In this holiday season like no other, small family dinners are taking the place of lavish parties and festive restaurant meals. But celebrating can still be delicious, with restaurants offering creative dinner kits, dessert samplers and more ways to celebrate. Supporting local restaurants is more important than ever right now, as many are struggling without the prospect of government aid. Need a last-minute present? Many shops and restaurants also offer customized gift baskets and shipping outside the city. Here are some of the best ways to counter cooking fatigue from Los Angeles and beyond.
Traditional Christmas dinner:
Bludso’s Bar & Que: Put together a Texas-style feast from one of the city’s finest pit masters with a smoked turkey ($95), whole brisket ($150), honey-glazed pit-smoked ham, cornbread stuffing and sweet potato pie ($32).
Rossoblu: (Pictured above) The Christmas meal, $79 per person, includes eggplant and turkey rotolo, tortellini in brodo and lasagna Bolognese, dry-aged prime beef rib, chicory and market vegetable salad and tiramisu
Republique’s black truffle dinner includes Santa Barbara uni, lobster mushroom soup, butternut squash agnolotti with freshly-shaved black truffle, dry-aged beef striploin and an almond dacquoise dessert. ($160 per person including truffle and truffle shaver.)
Laurent Quenioux’s Bistro LQ has a Christmas box with poached lobster medallion, tortilla soup with monkfish and chanterelles, sweetbread shepherd’s pie style with black truffles, lamb, venison or duck breast, French cheeses and Yule log ($90 per person).
A prime rib dinner from Baltaire in Brentwood serves four, and includes all the trimmings: herb-crusted roast, lobster bisque and chocolate silk pie. ($295)
Lucques Catering’s Christmas menu serves six and includes courses like standing rib roast, wild mushroom and potato gratin and chocolate hazelnut torte; turkeys and a la carte dishes also available.($425)
At Fig Santa Monica, the massive spread includes a charcuterie plate, caviar, tenderloin of beef, salt-baked branzino and a Yule log. ($395)
Jar’s holiday menu is available a la carte, with choices including char sui pork chop, pot roast, prime steaks, braised lamb shank, and roast rib eye filet alongside Belgian red endive Caesar salad and butterscotch pudding with salted caramel. Specialty cocktail kits add to the festivities.
The Other Tradition:
Formosa Café: Open on Christmas Day for specialties like scallion pancakes, beef and broccolini, walnut shrimp and cold peanut noodles. Don’t miss the chile wontons.
Also try: Genghis Cohen’s New York-style egg rolls, hot and sour soup, moo goo gai pan, orange peel chicken and special drinks like the Remy Martin Chinese 5 Spice Egg Nog. At Silver Lake’s Pine & Crane, try dan-dan noodles, mapo tofu, beef roll, and plenty of vegetarian choices.
Use Goldbelly to order mushroom lasagna ($109) from Gramercy Tavern in New York City, a fried turkey ($99) from Uncle Ray’s Fried Turkeys in Dallas or a lobster and beef Wellington dinner ($179) from Black Point Seafood in South Portland, Maine.
Also try: Spiral-sliced honey-glazed ham ($99) from Logan Farms in Jackson, Miss.
Flouring L.A.: Pick up an indulgent holiday dessert box of peppermint meringue brownies, gingerbread cake bars and more ($48) from Heather Wong’s bakery at her Hotel Figueroa pop-up.
Also try: Fat & Flour at Grand Central Market, Friends & Family, or peach, apple or berry cobbler plus sweet potato and pecan pies from West Adams’ The Kobbler King.
Death & Co.: Cocktail and dessert kits ($90) are a thoughtful gift. A Meyer lemon tart pairs with the Japanese whiskey hot toddy, while vintage eggnog made with three spirits comes with Grandpa’s drunken cookies.
Petrossian is the place for treating very special people to caviar gift boxes, charcuterie or a deluxe brunch kit with smoked salmon, caviar, bagels and pastries.
Love & Salt gift baskets feature a selection of wines and assorted gourmet items.
Akasha’s baskets are brimming with the ingredients for Hot Toddys or Masala Chai, or try the Road to Morocco, Viva Italia or Little India themed baskets full of fresh tastes.
Eataly has just about any kind of basket a gift-giver could need, from the the sweet Taste of La Dolce Vita to Taste of Tartufi for truffle aficionados.