It’s an all-gourmet Christmas Eve at the Beverly Wilshire this year, with a four-course prix-fixe menu plus a glass of Prosecco for $125 a person, and seatings between 5-9 p.m. Good little boys and girls will get to enjoy dishes like cauliflower velouté with persimmons and caviar; poached king prawn with quince compote, chayote and beurre blanc; roasted pheasant with black truffles, root vegetables and red wine reduction; and pear-chestnut b?che de noël with sweet ginger crouton, and marron glacé anglaise.
9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, (310) 385-3901, TheBlvdRestaurant.com
This Christmas Eve, one of our favorite downtown eateries is preparing a feast of seven fishes inspired by the Southern Italian yuletide repast. The seven-course dinner goes for $70 per person, complete with optional wine pairings at just $40 more. Among the specialties will be Blue Point oysters with red currant pearls, crab salad with wild baby fennel and pomegranate seeds, a Maine lobster “cappuccino,” seared diver scallop with saffron risotto and horseradish, and a pistachio semifreddo with roasted pears and white chocolate cream for dessert. Can’t say bah humbug to that.
525 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90071, (213) 228-8998, DragoCentro.com
This new restaurant in the old Orso space from restaurateur Sean MacPherson (Bar Lubitsch, Roger Room) might only have just opened, but it’s already planning a Christmas Eve dinner for $65 a person ($40 extra for wine pairings). The Italian-inspired menu will include various antipasti like mixed crudi of tuna, yellowtail and branzino; squid ink risotto; rack of venison in a Port reduction with roasted sunchokes; and assorted sweets for dessert. Plus, you’ll be the first of your friends to have tried it.
8700 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, (310) 858-0020, IlCovo.com
La Cachette Bistro
Celebrate noël French-style this year in Santa Monica with Chef Jean François Meteigner as he serves up classics from his homeland at his oceanside bistro this Christmas Eve. Though guests will be able to order from the full menu, he will also be preparing specials including warm lobster salad with artichokes, haricots verts and truffle vinaigrette; loup de mer with fingerling potatoes, asparagus and béarnaise sauce; and a dark chocolate chestnut Christmas b?che with cr?me anglaise. Vive la France!
1733 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, (310) 434-9509; LaCachetteBistro.com
Christmas Eve at Mélisse
Chef Josiah Citrin is serving up a veritable Christmas Eve feast at his Michelin two-star Santa Monica restaurant this year. Guests will be able to make reservations between 5:00-8:30pm, and the five-course prix-fixe menu is priced at $150 per person. Dinner starts with a black winter truffle in three textures, then guests choose between seared foie gras with glazed pear or smoked salmon pave. Third course choices include Maine lobster and scallop pot au feu or crisp loup de mer with brown butter caper sauce. There’s truffle risotto with mascarpone for the vegetarians. For a main there’s either prime filet of beef with various fixings, or Sonoma duck breast. Finally for dessert, there is a choice of either a fig and apple tart or a Valhrona chocolate crunch cake with eggnog ice cream and salted caramel. Even Santa would forego a plate of cookies for these treats.
1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, (310) 385-0881; Melisse.com
Jewish Christmas Eve at Mezze
It might be Christmas Eve, but even the Chosen People need a place to get a good meal — remember what happened last time a couple of nice Jewish kids were refused room at the inn? Chef Micah Wexler has created an entire Christmas Eve menu based on traditional Jewish dishes, as well as the usual selection of Eastern Mediterranean small plates. Diners that evening can choose from chopped chicken liver with grape mostarda and challah, smoked sablefish with lebne, pickled shallots and capers, and even matzoball soup, among other specialty dishes. Dinner will be available from 6 p.m.-1 a.m...just in time to stuff some stockings and wait for Santa’s sleigh to make a stop at your home.
401 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, (310) 657-4103, MezzeLA.com
Tres at the SLS Hotel
Out-of-towners and Angelenos alike can enjoy Spanish-inspired recipes on the three-course prix-fixe menu at José Andrés’ casual eater at the SLS Hotel, Tres. Diners can choose between traditional Escudella Catalan holiday soup or a light salad with citrus, pear, shaved fennel, baby frisée and pomegranate seed in honey-pear dressing for a starter. For a main, there’s slow-cooked rack of lamb with white wine-braised potatoes and onions or pan-seared red fish with roasted pee wee potatoes and baby fennel confit, and for dessert is apple bread pudding with apple cider. Feliz Navidad, indeed!
465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, (310) 246-5555, TheBazaar.com
Eric Rosen lives in Los Angeles and writes about food, wine, travel and adventure... usually in some combination of the four. He regularly contributes to Los Angeles Confidential Magazine, Condé Nast's HotelChatter and Jaunted, TravelAge West, Palate Press, Frontiers, Edge and Wandermelon. His work has also appeared in the L.A. Times. When he is not exploring the Los Angeles dining scene, Eri...(Read More)