Still looking for places to wine and dine on Christmas or Christmas Eve? Here are a few of our favorite Los Angeles recommendations.
The historic Tam O’Shanter is one of Los Angeles’ dining treasures. This favorite of Walt Disney in the ‘30s and ‘40s is ancient by LA standards (it’s stood in Atwater Village for over 90 years). Beloved for its old-world sensibility, the Tam O’Shanter’s Scottish influences are revealed in the servers’ uniforms and décor (including the many tartans on the wall), and the delicious food, particularly the prime rib. It’s an especially charming place to visit in December, when the fireplace is roaring and groups of strolling Christmas carolers attired in Victorian-era finery make their way around the restaurant singing holiday tunes. Open on Christmas Eve, they’re not serving a special menu on that day but diners will be able to tuck into traditional Christmas fare such as goose or turkey, or some of the city’s best steaks. If you’re a craft cocktail fan, try the Table 31. Named after Walt Disney’s favorite table here, it’s a well-balanced composition of Templeton rye, jasmine liqueur, and apple bitters that’s a modern take on the classic Manhattan.
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a traditional Italian Christmas Eve repast made up of fish and seafood dishes. Drago Centro in Downtown LA continues this ancient tradition on December 24th with seven beautifully prepared dishes. The meal begins with an amuse bouche of grassy bar oyster with red currant pearls, followed by a shrimp salad with baby vegetables and pesto, proceeding to poached egg with crispy gnocchi and smoked salmon. Roasted parsnip soup topped with caviar and chives is followed up with an octopus handkerchief enhanced with lemon foam. The next delectable course, Maine lobster ravioli, is topped with truffle butter, while the final savory course consists of seared tuna with squash risotto and sage. Dessert is a terrine of pistachio, mascarpone, and raspberry. Cost is $85, with optional wine pairings for an additional $55.
Cardamom, an Indian restaurant that just opened in October, is open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Eve. Located in mid-city, Cardamom offers a prix-fixe menu on both days for just $35 per person. You’ll be greeted with a glass of Champagne, then enjoy a first course of Singara, Punjabi-style pastry-wrapped vegetable parcels accompanied by date and tamarind chutney, and Onion Piazza, shredded deep-fried onions in paprika-lentil batter. For the main course, choose from a number of dishes, among them Chicken Tikka, Lamb Sheekh Kabob, Hyderabadi Murgh Tikka Masala, or Khyberi Lamb Bhona, all accompanied by Zafrani Rice and freshly baked naan with house-made raita for the table to share, and Gazar ka Haleva (carrot pudding) topped with homemade ice cream for dessert.
If you’re looking to check out a movie on Christmas Day, Tanzy in Westwood, adjoining the iPic Theater, is a perfect choice. Tanzy serves artisinal Italian cuisine from Executive Chef Bryan Podgorski, who attended Le Cordon Bleu, trained at French Laundry, and was chef de Cuisine at Bouchon in Las Vegas, while the cocktail list and wine programs were created by pioneering mixologist and master sommelier Adam Seger. On Christmas Day, Tanzy’s serving a special menu that begins with your choice of parsnip and apple soup or endive and arugula salad, proceeds to a main course of Salmon Creek Farms ham steak with a spiced maple glaze, red wine braised cabbage, caramelized Brussels sprouts, and Yukon gold potato rosti, followed by zuppa inglese for dessert. The price is $35 for adults and $20 for kids. If you go check out Into the Woods or Unbroken next door at iPic, you might want to have a special holiday cocktail brought to your seat, such as the Hot Buttered Salted Truffled Rum.
Four Seasons Westlake Village
Westlake Village’s gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel offers special dining experiences on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Christmas Eve dinner, overlooking the waterfall lawn, includes a buffet featuring traditional holiday favorites, including roasted turkey, along with a raw bar, a sushi bar, housemade pasta and a dessert spread. On Christmas Day, enjoy brunch items, such as smoked salmon quiche, earlier in the day, or partake of dinner after 6pm with such choices as braised lamp shepherd’s pie. Dining either day is $119 for adults and $59 for children.