What: OK, so you won't be celebrating at the North Pole this year, but there's no reason you can't bring the Nord to you. At new spot ALTA Nordic Kitchen, find a three-course menu of Swedish holiday classics that come served on a traditional Julbord, or Christmas-buffet platter. This means gravlax with mustard sauce; matjes herring; shrimp salad, beet salad; liver pâté with house-made rye bread; ham or roast duck breast; braised red cabbage; Swedish meatballs; salmon pudding; sausage with sharp cheese; ginger snaps; spiced glögg wine and more will all appear before you, available now through Christmas Eve.
What: Newcomer Cal Mare is celebrating its first Christmas Eve with a Feast of the Seven Fishes. The Beverly Center's coastal-Italy-inspired reatsaurant will be serving a seafood-centric msl that includes scallop crudo with, semolina, apple, kohlrabi and lime; Tortellini al Brodo with local halibut, fennel and saffron; branzino with turnips, black truffle, winter cabbage and black trumpet mushrooms; pistachio cannoli and more.
What: Heading out of town for the holidays? If you're looking for a festive Christmas Eve meal near LAX, stop in at Costero for a three-course prix-fixe meal that includes dishes such as California halibut with cauliflower purée; lobster bisque with cognac crème fraîche; and gingerbread cheesecake, all in time to make your flight.
What: Tom Colicchio's Century City gem is celebrating the season with a prix-fixe meal that's a bit of everything: start with family-style starters—we're talking radicchio with Castelvetrano olives and pecorino; steak tartare; and tonnato—before choosing your main course of roasted quail, risotto, tortelli and more. And of course it wouldn't be a Craft meal without phenomenal pastries, so expect spiced persimmon pudding, seasonal ice cream and sorbets, and a hazelnut, cranberry and pear tart. Talk about a sweet finish.
What: Looking to add Parisian flair to your holidays? The charming Le Petit Paris is hosting a three-course prix-fixe dinner, where you can feast on house-made, truffle-studded duck foie gras with onion chutney and truffle brioche; poached turbot in clam juice, parsnip purée and roasted baby leeks served with a creamy sauternes wine sauce; and the classic Buche de Noel, here made with chocolate mousse, vanilla crème brûlée and caramel pearls. Seatings are from 5 to 10pm.
What: This is perhaps the classiest Christmas Eve dinner you could book, complete with classical string duo providing a soft, live soundtrack to your meal. The famous caviar and lifestyle company is bringing you Dungeness Crab, Œuf en Croûte, black truffle risotto, and a choice of Kobe A5 sirloin or Dover Sole, and finishing your elegant meal with seasonal galette or Tête de Moine.
Price: $175, $250 with wine pairings
What: If Best Girl didn't look like your best option, please turn your attention to another of Michael Cimarusti's restaurants: At Providence, find a Feast of the Seven fishes menu that looks as mouthwatering as it does mysterious. Enjoy lobster in broth; amberjack crudo with yuzu and capers; fish stew; and one dish that's simply described as "Clams! Clams! Clams!" (That dish sounds prettier unstranslated, granted.) However it will be prepared, we're sure it will be worth the booking.
Price: $150, or $250 with wine pairings
What: LACMA will be open on Christmas Eve and so will its California-inspired restaurant, which is serving your choice of a three- or four-course meal for the holiday—perfect for a pre- or post-perusal of the museum, don't you think? 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.
Price: $60 for three courses, $75 for four courses
What: Neal Fraser's offering a three-course dinner, complete with vegetarian-friendly options. Enjoy dishes such as traditional roasted turkey with chestnut stuffing, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and truffle gravy; roasted tofu with yukon potato purée, haricots verts and thyme gravy; Cottage Pie with foie gras, marrow, beef cheek and a gruyere crust; red kuri squash risotto with North Sea shrimp and sea urchin; and persimmon salad with chocolate sourdough, buratta and chicories in a pumpkin seed vinaigrette.
Price: $85, with wine pairings for $50 or $75
What: At the glamour-meets-woodsy Saddle Peak Lodge, from 1 to 9pm, find a four-course tasting menu featuring 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. The regular dinner menu will also be available.
What: Union's traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes is back, for a its classic Italian-American take on the holiday. This year's menu features dishes such as olive oil-poached abalone with beets, apples, crème fraîche and caviar; uni risotto with roasted sunchokes and preserved citron; and halibut steamed in fig leaf, with San Marzano tomatoes, olives and capers.
What: Sit down to a family-style feast that includes chestnut bisque; ham-hock-and-scallion cassoulet; free-range turkey and other dishes, not to mention free-flowing Nicolas Feuillatte champagne. (That's worth the price of admission alone, if you ask us.)
What: Bringing a bit of the beach to your festivities? From 11am to 9pm, this Santa Monica stunner is offering a seafood-leaning menu that features crab cake Benedicts; house-cured hickory salmon; seared Chilean sea bass with smoked baby vegetables; roasted rack of lamb with blueberries and baby carrots; organic turkey with vegetable casserole; and warm apple tart, among others.
What: The Front Yard knows you can't have too much of a good thing, which is why they're bringing back their traditional Christmas buffet. This year look for roasted-tomato soup; barley butternut squash risotto; chorizo-and-sage bread pudding; buttermilk- and rosemary-brined turkey; and poblano-roasted prime rib, all from noon to 8pm.
Price: $55 per adult, $25 per child 12 and under
What: The Beverly Hills Hotel's own Georgie also has a Christmas Day buffet at the ready, complete with raw bar (hello, poached shrimp, oysters, and snow crab claws with yuzu aioli). Theirs also includes a carving station featuring salmon with charred lemon and rosemary oil; pastrami-spiced prime rib; roasted leg of lamb with salsa verde; and roasted Christmas ham with honey and a rosemary glaze. Plus, there are traditional sides, a dessert station, appetizers and of course cheese and charcuterie, from 10am to 6pm.
Price: $128 per adult, $48 per child 12 and under
What: Those looking for an Italian feast should make their way to Mr. C Beverly Hills, where a four-course meal awaits. King crab salad with soft avocado and citrus dressing; baked mezze maniche pasta with eggplant, tomato and mozzarella; pan-roasted Chilean seabass with white wine and artichokes alla Romana; and panettone with mascarpone cream and chocolate fondant are all available beginning at noon.
Price: $95, with $35 wine pairing available
What: Kick off your Christmas Day dinner with a welcome glass of cava from the Roosevelt Hotel's Public Kitchen and Bar, who'll be dishing out vegetarian options, molecular gastronomy and an otherwise traditional feast of seared scallops with porcini mashed potatoes; beef tenderloin with blue cheese and potato rosti; roasted maple duck breast; wild mushroom Wellington; and a molecular, deconstructed pumpkin pie, among other dishes.
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.