Christmas Eve Dinners
What: Cal Mare is celebrating the holidays with a four-course Christmas Eve dinner, not to meantion a food drive for a great cause. The Beverly Center’s coastal-Italy-inspired reatsaurant will be serving a seafood-centric meal that includes sea urchin risotto; saffron spaghetti with Maine lobster; and free-range turkey scallopini with porcini, farro and sage. If you happen to stop by now through December 23 and bring any Italian canned food or non-perishable food item (think: canned tomatoes) for the LA Regional Food Bank, you’ll be treated to a free cocktail or dessert. ’Tis the season for giving (and receiving).
Price: $68 per person
What: Take your celebration seaside at Casa del Mar’s Catch, which is serving a three-course prix-fixe meal that’s already got us dreaming of aSanta Monica holiday. Choose from appetizers like Ibérico ham with manchego foam or a crab cake with saffron aioli, before moving to entrées such as wagyu filet mignon, grilled Maine lobster, and roasted duck served two ways. A dessert of warm apple tart should keep you cozy in the ocean air when all is said and done.
Price: $110 per person
What: Feeling French this winter? Executive chef Tony Esnault is whipping up a three-course prix fixe with Parisian flair to spare. There’ll be crescent duck à l’orange with polenta gratin and braised daikon; scallops with pommes fondant, king trumpet mushrooms, leeks and sauce matelote; vanilla cake; and rack of lamb with roasted sunchokes, carrots, Brussels sprouts and mint-infused jus.
Price: $90 per person
What: Enjoy an Italian Christmas dinner with chef de cuisine Luca Moriconi’s authentic, rustic cooking. His four-course offering at Culina includes roasted whole sea bass with porcini and white wine; tortellini en brodo; stewed white beans with seared Carabineros prawns; and a Tronchetto di Natale with mascarpone or a red-currant baked Alaska, to name a few options.
Price: $89 per person
What: Leave it to Curtis Stone to take care of your Christmas dinner whether you're looking to cook at home or dine out. At Gwen, snag quality, sustainably- and locally-raised meats from the butcher case, or opt for Stone's four-course prix-fixe meal that's available in the restaurant on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Roasted scallops with sunchokes and persimmon; New York strip steak with duck-fat–roasted potatoes and pastrami-spice carrots; and chocolate cake with eggnog ice cream are all on the menu, which has us leaning toward the "dine out" option this year, how about you?
Price: $85 per person
What: At Providence, find a Feast of the Seven fishes menu that looks as mouthwatering as it does mysterious. Enjoy lobster in broth; California rockfish crudo with lemon and capers; fish stew; and one dish that’s simply described as “Vongole! Vongole! Vongole!” (“Clams! Clams! Clams!”) However it will be prepared, we’re sure it will be worth the booking.
Price: $160 per person
What: Take a trip to Southern Italy by way of Beverly Hills at Nerano’s on Christmas Eve, during which you’ll find a traditional-leaning Feast of the Seven Fishes menu, but the dishes are all à la carte. Mix and match between squid ink tonnarelli with king crab, bottarga and chives; braised octopus stew with grilled country bread; Dover sole with Amalfi lemon sauce and more, then finish with Italian vanilla cheesecake with coffee crumble.
What: LACMA will be open on Christmas Eve and so will its California-inspired restaurant, which is serving its regular menu, in addition to a few holiday-inspired specials for the night. Look for scallop poke with bamboo rice and shiso cream; potato gnocchi with robiolina, rosemary and San Giacomo balsamic; Tasmanian trout with roasted sunchoke and Moroccan couscous; and mascarpone semifreddo with espresso, caramel and sea salt. For one night only, catch Mary’s Organic duck confit with black-truffle polenta and herb sauce; whole fried snapper for two; dark-chocolate pots de crème and more, all available à la carte for your mix-and-match pleasure.
What: This charming Pasadena spot is bringing the holiday cheer in full force, because during this five-course dinner, the fireplace will be blazing and the carolers will be singing. French onion soup, cranberry-and-feta salad, smoked-salmon brioche, New York strip steak, artichoke ravioli, pan-seared scallops and a ginger chocolate tart are all on the docket.
Price: $120 per person
What: Neal Fraser is offering a three-course dinner, complete with vegetarian-friendly options. Enjoy dishes such as traditional roasted turkey with chestnut stuffing, hericots verts, cranberry sauce and truffle gravy; Beyond meatloaf with smoked potatoes, swiss chard and a mushroom velouté; prime short rib with Burgundy snails and sauce bordelaise; salmon with cabbage and confit bacon; sunchoke risotto with abalone and enoki mushrooms.
Price: $90 per person
What: At the glamour-meets-woodsy Saddle Peak Lodge, from noon to 8pm, find the regular à la carte menu, in addition to a special tasting menu that includes the likes of crispy pork belly with a honey glaze, cherry and pineapple; roasted turkey with mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing and all the other fixings; chestnut soup with black truffle; and a molten chocolate cake with peppermint ice cream.
Price: $98 per person
What: This Christmas Eve, Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne go old-school Italian with a Feast of the Seven Fishes, complete with seven courses including but not limited to marinated white anchovies with celery, torn croutons and gruyère; mussels and clams in saffron broth with white wine and garlic breadcrumbs; and grilled branzino with sunchoke purée, hazelnuts, speck and roasted grapes.
Price: $85 per person
Christmas Day Dinners
What: Celebrate a coastal Christmas in Santa Monica hotel the Viceroy, whose French restaurant will be dishing up a five-course prix-fixe meal with festive fare. We’re talking sous vide lobster medallions with Thermidor cream; lamb stew with saffron fingerling potatoes; roasted chestnuts with wild rocket; eggnog tart with vanilla-bourbon caviar and more.
Price: $85 per adult, $65 per child
What: Sure, technically this option is a brunch, but it runs until 6pm—perfect for multi-hour grazing and early-evening dinner alike. Buffet tables throughout the dining room will craft made-to-order eggs Benedict, waffles and blintzes, while others will offer smoked salmon, steamed mussels, Alaskan king crab legs, carved roasted turkey, braised veal shoulder, roast fish, chestnut stuffing, and honey-glazed ham—and after 3pm, a full dim sum and Chinese-food station.
Price: $135 per adult, $69 per child aged 5-12
What: Maybe you missed it up top, but you can find Curtis Stone's four-course prix-fixe meal not only on Christmas Eve, but on Christmas Day. Roasted scallops with sunchokes and persimmon; New York strip steak with duck-fat–roasted potatoes and pastrami-spice carrots; and chocolate cake with eggnog ice cream should do the trick, don't you think?
Price: $85 per person
What: One of the city’s best restaurants is celebrating its first Christmas in L.A. with a three-course prix-fixe meal that features family-style sides. Just a few options include curried squash soup, roast-beet salad, truffled potato purée, filet mignon, seared scallops and the indulgent milk-and-honey dessert. You can even get the restaurant’s famed and splurge-worthy roast chicken—one of our best new dishes of the year—for a $15 supplement.
Price: $74 per person
Need a drink?
Escaping dinner-table discourse? Home alone and anti-holiday? Or maybe you’re the full-on festive type who’s had their tree decorated since Black Friday. Whatever the case, ‘tis the season for a stiff one. Here’s where to drink your way through Christmas and the holiday season to celebrate—or avoid—the festivities this year. Eggnog and mulled wine—or coal cocktails and zero cheer—here we come.