Food & Drink

Where to Eat on Christmas Day in LA

Before you declare that you’ve never gone out to eat on Christmas Day and you never will, stop and think for a second. Imagine the pure holiday joy of not having to schlep to someone’s house in Simi Valley -- or, God forbid, host some outrageously work-intensive dinner at your own apartment. Eating out's starting to sound pretty good, no?

We've gathered up some of LA's best restaurants for a Christmas meal, ranging from boozy brunches and big buffets, to decadent prix fixe dinners; plus, if you’d rather make a game-time decision and keep it casual (and more affordable), we’ve included some spots that will simply be open for business, serving their usual menus. Also drinks, there will be drinks. Lots of drinks. Because, if you’re dining with family, you’re still going to get through that inevitable "I thought we said we weren’t bringing that up today" conversation. Here’s hoping you don’t have to work on December 26.    

Note: Prices listed do not include tax and gratuity at most venues.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

The NoMad
Benoit Linero

NoMad Los Angeles

Downtown
For a glam Christmas meal, look no further than this hotelstaurant, housed within the 1920s-built headquarters of The Bank of Italy, with its ornate ceilings, marble floors and Corinthian columns. You can opt for a holiday brunch, featuring the regular a la carte menu with selections of chia pudding, lemon-poppy pancakes, and hanger steak and eggs, along with some special seasonal drinks. If you’re looking for dinner, the four-course prix-fixe menu will feature options of caviar on potato blini, roasted chicken breast with black truffle-brioche stuffing, and the NoMad’s famously addictive milk and honey dessert. (Trust us. You want it.) 
Details: Brunch 10am to 2:30pm. Dinner 5:30pm to 9:30pm, $95 per person. Reservations via OpenTable

saddle peak lodge
Courtesy of Saddle Peak Lodge

Saddle Peak Lodge

Calabasas
The Malibu Canyon mountain lodge will offer a four-course holiday dinner with dishes of fire-roasted chestnut soup, a honey-glazed crispy pork belly “Christmas ham,” braised short ribs, and a Balsam Fir-roasted Skuna Bay salmon. (Try making that one at home.) Dessert options include pumpkin pie or an apple-huckleberry bread pudding. Pair your meal with a punny seasonal cocktail like the Cognac-based Fig-ged About It or the Caramel Apple of My Eye, a vodka, Prosecco, and cider concoction. 
Details: 4pm to 9pm. $98 adults, $59 children. Reservations via the restaurant website.

The Pikey

Hollywood
The English tavern will be throwing a family-style Christmas Day menu into the mix with entree selections of roasted duck and scallops and shareable British sides like roasted carrots, parsnips, and crispy potatoes, and figgy pudding for dessert. (Vegans and vegetarians can get a composed plate of sides). Alternatively, you can order one of the restaurant’s classic dishes like fish and chips or the English cheddar-topped burger from the limited a la carte menu. There's also a late-night menu in case you had your family dinner so ungodly early that you’re hungry again... and you're in need of a cocktail.
Details: Christmas Day menu 1pm to 10pm, $55; $29 vegan/vegetarian menu. Reservations recommended via OpenTable. Late-night menu runs from 10pm to 1am.

carbon beach club
Courtesy of Malibu Beach Inn

Carbon Beach Club

Malibu 
For Christmas dinner on the sand (get ready to text photos straight to those poor souls back in Cincinnati), head up the coast to the Malibu Beach Inn’s waterfront restaurant. The three-course menu will go heavy on seafood with lobster bisque, charred octopus paired with Peruvian potatoes, and local Cioppino. The butter rum poached pear in puffed pastry sounds like the exact kind of blowout dessert worth justifying to yourself afterward. 
Details: 10:30am to 10pm. $90 per person, $135 with wine pairings. Reservations via OpenTable.

gwen
Wonho Frank Lee

Gwen

Hollywood
At Curtis Stone’s butcher shop-centric eatery, his chef de cuisine Juan Rendon will be whipping up a four-course feast set to include a winter root vegetable salad, black truffle risotto with crème fraiche and Parmigiano Reggiano (super light, we hear), and an 8-ounce New York strip done with cauliflower bagna cauda and maitake mushrooms. Guests will cap the whole thing off with a cranberry cremeux dessert with red walnuts and pickled cranberries. 
Details: 1-7pm. $95 per person. Reservations via OpenTable.

Maude
Ray Kachatorian

Maude 

Beverly Hills
If your Christmas bonus was especially healthy this year, consider Stone’s original restaurant. He’ll be doing a special six-course Tuscan White Christmas menu (for three hours only), including pumpkin and white truffle soup; pheasant with cannellini bean puree and braised kale; and a truffle-laced gelato served with chestnut cake to things finish up. 
Details: 1pm to 4pm. $250 per person. Reservations via Resy.

Shutters on the Beach
Courtesy of Shutters on the Beach

1 Pico at Shutters on the Beach

Santa Monica
You can get a side of killer Pacific views with your holiday meal at this airy eatery inside the beachfront hotel. Choose from a three-course brunch featuring kabocha squash soup, whole lobster benedict, and filet mignon and eggs; or a three-course dinner with offerings of asparagus and Imperial caviar, roasted Muscovy duck breast, and white truffle tagliolini. Both meals will come with multiple dessert options including a chocolate yule log... which sounds much better than the inedible one on TV. 
Details: Brunch 10am to 4pm, $95 per person. Dinner 4pm to 10pm, $115 per person. Reservations via OpenTable.

The Draycott

Pacific Palisades 
The California-influenced brasserie at Rick Caruso’s glitzy Palisades Center is offering a three-course dinner with classic-ish holiday options of wild mushroom soup; roasted beet and gorgonzola salad; a turkey dinner plated with Brussel sprouts and roast potatoes; and a bourbon crème brulee dessert. 
Details: 11am to 8pm. $95 per person. Bar closes at 9pm. Reservations via OpenTable.

Jean-Georges Beverly Hills Waldorf Astoria
Courtesy of Jean-Georges Beverly Hills

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills
Jean Georges Beverly Hills, the hotel’s ground-floor restaurant, is rolling out a three-course menu featuring good stuff like ahi tartare, and black truffle Hamachi toast, Wagyu beef carpaccio, and grilled octopus with smoked paprika crème fraiche. If you’re looking for a sky-high brunch, you'll find it 12 stories up at The Rooftop by JG.
Details: Jean-Georges Beverly Hills 11am to 9pm. $165 per adult, $70 per child. Brunch at The Rooftop by JG 10am to 4pm; all-day menu 4pm to 10pm. Reservations via OpenTable.

Whiskey Red’s

Marina del Rey  
If you’re in end-of-year, all-you-can-eat mode, get in on the Champagne buffet at this marina-fronting restaurant with a giant patio. In addition to bubbly, expect carving stations with roasted turkey, prime rib, and ham along with classic side dishes, crab legs, and a raw bar. Plus, there'll be live music and a visit from Santa. 
Details: 11am to 4pm. $62.95 for adults, $29.95 for children. Reservations via OpenTable.

avec nous
Aliza Sokolow

Avec Nous

Beverly Hills
The Viceroy L’Ermitage restaurant is offering a French-influenced five-course tasting menu heavy on luxe dishes including Ora King smoked salmon rillettes, white-truffle laced mushroom consommé, and beef wellington. The wine pairing option sounds like a no-brainer with pours of good stuff like Veuve Clicquot, William Fevre Chablis, and Daou Cabernet.   
Details: 5pm to 11pm. $95 person, $40 for optional wine pairing, $45 for 3-course children’s menu. Reservations via OpenTable.

STK 

Westwood
Opt for a bone-in filet or dry-aged Delmonico from the sleek steakhouse’s regular menu, or try the restaurant’s holiday special: roasted prime rib with truffle Madeira sauce. If you’ve got small steak-eaters in tow, order them the Christmas 4-ounce filet served with mac & cheese, veggies, and chocolate cake.
Details: 12pm to 10pm. A la carte pricing. $58 for prime rib special, $24 for kids’ meal. Reservations via website.

Hotel Shangri-La

Santa Monica
The hotel’s ground-floor Dining Room Restaurant is doing a four-course meal with white asparagus soup, and choices of wild mushroom ravioli, John Dory in a blood orange Béarnaise, cherry-glazed duck, and multiple dessert options. Head up to rooftop bar Onyx for after-dinner drinks and impressive ocean views. 
Details: 1pm to 8pm. $85 for adults, $49 for children. Reservations via OpenTable.

WALK-INS ACCEPTED

The Abbey Food & Bar
Courtesy of The Abbey Food & Bar

The Abbey

West Hollywood
LA’s most fabled gay bar will be open all day and night, so you can pop in any time for drinks and dishes from its extensive menu ranging from burgers to salads to entrees in addition to an all-day brunch. Also look for holiday-themed cocktails, custom baked goods, and a festive 30-foot tree. 
Details: 11am to 2am. Walk-ins welcome.

Genghis Cohen

Fairfax
The 35-year-old New York-style Chinese restaurant, with its red walls, leather booths, paper lanterns, and big old dragon hanging from the ceiling is gearing up for its biggest night of the year. If you haven’t feasted on stuff like sweet-and-sour chicken, hot and sour soup, shrimp lo mein, and pork fried rice for Christmas dinner, this is the year to do it. The menu here is massive, and there’s a fun tiki-inspired drink list, too   
Details: 12pm to 10pm. Reservations recommended via OpenTable, but walk-ins welcome. 

Nest at WP24
Courtesy of Nest at WP24

Nest at WP24 by Wolfgang Puck

Downtown
Yes, the Asian-inspired lounge on the 24th floor of the Ritz will be offering a special holiday family-style menu with items including paper skin chicken and salt & pepper prawns, but will also have its regular a la carte menu available featuring its usual array of sushi rolls, small bites like prawn toast and pork belly bao, and larger entrees along with lots of desserts. 
Details: 5pm to 10pm. Walk-ins welcome.

Catch LA
Courtesy of Catch LA

Catch 

West Hollywood
The Melrose rooftop restaurant will be offering its usual seafood-heavy menu, along with some Yuletide specials including Australian Wagyu rib roast and sticky gingerbread cake. 
Details: 4pm to 9:30pm. Reservations available via OpenTable, but walk-ins welcome. 

Simonette

Culver City
Hit up the all-day eatery inside the Pali Hotel for French bistro-style dishes of salad Nicoise, moules frites, salmon tartine, and chicken paillarde, plus lovely cocktails and a French-focused wine list. 
Details: 8am to 11pm. Reservations available via OpenTable, but walk-ins are welcome. 

double take
Courtesy of Double Take

Double Take

Beverly Hills
This game room, bar, and restaurant off the lobby of the Kimpton Hotel Palomar turned itself into the Polynesian-themed holiday pop-up Double Tiki this holiday season, and the place will still be in action on Christmas Day. (It’s running until January 1.) Expect kitschy decor, an Aloha-shirt wearing Santa, and plenty of tiki drinks and food specials in addition to the regular menu of bar bites, salads, and several entrees. 
Details: 4:30pm to 11pm. Reservations available via OpenTable, but walk-ins welcome.

Te’Kila

Hollywood 
Late-night tacos and margaritas on Christmas are totally doable (as are 11am tacos, for that matter) at this Hollywood Boulevard cantina that will be open and slinging its modern Mexican fare usual. If it’s been a crazy day, choose from one of the 300 tequilas and mezcals the bar offers and toast the fact that ride shares still run on Christmas Day. 
Details: 11am to 1am. Reservations available via Yelp, but walk-ins welcome.

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Lizbeth Scordo is a food and lifestyle writer who is currently investigating what happened to all those ornament hooks from last year. Follow her @modlizbeth and @lalizbeth.