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With many families finally reuniting, it certainly is the most wonderful time of the year. Whether celebrating with loved ones or simply toasting the season, here are some SoCal spots for enjoying special holiday moments.
Shutters on the Beach: Cozy up by the fireplace inside the lavishly decorated Living Room lobby at Shutters on the Beach (1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica) with nightly live entertainment, while indulging in its Romp on the Beach cocktail, a twist on eggnog, along with holiday fare from 1 Pico executive chef Sean Michael Runyon. “This is the time of the year to spoil yourself,” says Runyon, “and discerning palates will appreciate my unapologetic use of truffles and caviar.”
Peninsula Beverly Hills: Plan for merriment at the Peninsula (9882 South Santa Monica Blvd.) with a wreath-making and mixology class from McQueen Flowers (Dec. 15, $175) and brunch with Santa (Dec. 19).
Beverly Hills Hotel: There’s something for everyone at the Beverly Hills Hotel (9641 Sunset Blvd.), from a kids’ cookie decorating class (Dec. 16, $75) and 12 new varieties of the Polo Lounge’s legendary soufflé, including pumpkin pie, to such libations as the Fig Sidecar.
Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills: At the Waldorf (9850 Wilshire Blvd.), chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has designed an eight-course Christmas Eve tasting menu (including black truffle and hamachi toast, $260). And the hotel’s Holiday High Tea returns with the festive sounds of a classical harpist (Dec. 19, $110).
L’Ermitage: Step into an immersive winter wonderland in the lobby of L’Ermitage (9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills), which has been elaborately transformed by Emmy Award-winning set designer Matthew Steinbrenner, of Love Actually Live, currently in production at The Wallis.
El Encanto: The Hollywood-beloved hideaway in Santa Barbara (800 Alvarado Place), rolls out a Butterfly Tea (Dec. 19-21, $125 adults) with holiday-inspired bites and Festive Movie Nights (Dec. 23 and 24, $75 adults) including epicurean popcorn and hot chocolate. “The Butterfly Tea is an ode to the iconic butterfly migration that sweeps the county and El Encanto each year,” says Julia Solomon, marketing and communications manager at El Encanto.
Montage Laguna Beach: At the Montage (30801 South Coast Highway), snap Insta-worthy photos at the opulent Mistletoe at Montage and Gingerbread Village displays before sinking into one of the sumptuous lobby sofas for their holiday-inspired Afternoon Tea complete with profiteroles and ocean views.
Hotel Figueroa: Relish the European holiday flair at their new restaurant, Sparrow (939 South Figueroa Street, DTLA), where festive Mediterranean cuisine and cocktails abound, including lamb shank osso bucco, truffle Reggiano tagliatelle and the enchanting Abruzzo cocktail with orange oil and herb-infused smoke.
West Hollywood Edition: At Sunset Strip’s Edition (9040 Sunset Blvd.), artist Rachel Lee Hovnanian has created a festive tree installation, Time for Love. Guests who purchase the special Time for Love cocktail can select the color that the tree lights up and proceeds support mental-health nonprofit Project Healthy Minds.
Grain Whiskey Bar: Bravo’s Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson has reopened Grain Whiskey Bar inside her restaurant Playa Provisions (119 Culver Blvd., Playa Del Rey). Holiday beverage creations to pair with bar bites include Hot Buttered YUM!, featuring spiced rum, honey-molasses butter and Fernet-Branca marshmallow
Grandmaster Records: At the soon-to-open multilevel culinary and nightlife destination Grandmaster Records in Hollywood (1518 North Cahuenga Blvd.) — set in a former recording studio — the holiday menu includes orecchiette with slow-cooked Magra lamb. “The whole menu is festive, clever and, above all else, fun,” says head chef and culinary director Monty Koludrovic.
République: The restaurant (624 S. La Brea Ave.) has special offerings which include its signature panettone and gift baskets ($85, with house-made granola, Verve coffee, shortbread cookies, almond toffee, house-made jam and stollen).
L’antica Pizzeria da Michele: The restaurant (1534 N. McCadden Place) has created a special pasta, Spicy Arrabiata di Mare (with branzino, scallops, calamari, shrimp, clams and mussels), $35. For every dish sold, it’s donating $10 to A Place Called Home, a nonprofit supporting youth with arts, education and wellness programs in South Los Angeles.
Jar: The modern chophouse (8225 Beverly Blvd.) will be open for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and will be offering chef Suzanne Tracht’s signature Pot Roast with caramelized roasted onion, carrot and creamy horseradish ($155, serves four).
Akasha: The Culver City restaurant (9543 Culver Blvd.) is offering Christmas Eve and Christmas Day takeout, available for preorder via Tock on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24. Items include seasonal crudite and beet hummus, Take & Bake Brie, pigs in a blanket, winter squash and chestnut soup, Tuscan braised short ribs, and, for sweet tooths, a gluten-free cookie box and a chocolate Bûche de Noël.
A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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