Los Angeles Christmas Guide 2014
Celebrate Christmas in L.A. with events, dining and more. Find out the best ways to celebrate the holiday season with our Los Angeles Christmas roundup.
Edited by Christina Xenos
Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks
Dec. 14. The picturesque beachside city’s annual holiday celebration features a Skechers-sponsored snow park, a Santa float, a bounce park and live music, capped off by a fireworks show over the pier. To watch the fireworks in VIP fashion, head to The Strand House’s first annual Light Up the Night cocktail party, where in addition to the views you will enjoy passed appetizers, gourmet carving stations, festive music and dance and more. Snow park, float and bounce park, 4 pm-7 pm; fireworks, 7 pm. Free (new, unwrapped toy or cash donation requested for snow park admission). Manhattan Beach Pier, Manhattan Beach, 310.801.2202. mbfireworks.com
The Manhattan Transfer Christmas Show
Dec. 16. Good cheer will abound when L.A.’s beloved vocal jazz group returns with a special holiday version of its timeless, uplifting pop-bop. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Ave., downtown, 323.850.2000. laphil.com
LA Phil Holiday Sing-Along
Dec. 20. Drew Carey leads an evening of holiday fun, where your sining voice is accompanied by Walt Disney Concert Hall’s huge pipe organ, a choir and a jazz combo. Expect to sing your favorite holiday tunes like “The 12 Days of Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and many others. Also enjoy free hot chocolate, coffee, photos with Santa and more at intermission. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Ave., downtown, 323.850.2000. laphil.com
Los Angeles Zoo Reindeer Romp
Through Jan. 4. The Los Angeles zoo turns into a holiday wonderland complete with a visit from Santa and his reindeer. Mingle with the majestic creatures daily, and on weekends take photos with Santa, while you check out other holiday-themed crafts and activities. 5333 Zoo Drive, L.A., 323.644.4200. lazoo.org
Music Center Holiday Sing-Along
Dec. 19. Don your favorite holiday regalia and head to Music Center Plaza for their annual holiday sing-along. Throughout the night sing all your favorite holiday tunes to live accompaniment. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the words, lyric sheet will be provided—just come prepared to sing. 135 North Grand Ave., downtown, 213.972.7211.musiccenter.org
A Chanticleer Christmas
Dec. 18. With their repertoire ranging from Medieval/Renaissance to spirituals/contemporary, the exquisite singers of Chanticleer never fail to spark the Christmas spirit. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Ave., downtown, 323.850.2000. laphil.com
Breakfast With Santa
Enjoy an extravagant buffet, children activity areas with cookie decorating and more, including gifts and a visit from Santa, of course at the Los Angeles Music Center (Dec. 20-22) and Descanso Gardens(Dec. 20-21). You can also visit with Santa in a seaside setting when theTerranea Resort (Dec. 20) welcomes him to their grand ballroom. Enjoy a breakfast buffet, children’s activities and crafts with Santa’s elves and more.
Holiday Organ Spectacular
Dec. 19. The Walt Disney Concert Hall’s magnificent organ is celebrating a decade this season and what better way than with a program of holiday music. David Higgs (one of America’s leading concert organists) hosts this program of devotional and festive holiday music. 111 South Grand Ave., downtown, 323.850.2000. laphil.com
Dec. 20, 21, 27, 28. See the Los Angeles Ballet performs Tchaikovsky’s beloved holiday tale across Los Angeles at Alex Theatre, Dolby Theatre, Royce Hall at UCLA and the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. See losangelesballet.org for schedule, venue and ticket information. Alex Theatre, 216 N Brand Blvd., Glendale, 818.243.2539; Dolby Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.308.6300; Royce Hall at UCLA 340 Royce Drive, Westwood, 310.825.4401; Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach, 310.318.0610. losangelesballet.org
A Christmas Carol
Through Dec. 23. Celebrate the Christmas season with the Charles Dickens classic presented by A Noise Within. The holiday favorite brings together Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and Scrooge to offer the holiday message that we can all make a difference in the world. $48. 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, 626.356.3100. ANoiseWithin.org
L.A. County Holiday Celebration
Dec. 24. Emmy Award-nominated show features a multitude of choirs, music ensembles and dance companies representing the many neighborhoods and cultures of L.A. 3–6 pm. Free admission and parking. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.972.3099. lacountyarts.org/holiday.html
Christmas Eve Dining
Head seaside to dine on an elegant family style Christmas Eve meal at mar’sel. The special three course menu from Chef Charles Olalia features delicious options such as slow roasted prime rib, and a traditional buche de Noel for dessert. Alternately, you can enjoy a Christmas Eve buffet with selections from Spain and Italy at Catalina Kitchen. Menu items include lemon marinated roasted squid, chilled Morro Bay oysters, smoked salmon, prosciutto, speck, serrano ham, white anchovies, piquillo peppers grilled lemons, a holiday pastry display and more.
The Langham Huntington, Pasadena
Indulge in a three-course Christmas Eve feast in The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse. Chef Perry Pollaci offers an array of festive dishes especially for the holiday (5-9 p.m. $85/pp, $125/pp inclusive of wine, and $45 per child under 12-years-old). In addition, Chef Cyril Kabaoglu will present a delightful three-course Christmas Eve dinner in The Terrace from 5-9 p.m., $65/pp, $95/pp inclusive of wine, and $32 per child under 12-years-old.
Dine on a special seven-course Feast of Seven Fishes menu. Highlights of the evening include escabeche of sardines, squid ink maccheroni all chitarra, olive oil poached albacore with a soft boiled duck egg, ricotta cavatelli with ridge back prawns and more. 4-10 p.m. Advanced ticket sales only. $125/pp, $40/pp wine pairings.
Celebrate the holiday with a lux eigh-corse Fest of Seven Fishes menu that include squid carbonara, lobster ravioli, risotto All’onda and struffoli (a Neapolitan donut). Wine pairings available. ($130, $190/290 with wine pairings). 4-8 p.m.
Dine on Yuletide-inspired dishes such as venison saddle with quince, cranberry compote, and fig sauce chartreuse; apple-glazed monkfish with red cabbage, rutabaga, and a potato-juniper emulsion; and traditional desserts like sticky toffee pudding with candied chestnuts and flor di latte, as well as Bûche de Noël with pistachio praline and orange confit. Choose from three-, four-, and eight-course menus. $65/$85/$150. Seatings available from 5-8:30 p.m.
Culina Modern Italian
Celebrate over a five-course prix-fixe menu from Executive Chef Mette Williams. Highlights of the menu include chestnut soup, handmade gnudi ricotta dumplings, wild-caught John Dory in a pureed white truffle foam and more. $85/pp.
Dine on a special five-course prix-fixe menu on highlights like Hokkaido scallop with cauliflower mousse, parsley and black truffle, Maine Lobster with artichoke, black olives, almond and yogurt and “Bouche de Noel Glacée” with pineapple, passion fruit, coconut and lime. 5-8:30 p.m.
Christmas Timpano at Cecconi’s
Dec. 22-24. During the three days leading up to Christmas, Chef de Cuisine Alessio Biangini will be commemorating the season by offering Timpano by-the-slice as a nightly special. The iconic Italian domed pasta dish made famous in the Stanley Tuccci film “Big Night,” features rigatoni with ragu bolognese and meatballs baked together in a handmade dough crust. By-the-slice orders will have limited availability, and larger parties have the option to pre-order a whole Timpano with a $90 deposit (serves 6-7 people).
Celebrate over a three-course dinner that includes dishes like celery root and apple soup with black truffles, emmental cheese soufflé, truffle coulis; chestnut agnolotti with mascarpone, French black truffles, parmigiano reggiano; slow-roasted rack of veal with roasted brussels sprouts, pearl onions, garlic and yellow turnip purée. Dinner also includes a live choir singing holiday carols. Reservations with a credit card required.
Celebrate the holiday over Drago Centro’s annual Feast of the Seven Fishes. The seven-douse menu includes selections like shrimp salad with baby vegetables, poached egg with crispy gnocchi and smoked salmon, Maine lobster ravioli with truffle butter and more.
Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air
Dine on a four-course prix-fixe menu on highlights like roasted Italian chestnut soup, steamed Rhode Island striped bass and Bûche De Noël. 5-9 p.m. $160 per person, $65 children 12 and under.
Restaurant at Mr. C
Dec. 24-25. Savor a traditional Venetian Christmas Eve dinner with a variety of fresh fish and Christmas Day comforts such as veal tortellini, pan roasted halibut and Neapolitan pastiera cheesecake. À la carte menu also available. $85/pp.
Owner and Executive Chef Calogero Drago has assembled a delectable collection of seafood specialties for patrons and guests to enjoy this holiday including Insalata Frutti di Mare marinata all olio e limone, a light mixed seafood salad, Risotto con Fave Ricci di Mare, Arborio rice with sea urchin and fava beans, Filetto di Nasello con Mesticanze di Verdure e Salsa di Peperoni, buttery Chilean Sea Bass plated with an assortment of seasonal
Celebrate over three or four decadent courses like seafood linguini with bay scallops, shrimp, calamari and lobster-cognac sauce; roasted rack of lamb; ahi tina tartare and more. $55 for 3 courses; $65 for 4 courses; $19 for children 10 and under
Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse
Celebrate over a three-course menu that includes roasted chestnut soup, prime rib and more. $55 for 3 courses; $19 for children 10 and under.
Celebrate over three our four courses that include venison carpaccio with quail egg and horseradish cream; roasted squab with butternut squash bread pudding; smoked duck breast with parsnip puree and more. $55 for 3 courses; $65 for 4 courses; $19 for children 10 and under
InterContinental Los Angeles
Dec. 24-25. Savor a four-course holiday menu that includes slow roasted prime rib, candied yam bisque and more. $68/pp, $34 children under 12. 5:30-9 p.m.
Celebrate over a la carte specials like roasted Colorado lamb rack, the Mother Clucker (citrus & herb roasted boneless whole chicken stuffed with cranberry-giblet dressing, alongside California figs, roasted delicata squash, and acorn squash stuffed with orzo salad) and cider house veal chop and apple crop.
Cafe del Rey
Dine waterside on a festive three-course menu that includes selections like black truffle pasta, braised short ribs and crispy octopus. 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. $60/pp.
Dec. 24-25. Dine on a la carte specials like pig’s head in a blanket, scallops wrapped in bacon and dates, gooseneck pie with house made sweet pastry and honey glazed ham for two with creamy grits. Additionally, enjoy roasted goose with chestnut bread sauce, stuffed onions, roasted potatoes and spiagarello for Christmas Day.
The Raymond & 1886 Bar
Dine on a family style holiday feast that includes highlights like artichoke ravioli, Moroccan style American cod, Mexican Christmas soup, a gingerbread house dessert and more.
Toscana and Bar Toscana
Celebrate over holiday specials will include the best of the season’s white and black truffles, including white asparagus with organic egg, Parmigiano and truffles and Wagyu Kobe beef tenderloin with baked eggplant mousse and truffles.
Blue Plate Oysterette West 3rd St.
Dine on Feast of Seven Fishes feast that includes selections like lobster bisque, Arctic char, sea scallop with cauliflower puree, tagliatelle with lobster and lobster sauce, and more. $89/pp. Noon-10 p.m.
Dine on a four-course menu with highlights like chestnut soup, seared sea scallops, roasted John Dory filet, Manjari chocolate Buche de Noel and more. #145/pp. Reservations required.
Delphine Eatery + Bar
Enjoy a special holiday menu that includes selections like blood orange and persimmon salad, apple and fennel soup, dungeness crab ravioli, pan roasted white bass and more. $67 (also available on Christmas Day).
Christmas Day Dining
The Langham Huntington, Pasadena
Enjoy a decadent dining experiences all day long at The Langham. Start your day in the Huntington Ballroom with a Christmas brunch that includes champagne and live entertainment (11 a.m.-3 p.m., priced at $98 adults and $38 per child under 12). If dim sum is more your speed, heat to The Terrace from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. ($58 adults, $29 children under 12), which also offers a three-course dinner from Chef Cyril Kabaoglu from 4-9 p.m. ($65 adults, $95 with wine, $32 children under 12). You can also celebrate at The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse over a three-course Christmas dinner that includes specialties such as chanterelle flan and Peekytoe crab, wild mushroom risotto, roasted turkey with mushroom stuffing, and chocolate lava cake with molten sea salt caramel center (4-9 p.m., $85 adults, $125 with wine, $45 children under 12).
There is no shortage of merry making at the Terranea Resort. Enjoy Christmas Day brunch at Catalina Kitchen or the special Ballroom Buffet. Dinner brings an elegant family style meal at mar’sel and Catalina Kitchen, or Asian-inspired specials at Bashi.
Celebrate Christmas Day at Scarpetta with a holiday feast including live music, delicious traditional culinary indulgences and festive decor. $105 per adult, $45 per child.
Tres by Jose Andres
Dine on a decadent Christmas brunch ($65/pp) featuring SLS holiday carving display, caviar and smoked salmon displays, and Greek yogurt parfaits and fresh fruit. Includes a selection of assorted pastries and desserts as well as coffee, teas, freshly-squeezed juices and agua fresca. Dinner regular menu with additional holiday specials. Brunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m., dinner 4-9 p.m.
Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air
Celebrate the holiday over brunch and dinner on highlights like the H.B.A “Benedict”, grilled Japanese BBQ salmon salad and Dover sole for brunch and house smoked salmon blinis and Marcho Farm’s veal chop for dinner. Brunch $125 per person, $65 for children 12 and under; dinner $160 per person, $65 for children 12 and under.
Culina Modern Italian
Celebrate the holiday over a decadent brunch buffet that includes highlights like a carving station with roasted prime rib and citrus roasted farm turkey with chestnut stuffing, Californian caviar and tartare station, as well as more traditional brunch fare. $98/pp, $49/children 12 and under.