New Year’s Eve dinner options
What: End 2018 eith a bang and a bit of spice thanks to Bryant Ng’s family-style menu of Pan-Asian classics and wholly unique dishes. Pick and chooses dishes for the table such as appetizers of grilled pig’s tail with herbs and fish sauce; egg drop soup with scallops, shrimp and country ham; organic chickpea curry with house-made clay-oven bread; and raw, spicy scallops with dried shrimp and chili oil. Then move on to entrées like beef cheek rendang; grilled chicken with honey and lemongrass; and, for a $12 supplement, the insane-sounding Typhoon Shelter, a grilled lobster served with toasted breadcrumbs, lobster roe, garlic, fermented black beans, dried chiles and scallions. Everything looks good. Don’t believe us? Here’s the menu.
Price: $115 per person; $69 for additional wine pairings, $30 for non-alcoholic drink pairings
Reservations: 310-393-6699 or online
What: Burbank’s newly-renovated Castaway is giving you a room with a view, plus a few options. From 10pm to 1am, enjoy a five-course dinner that comes complete with one gratis bottle of Veuve Clicquot per couple, not to mention music from a live jazz quartet. Prices vary depending on where you’d like to sit—indoors, at a window or on that show-stopping patio—and if you’re in more of a party mood, there’s even an option for that. From 9pm to 1am, dance the night away at the “Welcome to the Jungle” party in the restaurant’s ballrooms, where you’ll find an open bar, an all-night food station, passed hors d’oeuvres and live music.
Price: Five-course dinner: $125 per person indoors, $150 per person seated at a window, $175 per person seated on the patio; “Welcome to the Jungle” party: $195 per person
Reservations: 818-848-6691 or online
What: Need a NYE dinner in West Hollywood? May we present Chateau Hanare, the intimate, intricate Japanese restaurant at the edge of Chateau Marmont. On December 31, you can expect a special six-course kaiseki menu that includes lobster binchotan tempura; foie gras soba soup; washugyu-beef shabu shabu; wagyu carpaccio and more. Not much of a meat eater? There’s even a vegan kaiseki option, and if you’re looking for sake pairings, they’ve got those, too.
Price: Special kaiseki $135 per person; vegan kaiseki $100 per person
Reservations: 323-963-5269 or online
What: The Freehand Hotel and chef Alex Chang are putting a Middle Eastern-inspired, family-style feast on the table, where each meal begins with a dish from the raw menu (pick from albacore tartare, beef tartare and others). From there, you'll choose multiple salatim salads, such as burnt eggplant with charred greens; citrus salad with Moroccan carrot vinaigrette; and labneh with crispy jerusalem artichoke and bagna cauda. Mains involve lamb neck shawarma and loup de mer, though there are plenty of level-up supplements to be had (like the lobster in spicy tomato sauce with uni butter, only $5 more per person).
Price: $65 per person, with $40 additional wine pairing
Reservations: 213-395-9531 or theexchange@
What: Bid adieu to this insane year with a lot of carb comfort at Evan Funke’s handmade-pasta palace. On his prix-fixe NYE menu, take a trip to Piedmont, Italy, one of the country’s most luxurious dining destinations. As such, you can expect included truffle service in the five-course menu, and whether you’re choosing four or five courses, you’ll enjoy a special dish called tajarin, a thinly-cut egg pasta, for the occasion.
Price: Four-course menu with wine pairing $225 per person; five-course menu with wine pairing and white truffles $295 per person
Reservations: 424-387-8622 or online
What: FIG’s end-of-year meal is bound to be decadent, what with its theme of “The Last Indulgence of 2018” and all. Expect a seated dinner party at this Cal-Mediterranean spot from chef Jason Prendergast, and it’ll include champagne, seasonal cocktails, a caviar station and a charcuterie-and-cheese station, in addition to a multicourse meal.
Price: Seating from 6–7pm, $125 per person; seating from 8:30–9:30pm, $175 per person
What: Hinoki & the Bird’s two-seating option is a truly delicious NYE choose-your-own-adventure tale. If you pick the early seating (5–7:30pm), receive four Japanese-inspired courses; if you pick the later seating (8–10:30pm), receive five. Whichever you pick, expect items such as California black cod with grits, shiro miso and sprouting cauliflower; mushroom dumplings with maitake broth and truffle; and American wagyu served two ways, with smoked sunchoke purée and an oxtail jus.
Price: First seating with four-course menu $95 per person; second seating with five-course menu $115 per person
What: Ari Taymor’s Little Prince is inarguably one of the coolest restaurants in Santa Monica, and on New Year’s Eve, it gets even cooler with DJ sets (from 10pm to 2am), natural sparkling wine flights, and an à la carte menu (from 5:30–11pm) largely inspired by that gorgeous wood-fired oven at the center of the space. Look for specials like a dungeness crab stew with celery root and green garlic; oven-roasted oysters; and a dessert involving chocolate, chestnut and truffle.
Price: À la carte; pricing varies
Reservations: 310-356-0725; walk-ins welcome
What: South Bay’s NYE champion this year is Love & Salt, which is rolling out a one-night-only French menu that even includes a champagne toast at midnight. You can still opt for the regular menu, but come on, are you really going to pass up Parisian-inspired plates like foie gras torchon with orange marmalade; côte de boeuf with potatoes gratin; and escargots in garlic-and-herb butter? We thought not.
Price: À la carte; pricing varies
What: Josiah Citrin is settling into the Line Hotel already, and his new restaurant there, Openaire, is celebrating its first NYE with not one but two prix-fixe options. Earlier in the evening, enjoy three courses with options such as roasted Maine lobster in a fermented red curry sauce; coffee-crusted New York steak with salsify and bordelaise; and four-cheese ravioli with black truffles. During the later seating, expect five courses with all of the earlier dishes, plus the addition of seared scallops, and a Beggar’s Purse topped with kaluga caviar. And hey—if you eat too much at either dinner, you can always check in at the hotel and call it a night.
Price: Three-course menu $68, 5–6:30pm; five-course menu $135, 8:30–9:30pm
What: Walk-ins are welcome at the bar if you’re looking for a casual, all-night setup of stellar à la carte tapas and cocktails, but for something a bit more formal, chef Teresa Montaño’s offering a five-course prix-fixe meal of reimagined Spanish classics from 5:30 to 8pm. Expect braised oxtail with butter-poached carabineros (prawns); Spanish xo sauce and fabadas asturianas (bean stew); Pan con Tomate; prawn-and-uni espuma atop crisps with trout roe and green apple; and scallop crudo with parsnip, fennel, herb and ocean broth. Need vegetarian options instead? Don’t worry, they’ve got you covered.
Price: $75 per person; $95 with wine pairings
Reservations: 323-474-6624 or online
What: Chef Steve Samson’s rustic and artful Arts District pasta haven is finally back, following its late-fall kitchen fire, and it;s never been better. On New Year’s Eve, find Samson serving a special à la carte menu that involves foie gras with pizzelle and persimmon; lobster brodetto (soup); A5 wagyu; and tagliolini with caviar and franciacorta-wine sauce. Our tip? Try and book a seat at the chef’s table, which overlooks the grill roasting and charring your dinner—that’s where the action is.
Price: À la carte; pricing varies
Reserve: 213-749-1099 or online
What: If you’re searching for a family-style feast, look no further than Rustic Canyon, where executive chef Jeremy Fox and chef de cuisine Andy Doubrava are whipping up a four-course meal that includes a liberty duck, foie gras and black truffle terrine; hoppin’ john (to bring you good luck in 2019); and Flannery Beef’s dry-aged strip loin. There’s even a vegetarian option, because this is Rustic Canyon and Fox is a vegetable master. If all of that has you hungry for more, you can find the full menu here.
Price: $135 per person; $65 for additional wine pairings, $30 for non-alcoholic drink pairings
Reservations: 310-393-7050 or online
What: Those looking for Steve Samson’s cuisine without the trek Downtown should turn to longtime gem Sotto, where chef de cuisine Craig Towe is crafting a four-course Italian meal that includes grilled lamb chops and, ideally, some of that beautifully blistered pizza—arguably the best in the city.
Price: $85 per person, with $45 wine pairing available
Reserve: 310-277-0210 or online
What: Celebrate the New Year sky-high in Wolfgang Puck’s dim sum den, where you’ll have a choice between a three- and seven-course prix-fixe menu. Chef de cuisine John Lechleidner’s menus begin with dumplings and other dim sum treats for the table, then progress to choose-your-own mains such as pan-roasted wild bass. The seven-course menu kicks things up a notch with additional, premium dishes, such as day boat scallops; char siu Colorado lamb chop; and prime-rib New York sirloin.
Price: Three-course menu $85 per person; seven-course menu $175 per person