Everything You Can Do in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve
Here’s hoping 2022 isn’t 2020, too.
Even in normal times, New Year’s Eve is a tricky holiday in LA: geography, traffic, and the transitional nature of the city make it a bit less of a to-do than, say, Halloween. That said, this year feels like people are making up for lost time: there’s a slew of options for your NYE revelry, ranging from classic bougie champagne soirees to super-fun cover band nights to baller meals all across the city. And we’ve made sure to include a couple of virtual options and outdoor activities as well. Here’s 15 of the best things to do on NYE this year in LA:
For two nights including NYE, upscale modern Mexican restaurant Damian is hosting the team from Mexico City’s acclaimed Pujol, which has been called one of the world’s 50 best restaurants. Dinner includes six courses as well as an optional booze pairing; there’s also a NYE party add-on starting at 11:30. If you can’t make it on NYE, the dinner menu will also be served on December 30.
Union Station (DTLA)
This annual Roaring ‘20s-inspired event is back for its 9th year and co-sponsored (as always) by KCRW. Featured performances include live jazz, burlesque, a ball drop, a headlining DJ set from Cut/Copy, and a 60-foot ball drop at midnight. Tickets include an open bar with champagne and specialty cocktails.
Grand Park (DTLA) and Your House
If you’re not going out this New Year’s, this could be the best way to join the party from home: the annual celebration in Grand Park, always one of LA’s best, is closed to in-person attendance for anyone except invited first responders and essential workers. They’re live-streaming the whole thing, though, which means a living room dance party to Mexican rockers Kinky and a countdown along with the projection on City Hall can be had from the comfort of your own couch.
Ace Hotel DTLA
While the Ace decided to cancel its annual New Years bash due to a rise in COVID numbers, you can still head to their new veggie-forward Loam restaurant, for specials that include scallop crudo and caviar service (and a champagne toast, obviously); or to the rooftop upstairs where Marc Baker and Nina Tarr will be spinning hits from the ‘80s to now.
8048 W 3rd St (Mid-City)
3rd street’s Theia has fire dancers, acrobats, and DJs as part of their three-course all-inclusive NYE throwdown, with two separate ticketed seatings (at 5 pm and 8:30 pm), for the opportunity to both launch and end your night there.
Eataly LA (Century City)
Century City’s outpost of the vaunted Italian marketplace and restaurant Eataly is flaming up the grill for NYE at their rooftop terrace restaurant, Terra. The culmination of their year-long Study Of Fire series includes flame-kissed dishes, demos, unlimited apps, a band, photo booth, and a swag bag. Tickets include all food, two drink tickets, and a midnight toast.
Catch One (4067 W Pico, Koreatown-adjacent)
The multi-purpose venue Catch One has one of the best music lineups for this New Years: five stages of electronic-leaning acts have been curated by the venue, with DJ sets by artists like Toro Y Moi, Chet Faker, Boys Noize, Marques Wyatt, and more. VIP gets you preferred entry, access to a private bar, and a champagne toast at midnight.
Cost: $89+ fees for GA. $125+ fees for VIP.
23 Windward Ave (Venice)
This Westside supperclub is making you dress to impress this NYE: their multifaceted event requires black tie attire, and includes a welcome drink, a midnight toast, passed appetizers, and “a secret DJ headliner.”
205 Ocean Front Walk (Venice)
If you’re watching your wallet this year there’s no better deal than The Waterfront: their Neighborhood NYE party is totally free—no cover charge, no ticket, no reservations, and includes not just a surprise DJ performance but free midnight champagne.
Angel City Brewery (DTLA)
Another totally-free celebration is going down at Angel City; they’ve got aerialists, a DJ, and free beer at midnight. Unsurprisingly, they predict that it’s gonna fill up so get there early to ensure admission.
Skybar at the Mondrian (Weho)
This bar takeover is leaning in on the schmancy, with an upscale-cocktail dress code and a pool-covering dance floor, but the big sell is a four-hour open bar; make sure to order your Uber in advance.
Cost: $145 for GA.
Employees Only (West Hollywood)
Employees Only is theming up their open-bar NYE party with an ode to the era where flannel reigned supreme: join them for DJs and bands playing ‘90s hits, as well as ‘90s-style snacks (really hoping for Teddy Grahams) and a chill-out bean-bag lounge.
Loews Santa Monica
The beachside hotel Loews is leaning into the Roaring ‘20s theme, with jazz vocal band The Satin Dollz and tap dancers. Add-ons include a Remy 1738 Cognac service and a VIP party, while all tickets include a NYE toast.
OK, this is genius: over-the-top sandwich mini-chain Fat Sal’s is releasing a secret menu exclusively from midnight to 3 am on New Year’s Eve, with heart-stopping deliciousness like The Fat LA Street Dog (two grilled hot dogs, crispy bacon, sauteed peppers and onion, melted American cheese, jalapeno peppers, fries, mustard, ketchup, and fat sauce on a hero) and The Pastrami Western Burger (a quarter pound USDA-certified angus burger, melted cheddar cheese, crisp bacon, hot pastrami, chicken fingers, onion rings, honey barbecue sauce, mayo on a garlic buttered bun). In other words, if you wake up hungover, that’s your own damn fault.
House of Blues Anaheim
Indie-rock tribute band Black Crystal Wolf Kids (*full disclosure: the author of this article is in Black Crystal Wolf Kids) is expanding on their usual classic-era Coachella covers for this NYE party (which is moved to the OC from their traditional sold-out gig at Pappy & Harriets): the band’s splitting the night into two sections, playing songs from the ‘80s and ‘90s to kick things off and then throwing a massive dance party of favorites from the last 22 years for their second set. Costumes from your favorite decades are encouraged.