One of the city’s swinging-est steakhouses is hosting one of the happening-est New Year’s Eve bashes on the Sunset Strip with a live DJ and special menu options including a four-course prix-fixe, and another three-course “Surf & Turf” with pan-seared scallop with truffled foie gras risotto and wild mushroom demi-glace; smoked chipotle coffee-braised prime short rib topped with snow crab; and strawberry-honey biscuit shortcake with white chocolate cream (wine pairings also available). The first seating begins from 6-7 p.m. ($95 per person for the four-course menu) and the second seating begins between 9-9:30 p.m. ($165 per person for the four-course).
9200 W. Sunset Blvd., Suite 650, West Hollywood, CA 90069; BOASteak.com
Café del Rey
There are two seatings for the fancy New Year’s Eve feast at this gourmet Westside mainstay. The first is at 5:30 p.m. for $65 a person, and the second begins at 8:30 p.m. for $95 a person including a glass of sparkling wine. Chef Daniel Roberts’ menu will include upscale holiday dishes like lobster Thermidor and Wagyu beef tartare with black currants and olives, as well as special selections like duck confit crostini with fava bean hummus and Port wine onion compote; barramundi with Brussels sprouts, cippolini onions, pancetta, pomme dauphine and pomegranate; and a “trifection” dessert with white, dark and milk chocolate ganache, cherry-Marcona almond marble and cherry gelato.
4451 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292, (310) 823-6395; CafeDelReyMarina.com
Casa del Mar
The party will be going on everywhere at the Hotel Casa del Mar this New Year’s Eve. Full Spectrum Band will be playing that night in the Lobby Lounge (admission $40), while in the restaurant, Chef Jason Bowlin will be treating diners to a special gourmet menu. The early seating takes place from 5:30-7 p.m. while the second seating begins at 8 p.m. Bowlin’s dishes include prime filet mignon with lobster crushed potatoes, heirloom spinach and Burgundy truffle jus; king salmon with artichoke barigoule, fingerling potatoes and thyme; and mocha pot de cr?me. The later seating includes even more sumptuous options, as well as a midnight champagne toast and party favors.
1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, CA 90405, (310) 581-5533; HotelCasaDelMar.com
Endless Champagne at Michael’s
This legendary home of California cuisine is welcoming 2012 in a big way with free-flowing champagne. Starting at 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, the restaurant will be serving a prix-fixe six-course menu (two options per course) that include delicacies like butter-poached lobster with creamy orzo, citrus, chervil and vanilla bean emulsion; and quail with corn bread stuffing, bacon lardons, arugula and Maui sweet onion velouté. Live music starts at 9 p.m. Reservations are required, and the tab is $175 per person. For the early birds (read: party poopers), there’s also a 5 p.m. seating with a $75 five-course prix-fixe option that includes a glass of champagne.
1147 3rd St., Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 451-0843; MichaelsSantaMonica.com
If you haven’t had a chance to eat at Chef Ricardo Zarate’s award-winning Peruvian-inspired restaurant, New Year’s Eve might just be your chance. That evening, the chef will be preparing a special six-course menu that includes choices such as traditional seabass escabeche causas with avocado mousse and micro cilantro; octopus tiradito with olive-citrus dressing; grilled black tiger prawns with homemade pasta and ocopa sauce, and a chef’s surprise for dessert. The first seating is accepting reservations for between 6-7 p.m., with the menu, wine pairings and cava toast going for $95 a person. The second seating beginning between 9:30-10:30 p.m. will include all that plus a cocktail for $145 per person, and there will be a live salsa band playing from 10 p.m. until close, plus party favors and raffle prizes.
9575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035, (310) 277-0133; PiccaPeru.com
The Polo Lounge
The Beverly Hills Hotel’s venerable lounge and restaurant is serving up a fabulous four-course dinner this New Year’s Eve that’s going for a truly upscale $250 per person. The menu will include mouth-watering dishes like tuna sashimi with golden Osetra caviar, hearts of palm, watermelon radish and toasted sesame seeds; artichoke ravioli with Perigord truffles, Madeira and porcini mushrooms; a foie gras torchon with quince jam, celery, pickled rhubarb and Marcona almonds; milk-fed veal rack with vegetables jardini?re, gnocchi and roasted shallot sauce; and for dessert, Meyer lemon au fromage cake with blueberry compote, and blood orange sorbet along with a champagne toast, of course.
9461 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, (310) 887-2777; BeverlyHillsHotel.com
Roof on Wilshire
Chef Eric Greenspan is hosting a New Year’s Eve under the stars at his rooftop pool and patio restaurant at the new Hotel Wilshire in Mid-City. The chef is whipping up an all-you-can-eat buffet that will include bone-in rib-eye, whole roasted leg of lamb, truffled risotto, lobster tail, oysters on the half-shell, poached salmon, passed hors d’oeuvres, chocolate fondue and other assorted desserts, plus complimentary sparkling wine, and a New Year’s Eve specialty cocktail. Reservations are $100 per guest. Real partiers can take advantage of a whole package for $550 for two people that includes a guest room, access to the party, plus invitations to the Day After Recovery brunch Greenspan is also hosting that includes his famous pancake lasagna.
6317 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, (323) 413-2151; TheRoofOnWilshire.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)