432-2000, www.cecconiswesthollywood.com.
Chaya: Chaya's three restaurants -- in Beverly Hills, downtown L.A. and Venice -- are hosting themed New Year's Eve soirées that include "Midnight in Paris," "New York Nights" and "Mardi Gras Carnival." Each destination will feature prix-fixe menus, live entertainment and midnight toasts. In downtown L.A., experience New York with live jazz and Chaya's signature Euro-Asian cuisine with a "bonsai box" of big-eye tuna sushi, Kumamoto oyster and sea urchin shooter and a Moroccan-spiced maple leaf duck salad. 525 S. Flower St., L.A., (213) 236-9577, thechaya.com.
City Tavern: This craft beer bar in Culver City will be hosting “Brew Year's Eve.” From 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., patrons can drink unlimited beer, wine and Champagne for $68 per person. A reduced price of $56 is extended to guests with a dinner reservation. In addition, booths accommodating six to eight people can be reserved for $100 per person. 9739 Culver Blvd., Culver City, (310) 838-9739, www.citytavernculvercity.com.
Drago Centro: On Christmas Eve, Drago Centro is celebrating with the feast of seven fishes. The seven- course menu is $70 per person with optional wine pairings for an additional $40. Dishes include Blue Point oyster with red currant pearls, crab salad with fennel and pomegranate seeds, Maine lobster cappuccino and more. 525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, www.dragocentro.com.
Fig and Olive: New Year's Eve dinner is meant to evoke the French Riviera with Fig and Olive’s four-course prix-fixe menu at $150 per person. Each guest will be greeted with a complimentary glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne and a set of white and gold party favors to celebrate the New Year. Diners can savor grilled langoustine de San Sebastian with artichoke tapenade and smoked pimentón olive oil and fig foie gras terrine with pear chutney and Pedro Ximenez reduction. After dinner, dance in the restaurant until 2 a.m. with DJ Julien Nolan. 8490 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, (310) 360-9100, figandolive.com.
Locanda Del Lago: On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, chef Gianfranco Minuz is cooking a meal showcasing Italian winter ingredients. Diners can choose between a $55 three-course menu or a $68 four-course menu. Diners can add optional wine pairings ($25) and a seasonal dessert ($11). The holiday menu includes Scottish salmon marinated with pomegranate and spiced wine reduction, capon chicken tortellini with chicken consommé and Grana Padano, and roasted veal tenderloin with morel mushroom and chestnut sauce. On New Year’s Eve, the restaurant will be offering a five-course prix-fixe menu for $89 per person or $139 per person, which includes endless Pommery Champagne. There will be a live DJ and dancing. Overnight parking is available to diners for $15 (with next-day pickup from 5 to 10 p.m.). 231 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 451-3525, lagosantamonica.com.
8474 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 655-6277, lucques.com.
Marino's: A classic Italian restaurant, Marino's is serving up the traditional southern Italian feast of seven fishes family-style. The four-course meal is $60 per person, including dishes such as spaghetti with baby clams, cod cakes and poached branzino. For dessert, guests can enjoy ricotta cheescake, panettone souffle or roasted chestnuts. 6001 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, (323) 466-8812, www.marinorestaurant.net.
Mozza's Scuola di Pizza: Nancy Silverton's Scuola di Pizza at Mozza offers Saturday night family-style dinners, and Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are no exception. Christmas Eve is the annual feast of seven fishes for $75 at 7 p.m. And on New Year's Eve, a multi-course dinner celebrating truffle season will be served with wines for $250 per person at 8 p.m. Seating is limited. Call the event line at (323) 297-1133. 6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, www.mozza-la.com.
Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse: The downtown steakhouse will be serving a Christmas Eve three-course menu. The first course is pan-seared Diver scallops with brown butter-squash puree, white wine golden raisins and toasted almonds. For the main course, roasted black cod with pumpkin gnocchi, sautéed Swiss chard and chive froth. Diners will be able to choose between different flavored bûche de Noëls, including strawberry vanilla, brownie or coffee caramel. Nick + Stef’s a la carte menu will also be available. 330 S. Hope St., Los Angeles, (213) 680-0330, www.patinagroup.com/nickstef.
Ocean and Vine: Enjoy a Christmas Day dinner overlooking the Pacific at Ocean and Vine in the Santa Monica Beach Hotel. The restaurant will be offering a four-course prix-fixe menu for $72 per person. Chef Keith Roberts has created a menu inspired by California coastal cuisine featuring such dishes as pan-seared Mano de Leon scallop, lobster bisque and sweet potato-crusted halibut. Ocean and Vine will also be hosting a four-course prix-fixe menu on New Year's Eve with two seatings, at 6 ($85 per person) and 9 p.m. ($125 per person with Champagne toast). 1700 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 576-3180, www.oceanandvine.com.
Osteria La Buca: Osteria La Buca is celebrating Christmas with a pizza party. There will be a full bar along with a variety of pizzas including fried egg with speck; mozzarella, tomato and arugula; soppressata picante with tomato, mozzarella, oregano and garlic; broccolini with mozzarella, pancetta, garlic paste and lemon; and more. 5210 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 462-1900, osterialabuca.com.
Palate Food+Wine: For a casual New Year's, Palate has created a three- or six-course menu inspired by the signature dishes of iconic chefs. The menu features dishes such as Fergus Henderson's roasted bone marrow and parsley salad and terrine of leeks, langoustines and American caviar from Marco Pierre White. The three-course menu ($65) is available at the first seating beginning at 5:30, and the six-course menu ($110) will be served during the second seating at 8:30 p.m. Credit-card guarantee required for second seating. 933 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale, (818) 662-9463, www.palatefoodwine.com.
Patina: Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve dinners will be served at the restaurant located at Disney Hall in downtown L.A. A seven-course Christmas Eve menu priced at $125 per person will include dishes such as chicken, foie gras and butternut squash terrine; seared scallop; roasted duck and a "contemporary" bûche de Noël. On New Year's Eve, Patina will host three seatings: The first is $105 per person for a three-course menu or $130 for four courses; the second seating is $180 per person for the seven-course menu; and the last seating allows guests to order from an à la carte menu that will include dishes such as Cervena venison with Brussels sprouts, red currants and pepper cress. 141 S. Grand Ave., L.A., (213) 972-3331, patinarestaurant.com.
Picca: The popular Peruvian cantina is ringing in 2012 with a six-course dinner on New Year's Eve. Traditional shrimp chowder, grilled black tiger prawns, sea bass and beef stew are among chef Ricardo Zarate's menu creations. The restaurant will host two seatings: The first is $95 per person for the prix-fixe menu, wine pairing and Cava toast; and the second seating is $145 for a later reservation with the before-mentioned menu in addition to cocktails. 9575 W. Pico Blvd., L.A., (310) 277-0133, piccaperu.com.
Providence: Providence is celebrating Christmas Eve with La Vigilia -- the feast of the seven fishes. Chef Michael Cimarusti's menu features seven different seafood varieties inspired by his grandmother Josephine and great-grandmother Domenica Cimarusti. Dishes include crudo di tonno rosso, spaghetti alla chitarra al nero di seppia, striped bass alla griglia rosmarino and pear frangipani tart. From 4 to 8 p.m., $120 per person, $170 with wine pairing. And on Cimarusti's New Year's Eve menu: wild Japanese buri with yuzu and shiso-Champagne gelée, egg drop soup with black truffle, foie gras ravioli, scallop grilled in its shell with nori butter, wild New Zealand John Dory with black truffle, and more. $195 per person, $260 with wine pairing. Two seatings, from 5:30 to 6 p.m. and 8:30 to 9 p.m. Call for reservations. 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 460-4170, www.providencela.com.
Ray’s & Stark Bar: Located at LACMA, the restaurant will be offering a four-course Christmas Eve menu starting at 5 p.m. The menu features a warm vegan mushroom salad for a first course; octopus with burrata cheese, puntarelle and anchovy mustard for a second course; and wild striped bass with garlic almond puree, roasted grapes and black trumpet mushrooms as a main course option. Guests can order festive desserts such as baked apple with pecan and raisin crumble, white chocolate and peppermint mousse, and gingerbread and quince mousse. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 857-6180, www.raysandstarkbar.com.
Rivera: The modern Latin restaurant is celebrating New Year's Eve with a menu that reinvents classic holiday dishes. As a result, the menu will feature items with a Latin twist such as chestnut mole sauce with a classic ballotine of chicken and a bûche de Noël transformed with passion fruit sponge and coconut "snow." The early seating is at 6 p.m. and is $100 per person for five courses, while the late seating at 8 p.m. is $125 per person for seven courses. 1050 S. Flower St., No. 102, L.A., (213) 749-1460, riverarestaurant.com.
The Tasting Kitchen: On New Year's Eve, Abbot Kinney’s Tasting Kitchen will put together a five-course dinner that will include French, Italian, Moroccan and Spanish cuisines. Diners can select from three menu options for $90 per person. Menu options include: Apicius duck confit, kumquat preserve and puntarella; roasted scallop; truffled egg, polenta and fall vegetable salad; and to finish, a house-made panna cotta with sheep’s milk and ricotta cheese with pickled huckleberries, Meyer lemon marmalade and pine nut crumble. 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 392-6644, thetastingkitchen.com.
Wood and Vine: To ring in the New Year, Wood and Vine restaurant is serving a five- ($55) or seven-course ($75) prix-fixe menu. The restaurant will offer two different seating times, the first beginning at 6 and the second at 9 p.m. Guests who have reserved a table for the second seating will receive a complimentary glass of Champagne to toast at midnight. Some of the highlights on the menu are the house-made spaghetti with home-smoked sausage, spinach and saffron cream, seared branzino with a side of fingerling potato salad, grilled asparagus, paddle fish caviar and egg yolk emulsion, and the butterscotch pot de crème with salted caramel ice cream. 6280 Hollywood Boulevard at Vine Street, (323) 334-3360, woodandvine.com.
WP24: Spend New Year's Eve atop the Ritz-Carlton and check out the cityscape during a six-course dinner at WP24. The restaurant's chef de cuisine, Sara Johannes, is preparing signature dishes and Chinese fare for a menu themed "Several Tastes of Good Fortune." Featured dishes will include Maine lobster with spicy Szechuan chiles and lop cheong sausage fried rice as well as roasted duckling "Peking style" with traditional garnishes, winter wild mushrooms, fresh chiles, scallions and basil. Dinner is $250 per person with two seatings, at either 6 or 9:30 p.m. 900 W. Olympic Blvd., L.A., (213) 743-8824, wolfgangpuck.com.
-- Leah Rodrigues and Caitlin Keller
Photo: WP24 restaurant. Credit: Ron Starr.