Palate Pleasers, Party People: Where to Eat on New Year’s Eve

Whether you’re looking to eat like royalty, rage the night away, or get a head start on a healthy 2015, L.A.’s restaurants are ready

It’s almost New Year’s Eve again. Where on earth are you going to go? You could spend your evening pumping the keg at some party and fighting for your share of a cheeseball, or you can enjoy a fabulous multi-course dinner at one of Los Angeles’ best restaurants. It’s your choice, but it is the last meal you’re going to eat all year. Here are some options for all sorts of food-and-fun-loving Angelenos:

If you dream of a Parisian New Year’s Eve
Downtown’s Church & State is one of the most legit French bistro experiences you can have in L.A., and executive chef Tony Esnault will offer a five-course, New Year’s Eve prix fixe as magnifique as the Eiffel Tower is tall. The menu includes marinated hamachi, beef tenderloin with potato confit and brussels sprouts, and chocolate mousse served with raspberry gelee and an exotic fruit tart. The scene: candlelit yet lively. ($95 per person)
redarrowChurch & State, 1850 Industrial St., Los Angeles, 213-405-1434. Reservations can be made by phone or online.

If you dream of a Portlandia New Year’s Eve
Chef Casey Lane, who hails from Portland and cooks some of L.A.’s most rarefied Italian food, will surely pull out all the stops at The Tasting Kitchen as 2014 drifts away, and the communal tables (not unlike what you’ll find all over Portland) will make you feel like you have a ton of friends. The Abbot Kinney restaurant will serve three separate prix-fixe menus–one for vegetarians, one for pescetarians, and one for everyone else. Expect black truffle risotto, poached lobster, and beer gelato. The scene: festive and friendly. ($100 per person)
redarrow The Tasting Kitchen, 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, 310-392-6644. Call for reservations.

If you want to pretend you made $72 million trading stocks (or you just like seafood, caviar, and truffles)
Sure, it’s pricey, but you’re probably guaranteed a good year if you start it off at Providence. The night’s menu from chef Michael Cimarusti will include seven courses of the kind of meticulously prepared dishes (made with sustainable ingredients) we’ve come to expect from the Melrose Avenue fine-dining institution, easily one of L.A.’s top restaurants. You’ll start with Santa Barbara uni topped with caviar, and then move onto scallops with truffles and then lobster, striped bass, and grilled dry-aged prime rib with, yes, more truffles. The scene: quiet, luxe, and refined. ($280 per person)
redarrowProvidence, 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-460-4170. Call for reservations.

If you’re going with a party-ready group who like to eat and drink in high volume
You and your entourage can do it up at The Church Key. The West Hollywood restaurant is coupling an all-you-can-eat dim sum cart extravaganza with a family-style prix fixe. Foodwise, there will be tuna tartare, shrimp cocktail, prime rib, truffled mac and cheese, and Baked Alaska. Where drinking is concerned, Devon Espinosa has plenty of festive craft cocktails in store, like the champagne and pomegranate espuma-topped Pink Lips. The scene: pure energy.  ($85 per person)
redarrowThe Church Key, 8730 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 424-249-3700. Call for reservations.

If you want dinner and a glitzy, grownup party experience
New Year’s Eve at Cecconi’s is dinner and a party in one. Starting at 9 p.m., the Northern Italian restaurant will offer a four-course prix fixe with options like seared yellowfin tuna, three-milk cheese tortelli, and panettone bread pudding, followed by a ritzy bash. They’ll even start you off right in 2015 with a champagne toast.  The scene: posh, polished, and exuberant. ($150 per person)
redarrow Cecconi’s West Hollywood, 8764 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, 310-432-2000. Call for reservations.

If you want a jump start on your get-healthier New Year’s resolution
Raw-food chef Matthew Kenney’s Santa Monica Place restaurant is planning a plant-based feast for the big night. M.A.K.E. will serve a 10-course meal, featuring mushroom mousse with apple gelee and mustard crisps, romanesco with walnut creme, and champagne-poached Asian pear with wheatgrass granita and sorrel gelato. Check out the organic wine list, or just get buzzed on fresh juices. The scene: clean, healthy fun.  ($75 per person)
redarrow M.A.K.E, 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, 310-394-7046. Call for reservations.

If you want exceptional food and a low-key ambiance
Those who like to keep it relaxed but want a dazzling culinary experience can go to Canelé. The Atwater Village restaurant, which is usually a tight squeeze, will be rearranged to facilitate a friendly, mingling atmosphere. Hors d’oeuvres, including chicken liver paté and pissaladiere (it’s like a pizza), will be followed by a slew of tasty bites like oysters, bread pudding, crispy duck, and a pleasantly overwhelming barrage of desserts. Unlimited champagne is included if you’re game. The scene: unpretentious and intimate.  ($120 per person)
redarrowCanelé, 3219 Glendale Blvd.,  Los Angeles, 323-666-7133. Call for reservations.