Chinese New Year: Where to Celebrate the Year of the Horse

“Donkey’s lips do not fit onto a horse’s mouth.” – Chinese proverb

Gongxi, gongxi! The Year of the Horse comes galloping in this Friday, January 31. And feasting on food is the most popular way to celebrate Chinese New Year. Unlike most holidays, this one sticks around for a whole two weeks. That’s a lot of eating!

There are many excellent Chinese restaurants in L.A. where you can chew in the New Year. Below is a list of Chinese restaurants doing a little something extra to welcome the Year of the Horse.

Hakkasan Beverly Hills will feature a special Chinese New Year menu from January 31 to February 8. Chef Ho Chee Boon emphasizes Cantonese style plates on this menu. On January 31 at 830 pm, the restaurant will also have a traditional lion dance performance. > Hakkasan, 233 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-888-8661.

Chi Lin in West Hollywood slashes their prices for all food items by 50% in honor of Chinese New Year. On February 2 to 6, you can indulge in everything from Chef Tyson Wong’s long life noodles and Peking duck served tableside for half off. > Chi Lin, 9201 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-278-2068.

Hop Woo in Chinatown continues its tradition of serving symbolic food for the festive occasion. Dishes like long life noodles, venison, bamboo fungus, and more represent good things such as a big salary and longevity. > Hop Woo, 845 N. Broadway, Chinatown, 213-617-3038.

Clandestinely dine at secret Chinese dinner with 19 year-old prodigy chef Luther Bob Chen at Xian Wei. Enjoy elevated, modern Chinese cuisine inspired by various regions of China from Anhui to Xinjiang. > Xian Wei, (schedule and sign up website).

Of course all of Chinatown will be horsing around with festivities, parades, dragon and lion dances, and food for all tastes and appetites (February 1 & 2 starting at noon). Also, on Thursday, January 30, you can experience the shock and awe of 500,000 exploding firecrackers at the Thien Hau Temple. > Official Chinatown Year of the Horse announcement and schedule of events.

Let us not forget that it’s also the Lunar New Year, with other Asian restaurants commemorating this special season as well.  

Chef Kimmy Tang of 9021Pho hosts a spice tour marking the Vietnamese New Year (Feb. 1) which culminates in a lunch with the chef herself. Tickets are $25 for both tour and lunch. In addition, on January 31, all four 9021Pho locations will be handing out “Lucky Money” to the first 50 guests.

bibigo Korean restaurant will offer a special Korean New Year prix fixe dinner menu from January 31 through the end of February. > bibigo Korean restaurant, 225 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-275-0011.