Los Angeles

Where to Eat on Christmas Day in LA

The PikeyLA
The PikeyLA
The PikeyLA

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

Benoit Linero
Benoit Linero
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

Courtesy of Saddle Peak Lodge
Courtesy of 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 PikeyLA
The PikeyLA
The PikeyLA

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.

Courtesy of Malibu Beach Inn
Courtesy of Malibu Beach Inn
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.

Wonho Frank Lee
Wonho Frank Lee
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.

Ray Kachatorian
Ray Kachatorian
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.

Courtesy of Shutters on the Beach
Courtesy of 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
The Draycott
The Draycott

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.

Courtesy of Jean-Georges Beverly Hills
Courtesy of Jean-Georges Beverly Hills
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.

Aliza Sokolow
Aliza Sokolow
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

Courtesy of The Abbey Food & Bar
Courtesy of 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. 

Courtesy of Nest at WP24
Courtesy of 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.

Courtesy of Catch LA
Courtesy of 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. 

Courtesy of Double Take
Courtesy of 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.Sign up here for our daily LA email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun Los Angeles has to offer.

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.

Los Angeles

How to Spend a Weekend in Topanga Canyon

Nature and the arts collide in this beloved canyon community.

Hanan Isachar/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images
Hanan Isachar/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images
Hanan Isachar/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images

Situated in the Santa Monica Mountains and known for its vibrant creative community, Topanga is one of Los Angeles’s most prized destinations for art and outdoor enthusiasts alike. And while LA boasts its own sprawling landscape of fun to tap into, you’d be remiss to miss a chance to explore this tucked-away collection of state parks, and cafes, and restaurants-especially when it all rests just 20 minutes away from the city. From a quaint caf√© with dazzling canyon views to a world-renowned, open-air theatre, here are the best ways to pass some time in Topanga now.

Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray
Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray
Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray

Friday

Book dinner at Inn of the Seventh Ray
Owner Lucille Yaney opened this iconic restaurant in 1975 after spotting the property on a drive through the canyon with her late husband Ralph, and it’s safe to say she had a good eye. The land perfectly fits into Yaney’s vision of a romantic, alfresco dining space with tables tucked into cozy nooks and gazebos, all beneath canapes and fairy lights. Today, Yaney co-owns the venue with executive chef consultant Brad Miller. Together, they continue to fulfil the restaurant’s original mission to serve pure, natural foods reflective of the season’s best. That approach appears in dishes like 8-Hour Black Vinegar Braised Short Rib with creamy rosemary polenta, duck bacon Brussels sprouts, and caramelized onion and fig jam; Roasted Mushroom Toast with oyster mushrooms and sherry tarragon cream; and Beets & Whipped Black Pepper Creme Fraiche. Consider the carbs here. Pastas and sauces are made in-house and from scratch, as is the bread (available regular or gluten-free), an order of which you won’t want to miss. Check out the wine list, too, which offers a robust organic and biodynamic selection that has helped the restaurant garner some impressive accolades in recent years.

Check into Topanga Canyon Inn
In addition to plenty of excellent Airbnbs available to rent in the Canyon, there’s Topanga Canyon Inn, a charming bed and breakfast comprised of two Mediterranean-style buildings-Casa Blanca and Casa Rosa-both built by the owners. Guests can enjoy bespoke design details in each room, along with gorgeous mountain views from their own private balcony. Come morning, join other travellers for breakfast, served daily at Casa Rosa.

Saturday

Get coffee at Café on 27
Ready your camera for a coffee date at this AM eatery and caf√©, where ample (and busy) outdoor seating offers some of the Canyon’s best views. A full breakfast and lunch menu is available (complete with hearty orders like eggs Benedicts, soups, and club sandwiches), but for lighter morning fare, spring for a pastry and any of their specialty drinks, such as the turmeric latte or Moroccan mocha.

Bradley Allen Murrell/Shutterstock
Bradley Allen Murrell/Shutterstock
Bradley Allen Murrell/Shutterstock

Hike Topanga State Park
Spanning 11,000 acres and 36 miles of trails, Topanga State Park is the largest state park within the Santa Monica Mountains and one of the world’s largest parks within city limits. Visitors can access the grounds via more than 60 entrances. Once on the trails, enjoy sweeping vistas while exploring the region’s range of plants, habitats, and wildlife, including several resident bird species.

Grab lunch at Topanga Living Café
Guided by their Topanga upbringing and need for a community gathering spot with great eats, sibling team Agustina Ferguson and Bayu Suryawan opened this daytime eatery in 2016. Ever since, locals and visitors have found refuge in the caf√©’s warm, airy space and nourishing, hyper-fresh fare-all California-inspired with global influences. Check it out in plates like the Island Style, a breakfast salad with Balinese corn fritters, a poached egg, and house-made chilli jam, or the tacos (Baja Fish or Baja Shrimp, Carne Asada, or Kabocha Squash), made-to-order and served on handmade tortillas. If you’re seeking something shareable, try the Farmers Market Crudite, a seemingly humble order whose bright beet hummus reminds us that eating your vegetables is, indeed, very cool. And take a drink to-go. The team here takes great pride in their coffee (organic espresso, courtesy of their iconic pink La Marzocco machine) and a lineup of made-to-order smoothies, juices, and teas. Shop your way through town
Visitors can stroll through the town centre’s most popular shops for various fun finds, including Moona Star, Pebbles, and Topanga Homegrown. Be sure to stock up on specialty, local snacks at Canyon Gourmet and satiate your sweet tooth while you’re at it. The organic soft-serve there is a must. Pro tip: Top it with any of their artisanal syrups for a winning combo, namely, the vanilla with cardamom.

Photo courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
Photo courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
Photo courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum

Catch a show at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
This beloved open-air theatre has hosted productions for decades and is recognized worldwide for its Shakespeare interpretations. In addition to its annual summer season, which includes works like Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the venue hosts concerts, rehearsals, and classes throughout the year for budding actors and playwrights of all ages.

Snag a slice at Endless Colour
This family-run pizza joint specializes in from-scratch pies with clever topping combinations (think purple potatoes, fontina, and truffle oil in the Purple Molly Potato or spinach, leeks, and goat cheese in the Super Greens). Bring some friends, order a pie or two, and check out the drinks list, which includes offbeat options like orange wines and hard kombucha.

Photo courtesy of The Canyon Bakery
Photo courtesy of The Canyon Bakery
Photo courtesy of The Canyon Bakery

Sunday

Check out The Canyon Bakery’s “Sunday Funday”
Situated on the grounds of the aforementioned Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, this bakery specializes in naturally leavened breads, pastries, cakes, and cookies using locally sourced, whole grain flours. There’s a takeout window on Sundays, from 9:30 am until the bakery sells out. A strong following lines up for favourites, such as whole grain croissants and gluten-free pizza, so be sure to arrive early to get your fill.

Try tacos to-go at La Chingona
On your way out of town, grab some tacos at La Chingona, where a team puts forth fresh, organic, gluten- and dairy-free tacos. Orders range to include options like grass-fed beef (carne asada), shrimp (wild-caught), and soy chorizo and can be fashioned into plates beyond tacos, too (think tostadas, salads, and bowls). Open only on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays; this taco stand sees good demand. Plan accordingly, pending your travels, especially to savour an order or two of the churros.

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Nicole Schnitzler is a contributor for Thrillist.

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