LA's Ultimate New Year's Eve Dining GuideBy Lesley Balla
December 16, 2013
You don’t have to look far for celebratory New Year’s Eve menus around town - just about every restaurant for miles will have one - with lobster, truffles, dry-aged beef and even a few vegetarian dishes. The only choice you really need to make is where to land - the French Riviera or King’s Landing? - and which prix fixe menu you want. Whatever’s on the agenda, eat and drink well, dance like there’s no tomorrow and be safe.
Orsa & Winston
Josef Centeno and crew will offer a six-course menu at his latest spot in Downtown LA. Choose from dishes like truffled butter zucca soup with lobster and lemon panna acido; coddled egg with balsamic cream and milk bread focaccia; octopus with ham cap and tomato ume jam; winter buttermilk porridge with sea urchin; and chocolate caramel tart with candied bananas. $85 per person, with optional wine (sake, beer and bubbles, too) pairings for $75 (213-687-0300).
A lavish 10-course menu will feature a selection of the most popular dishes at Wolfgang Puck's downtown Chinese restaurant, including the roast Peking duck with traditional garnishes; crispy skin red snapper with Szechuan shellfish stew; and grilled Colorado lamb chops with Hunan eggplant. $190 per person. The view of the city celebrating below makes a nice backdrop (213-743-8824).
Chef CJ Jacobson will offer a menu based seasonal ingredients he foraged locally, which includes young tuna with winter citrus, raw chestnut, wood sorrel and chrysanthemum; sunchoke veloute with hedgehog mushrooms roasted in cedar bark with sour persimmon and caramelized whey; pan-roasted diver scallop with Italian black truffle and truffle jus; American Wagyu strip loin with green apple, wild mustard and onion; and wild sweet clover ice ream over warm chocolate cake. There will also be vegetarian and pescatarian substitutions available. $100 per person from 7-9 PM, $150 from 9-11 PM. Those dining in the later hours will also get complimentary sparkling wine for toasts and party favors (818-924-2323).
New Year’s Eve is the kickoff of the iconic Hollywood restaurant’s 100th birthday. There will be a special four-course menu plus an anniversary Mai Tai. Seatings are from 5-8 ($80 per person) and 8:30-10:30 PM ($100 per person); the latter includes a Champagne toast at midnight. The party continues with party favors, a DJ and photo booth in the Skyview Room, oh, and those views of the city below (323-466-5125).
If you’re going to Sergio Mendes and Sheila E ringing in the new year at the Disney Concert Hall, Patina has a three- and four-course early dinner menu starting at 4:30 PM. The evening gala menu starts at 7:30 PM and includes dishes like oysters with Santa Barbara sea urchin, apple and vinegar; rabbit ballotine with young vegetables, peppercress and country bread; and venison loin served with poached pear, celeriac, yams and sauce poivrade. $80-$180 per person (213-972-333).
Chef Evan Funke’s Culver City party menu includes Nantucket bay scallops with cucumber and Santa Barbara uni; Maine lobster with persimmons; tagliatelle with wild mushrooms and truffles; Wagyu short ribs with celeriac, chestnuts and truffled Brussels sprouts; and pavlova with grapefruit curd. Seven courses for $125 per person and $50 for wine pairings. If you’re there late, enjoy a complimentary Champagne toast with the room (310-876-0286).
The West Hollywood caviar house has a celebratory seven-course menu that includes two glasses of Moet Brut Imperial Reserve Champagne per person. There’s also a caviar flight (natch), egg royale with vodka cream and caviar; smoked trout or main lobster with fennel; sea urchin risotto with Transmontanus caviar or white truffle ravioli with chives and quail egg; wild striped bass or beef short ribs; a cheese course and dessert. $250 per person; seatings begin at 5:30 PM (310-271-0576).
Two prix fixe menus will be offered at the West Hollywood party pad - a three-course menu from 6-8 PM and a six-course version from 9 PM-midnight. Highlights include 30-day dry-aged Japanese Wagyu filet, chanterelle and truffle risotto, and oysters and Champagne. $130 and $180, respectively (310-659-3535).
Josiah Citrin offers two seatings at his Santa Monica restaurant - 5:30-6:30 PM ($150 per person), and 8:30-9:30 PM ($250), which includes live music and dancing. Think: egg caviar, Maine lobster, truffle risotto, 35-day dry-aged steaks, and more haute bites (310-395-0881).
Hinoki & the Bird
David Myers’ Century City restaurant will be transformed into a Tokyo street market with sake tasting stations and specials on bubbles and raw bar selections in addition to the a la carte menu. The night continues with live music on the patio and more. 5:30-11 PM (310-552-1200).
Townhouse and The Del Monte Speakeasy
New Year’s Eve is coming…to Venice. The Game of Thrones-inspired party features the Feast of King Robert - a complimentary wild boar roast with sides - GOT-themed cocktails and punches, live music and more. Khaleesi and Jon Snow garb is encouraged. Pre-sale tickets are $35 per person (310-392-4040).
Fig & Olive
Head to the French Riviera via the prix fixe menu from chef Pascal Lorange and Saint Tropez DJs. The White & Gold dinner party includes a four-course menu and glass of Champagne for $150. Or just hit the cocktail reception for $100 per person, which includes wine, signature cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. Starts at 9 PM (310-552-1200).
The 50th New Year’s Eve fete at the Silver Lake institution includes live Flamenco shows, a prix fixe dinner with dishes like grilled langoustines and charred lemon, roast pig with vegetables and sweet potato mash, and paella Valencia, plus a dessert buffet. Prices range from $65-$75 for the early seating (6-7:30 PM) and $85-$95 for the later seating (8-10:30 PM). After 10:30 PM, tickets include live music with the Hot Club of LA Gypsy Jazz, one speakeasy cocktail or glass of sangria, the dessert buffet and a Champagne toast at midnight ($25-$35) (323-668-0318).
Go Italian with Steve Samson and Zack Pollack’s four-course menu that includes mixed olives and housemade bread; grilled pork meatballs with snap peas and bitter greens; grilled mackerel in scapece; rigatoni with chicken liver ragu; spaghetti with tomato and fiore sardo; pizza with sausage and rapini; grilled hanger steak with roasted potatoes and escarole; and more. $85 per person, and includes a cocktail or glass of prosecco. Seatings are between 5:30 and 6:30 PM, and 8-9 PM (310-277-0210).
The Strand House
Watch the new year roll in as you watch the waves on Manhattan Beach. Sit down for a four-course menu from 5:30-7:30 PM ($100 per person, with $50 optional wine pairings), or the five-course menu from 8:30-11:30 PM ($150 per person, with $75 wine pairings). From 8:30-10:30 PM, dinner includes party favors, petit fours and a Champagne toast at midnight ($150 per person) (310-545-7470).
Ray’s & Stark Bar
Vegetarians are first in mind for the seven-course tasting menu at LACMA, with meat, wine and cocktail pairing options available. Dishes include sunchoke veloute; herbed pasta with black truffle; roasted onion rings with crunchy buckwheat and winter squash; and aged Nantes carrots with chestnut mole. $65 for vegetarian menu, $45 extra for added meat options, and $35 for added wine and cocktail pairings. 5 PM-midnight (323-857-6180).
Chef Miles Thompson fires up NYE in Echo Park with a 60s-inspired menu of dishes like oyster Radonsky, blue prawn cocktail, rabbit loin Oscar and Devil’s Food cake. Seatings are at 6, 6:30, 8:30 and 9 PM. $90 per person with $50 cocktail or wine pairings. A $50 per person deposit is mandatory (213-935-8787).
Don your finest for the celebratory night at the West Hollywood Italian spot. The menu - which includes dishes like burrata with raw artichoke and pistachio; lobster salad; short rib agnolotti; porcini mushroom risotto; prime beef filet with cipollini agrodolce; wood-roasted turbot with lentils and sunchokes; and desserts - comes with Champagne toasts, specialty cocktails and prosecco on tap. $90 per person for the 6 PM seating, and $135 for the 9 PM seating (310-432-2000).
The seven-course menu from the new Beverly Hills hot spot includes signature dishes and specials, such as wok-braised lobster in butter milk and almond; backed black cod with truffle and supreme soya sauce; and wood-seared beef tenderloin with sha cha sauce. A vegetarian menu is also available. Seatings are between 5:30-6:15 PM and 8:15-9:15 PM. $135 per person with wine or cocktail pairings available (310-888-8661).
RivaBella and Chi Lin
The two restaurants become one for one night only. Both Italian and Chinese menus will be offered throughout the entire space, with drinks, live music and dancing added for extra frivolity. $75 for the early seating and $125 for the late seating (310-278-2060 and 310-278-2068).
The Hudson and The Churchill
Choose your West Hollywood spot and park it for the night. Both Cardiff Giant restaurants will be party central with passed apps, signature cocktails, Champagne toasts and DJs. $80 per person at The Hudson; $95 for the first 100 at The Churchill, $115 after that and bottle service packages and table packages for $600-$3500. An early-bird prix fixe menu deal is also available at The Churchill for $45 per person from 5-8 PM (323-654-6686 and 323-655-8384).
Rockwell Table & Stage
The dinner and a show deal for New Year’s Eve includes a three-course menu, a ticket to For the Record: Baz Luhrmann, and admission to the Gatsby-themed after party and Champagne toast at midnight. Dinner begins at 6:30 PM and the show at 8 PM. Tickets range from $80-$175 per person (323-669-1550).
Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air
Do it up in grand style in Bel Air with celebratory menus created by Wolfgang Puck and chef Hugo Bolanos, which includes dishes like roasted Italian chestnut soup, Nantucket Bay scallop carpaccio, Wagyu sirloin, and dark chocolate soufflé tartlet. The four-course menu from 5:30-6:30 PM is $185 per person; the five-course menu for $275 per person is served starting at 9 PM and includes a Champagne toast and party favors (310-909-1644).
The multiple dining areas at the SLS hotel become one for the third annual New Year’s Eve Spanish Masquerade party. Sip on cava or specialty cocktails, nibble on passed apps, find sweets in the Patisserie, and dance the night away. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are from 8-11 PM, desserts from 10 PM-1:30 AM. Tickets start at $250 per person (310-247-0400).