The champagne will be flowing across the city this New Year’s Eve, but one needs a worthy cushion for all that celebratory bubbly. L.A.’s best restaurants are offering a multitude of ways to stuff yourself silly for the big night. Start 2013 with a belly full of turkey schnitzel at Bierbeisl, uni and scallop tiradito at Mo-Chica, or all-you-can-drink beer at Golden Road. From $1,000 VIP to casual and a la carte, we’ve got your night covered.
(In alphabetical order. Reservations for all are recommended.)
Sample One of The Year’s Best New Restaurants at Alma
The downtown former pop up from chef Ari Taymor is one of our top 10 best new restaurants. See why we picked it with a five-course seasonal tasting menu for $80. Two seatings take place at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Pre-Move Party At A.O.C.
Celebrate A.O.C.’s last night before it relocates in January! In celebration of both the New Year and the wine bar’s 10th anniversary, Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner and sommelier Caroline Styne have planned an extravagant four-course menu and pig roast. The first seating will be at 6:30 p.m. and will cost $95; the second seating at 9 will cost $125 per person, which includes dancing, a DJ, and a champagne toast. For an additional $40, Styne’s wine pairings are sure to make this an New Year’s Eve to remember.
Try the New Kid on the Block at Bestia
Revelers at chef Ori Menashe’s new downtown hit can enjoy signature dishes such as grilled octopus with warm lentils, steamed mussels with fennel seeds, and agnolotti stuffed pasta with braised beef cheeks. A first round of seatings takes place between 6-7:15 p.m. with a second round starting at 9:30 p.m.,
Viennese-Style New Year at Bierbeisl
Chef Bernhard Mairinger is serving up a traditional Austrian New Year’s Eve dinner, featuring dishes such as marinated duck breast with vanilla fennel and blood orange, stuffed roasted goose (so Dickensian!), and a Vienna turkey schnitzel. The menu is available for $65 per person, and an additional $30 for wine pairings.
Midnight Masquerade at Cecconi’s
Cecconi’s Italian-style “Midnight Masquerade” party will feature a four-course prix-fixe menu with dishes such as spiny lobster tortelli, prime beef filet with cream of parsnip, porcini and balsamic, and wood roast spicy prawns with clams and escarole “guazzetto.” The menu will be available in two seatings: First at 6:30 p.m ($80), then at 9 p.m. ($125) with a champagne toast and live DJ until last call at 2 a.m.
Roaring ’20s at Chaya
Each of Chaya’s three locations (Beverly Hills, Downtown, Venice) will host a ’20s-themed New Year’s Eve bash complete with live period music and dishes not-so-much of the period such as soy-baked cedar glazed sea bass, seared Wagyu beef sushi, and a Kumamoto oyster and sea urchin shooter. Dishes and prices vary by location.
French Fete at Church & State
L.A. Francophiles can celebrate like the frogs with confetti, champagne, and dishes by recent Patina evacuee Tony Esnault. Four and six course menus will be available with vegetarian options for both. Try lobster and chestnut soup with chive cream, roasted duck breast with polenta gratin, a selection of fancy French cheeses, and more. The four course menu will be available for $70 between 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. The six-course menu will be offered for $95 betwteen 8:30 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. Santé!
Affordable Fun at the Churchill
There are two ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve at The Churchill this year. At 5 p.m., there will be a prix-fixe dinner for $55 per person, which includes a champagne toast, amuse-bouche, and a three-course dinner, with dishes such as smoked scallop sausage with bacon and roasted cauliflower, a black truffle risotto, and lamb belly with roasted pears and chanterelles. At 10 p.m., there will be a ticketed celebration for $115 ($150 at the door), which includes an open bar, buffet of snacks like duck fat popcorn, spicy cider-glazed chicken wings, and pork meatballs, and a champagne toast at midnight.
Jeff Friggin’ Goldblum at Crustacean
Comedic actor extraordinaire and musician Jeff Goldblum will tickle the keys at the Beverly Hills Asian favorite during the 9 p.m. seating, which features a four-course prix fixe menu with a champagne toast at midnight. Seating on the main floor costs $250 per person (just think of how close you’ll be to Goldblum!), while seating in the balcony costs $185 per person. Space will also be available n the bar and lounge for $75, which includes two cocktails, dessert, and a glass of champagne at midnight.
Open Bar at Delphine
Dance the night away with a festive drink (or five) at the southern French-themed Delphine. For $100, you can partake in an open bar (!), complete with a selection of champagne and featured cocktails, from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m.
For $35, guest will have access to all-you-can-drink beer from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. The full pub menu and guest taps will be available for purchase a la carte, and at 10 p.m., late night happy hour gets you $4 plates and specials (all the better to sober you up). For $50, you get all that and more—including access to the new private club, Chloe’s, as well as appetizers, limited edition brews, and live music starting at 10 p.m.
Seaworthy New Years at the Hungry Cat
Both the Santa Monica and Hollywood locations will be serving up New Year’s Eve dinner as well as New Year’s Day brunch! Dinner at the Hollywood location will be $75 per person and will feature dishes such as Hamachi and sea urchin with shiso and tahini, and roasted monkfish with fried sweetbreads and grits. Dinner in Santa Monica will cost $85 per person and features dishes like Kabocha squash soup with seared scallops, pan roasted barramundi with celery root puree and braised fennel.
A Surrealist Celebration at ink.
Inspired by Salvador Dali’s “Les Diners de Gala,” ink.’s New Year’s Eve menu by chef Michael Voltaggio will create dishes based on recipes from the surrealist artist’s cookbook. Menu items may include “Cauliflower with Roquefort” and “Peacock l’Imperiale Surrounded by Its Court.” The twelve-course menu will be offered for $150 per person, with wine pairings for an additional $75.
Tried and True at Jar
In addition to her regular menu, chef Suzanne Tracht will offer a la carte specials such as Matsutake broth with pork and shrimp dumplings, Shanghai noodles with scallops, and roasted Maine lobster tail with celery root puree and purple yam.
Elegant Dining at Josie
Chef Josie Le Balch knows how to prepare a dinner worth celebrating. At her Santa Monica fine dining restaurant, she has created a four-course prix-fixe meal for $125 a person, offered at 5:30-7:30 p.m., and later at 9:15 to 10:30 p.m. Along with a free glass of bubbly, diners will have a choice of dishes like Pumpkin gnocchi with brown bugger and sage, seared Diver scallops over beluga and champagne letnils with goose confit, a North American elk chop, and a selection of surprise “midnight sweets.”
Coconut Grove Tribute at Lucques
Suzanne Goin, Caroline Styne, and chef de cuisine Javier Espinoza remember the famed club at the Ambassador Hotel. The first seating of the five-course dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. for $110 per person; the second seating will be at 8:30p.m. for $150 per person, which also includes party favors and a midnight toast. Cheers!
Beachside Party at M.B. Post
In addition to their regular menu (including their famous bacon-cheddar-buttermilk biscuits), Manhattan Beach’s M.B. Post will offer a la carte New Year’s Eve specials including Saikyo miso black cod, and charred octopus, and white oak grilled lamb chops.
Fancy Pants at Mélisse
Mélisse’s indulgent New Year’s Eve spread will star dishes such as Maine scallop with salsify, lemongrass and coconut, Monkfish wrapped in butternut squash and braised radicchio, a lamb loin persillade with parsnip and carrots, and a 35 day aged rib eye of beef and braised beef cheek, with charred leeks and truffled barley. Phew! A real-deal truffle risotto will be available for a $60 supplement. The first seating is at 5:30 p.m. for $150; the second seating is at 8:30 p.m. for $250 and includes music and dancing.
Peruvian Party at Mo-Chica
Chef Ricardo Zarate will cook up a Peruvian family-style feast, including Uni and scallop tiradito, quinoa fried chicken, and crispy shrimp cakes. Seatings at 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. ($75, $95, $105, respectively) include dinner, one cocktail, and wine pairing. The open bar kicks in after 10:30 p.m. for an additional $40.
Echo Park Partay at Mohawk Bend
The family-style menu will be offered for $45 per person, including a New Year’s beer toast and keepsake glass, and dishes such as buffalo cauliflower, bacon-wrapped dates, and keenwah salad. Live music starts at 10p.m..
Booze Tokens at the Parish
The party at Casey Lane’s downtown salute to British drinking foods starts at 10p.m., when a $30 presale ticket will guarantee you entry to a shindig with passed appetizers, a midnight toast, and one drink token. Wait really, a token? $15 at the door will get you passed apps and the toast, but no guarantee—and NO token.
Jazz and Panache at Patina Restaurant
A jazz trio from 7:30 p.m. to midnight accompanies the seven-course gala seating ($160), which includes chestnut agnolotte, wild mushroom risotto, and a filet of John Dory. There will be an early seating at 4:30p.m. ($80 for three courses, $100 for four courses), which includes marinated hamachi with avocado and green apple, butternut squash risotto, and a chocolate clementine battera. A late night seating will begin at 10:30 p.m. with an a la carte menu.
Caviar (Duh) at Petrossian
It only makes sense: New Year’s Eve is best celebrated with champagne, and champagne goes great with caviar! Start your meal with a caviar flight, and partake in selections such as escargot with puff pastry and truffle butter, prime steak with lentils, red wine, and pancetta, or rainbow trout with haricot verts, brown butter and almonds. Dinner will be offered for $150 per person.
Mas Peruvian at Picca
At his Pico Boulevard restaurant, chef Ricardo Zarate will have you enjoying dishes such as grilled shrimp tartare, grilled filet mignon with winter truffles and potato confit, and Peruvian paella. Seatings at 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m will be available for $95 and $105 respectively, and include dinner and wine pairings. The open bar kicks in after 10:30 p.m. for an additional $40.
VIP at Pour Vous
The Parisian-themed Melrose Avenue haunt has a super swanky evening in store for a mere $1,000. The VIP entry price entitles you and six guests to premium open bar, an absinthe “experience,” an oyster plate, a cheese plate, a truffles plate, a bottle of champagne, and a punch bowl, plus special performances (we hear scantily clad aerialists are involved). The theme of the night is masquerade, and black-tie attire is encouraged. There’s a less spendy option, too: $125 gets you, and you alone, access to the place and a premium open bar and the absinthe service. Because really, who needs food?
Hangover Meat at Salt’s Cure
On New Year’s Eve, Chris Phelps and Zak Walters will be offering a full a la carte dinner service, but we suggest hitting up the West Hollywood butchery-focused restaurant for a hangover brunch of epic proportions. Expect their signature house-cured bacon, corned beef hash, and a few specials—plus plenty of mimosas to cure what ails ya.
Southeast Asian Abundance at the Spice Table
Food & Wine’s Best New Chef Bryant Ng welcomes the New Year with a five-course tasting menu ($85) with optional beverage pairings ($15). Try Southeast Asian specialties such as crab wonton noodle soup, snapper with yellow curry custard and jasmine rice, a grille dbeef salad with watercress, herbs, peanuts, and shrimp chips, and more.
Arty Party at Ray’s & Stark Bar
Hit LACMA’s Kubrick exhibit before enjoying chef Kris Morningstar’s three-course menu for $75 including oysters with caviar and smoked jelly, squid ink pasta with Serrano chile and tuna bottarga, and a warm quince cake with Tonka bean ice cream and bitter almond crunch. You can also join Ray’s and Stark Bar for a hangover specialty menu on New Year’s Day. (We might need it.)
Haute Nueva Latina at Rivera
Chef John Sedlar will offer a New Year’s Eve menu with a modern Latin twist, including dishes like chicken leg ballotine with asparagus, radicchio and chestnut mole, and a buche de Noel with passion fruit sponge cake and coconut “snow.” Early reservations will cost $100 for five courses, and seatings after 8 p.m. will cost $125 for seven courses.
Flexible Feast at the Tasting Kitchen
Chef Casey Lane has crafted a six-course dinner for $100—including pescatarian and vegetarian menu options. Highlights include saffron arancini and gold flakes (so fancy!), porcini crudo with ricotta salata, beef brasato wit gnocchi and black truffle, and pink snapper with cauliflower ragout. Wine pairings start at an additional $45.
Mad Men Dinner at Tavern
Chef Gavin Mills will recreate the Mad Men-themed dinner designed by Suzanne Goin, including a raw oyster bar and artisanal martini cart. The first seating at 6 p.m. is priced at $80 per person, and the second seating at 8:30 p.m. is $100, including party favors, live music, and a midnight toast.
Brews and Winning! at Tony’s Darts Away
A $95 ticket to this New Year’s party will snag you reserved indoor seating, and all-you-can-drink beer from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. Appetizers and a snack buffet will be served in addition to some rare and specialty brews. Enter in a raffle to win prizes including rare beer bottles, gift certificates and more!
Italian Style at Trattoria Neapolis
Join Pasadena’s Trattoria Neapolis for an Italian New Year’s Eve feast, with dishes like pasta carbonara, lobster risotto, ossobucco-style beef short ribs, and pan seared Sturgeon. The first seating will be at 5 p.m. for $95, and the second seating will be at 8 p.m. for $125, which also includes a glass of vintage prosecco, hats and noisemakers, and a midnight countdown. Bravo.
Celebrating 40 Years with Valentino
In its 40th year, Valentino toasts to the New Year menu with a prix-fixe menu that includes venison cutlet with Zibibbo grapes (ooo, new word!) glaze and polenta-sage Napoleon, and a pork sausage with Parmesan mashed potatoes and green lentils. Optional wine pairings will also be available. The menu will be served from 5 p.m. to closing, for $120 per person.
Music Madness at the Viceroy Santa Monica
The Viceroy is teaming up with KCRW to throw their annual Black & White Ball! Drink and dance the night away as some of the station’s acclaimed DJs provide a night of festive tunes. To eat? Why there’s decadent hors d’oeuvres from Whist chef Tony DiSalvo. Tickets to the black-tie event are $150.
Southern New Year’s at Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing
New Years’ in L.A. gets some southern flair at Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing in Venice. Black-eyed peas (the food, not the band) are the star of the show, along with a $75 four-course prix fixe menu. Sip on a Louisiana Purchase champagne cocktail, and nosh on Kumamoto oysters, shrimp ‘n grits, or halibut with Maine lobster hash.
Classic Hollywood at Wood & Vine
Choose from two family-style options ($50 or $75 per person—with or without lobster) or order a la carte. Highlights from the menu include uni pasta with anise cream reduction, a Wagyu flat iron, and a local pork chop with lima beans, bacon lardons, collard greens, and a bourbon glaze. For dessert, don’t miss the eggnog crème brulée and the bacon bread pudding!