The best place to feel the season change in Los Angeles is indoors, where festive decor will remind you that, yes, the year is almost over and you should probably be buying gifts right now.
While some establishments are too cool for Saint Nick, plenty of haunts around town have festooned their premises with some holiday cheer. Whether you’ve got out-of-towners visiting, clients to entertain or a serendipitous holiday date on the agenda, these seven restaurants, bars and hotels are perfect for anyone looking for some holiday cheer.
Famed hotelier Ian Schrager commissioned Willo Perron to create a festive installation called Bauhaus Nutcrackers at his new hotel. Perron is known for creating stage designs for Kanye West, Florence and the Machine and Rihanna, among others. His illuminated sculptures sit at the entrance to the hotel, and are hands down the most sophisticated decorations to grace this listicle. Take a gander, take a picture, then take your belly to the bar and order either a Mezcal Negroni or a Spiced Mule, two holiday cocktails running — like the Nutcracker — until December 29.
This old-world Scottish restaurant fulfills the sort of dark, cozy steakhouse vibe that many seek out around Christmastime. It also has a massive wintergreen tent with white lights on the patio — the perfect place for a slab of prime rib and some devils on horseback (bacon-wrapped dates).
The closest thing we get to a snow day in LA is when it rains. Here to fill the gap is a little magical pop-up by Sibling Rival, the restaurant at the Hoxton Hotel. They’ve transformed their back bar into wintery enclave complete with white lights, snowy decor and festive cocktails. They even have throw blankets, because somehow, it’s cold in there.
NoMad has a regal warmth that should be your go-to for fine dining this holiday season. Come early and have a coffee cocktail at their Coffee Bar, and then in walk past the 30-foot tree in the lower dining room, which is where you should be dining this evening. The menu features “Naughty” options such as a boozy Ho, Ho, Hot Chocolate spiked with green chartreuse and Fernet Branca or the Lump of Coal with Sombra mezcal, as well as “Nice” beverages such as the Winter Wonderland (milk punch with spices served in a decked out snow globe).
Currently celebrating 70 years in operation, this Tudor-style haunt is festooned in white lights and poinsettias. The Christmas Tree and fireplace are aglowing, and there’s enough prime rib, hot toddies and neat whiskey on hand to make it worth the drive across town.
Another cozy one, the Pikey is a standard watering hole for anyone who likes a good tipple. But come Christmastime, they hang stockings over the mantle, sparkling balls from the chandelier and generally spread good cheer.
This time of year, one finds oneself at holiday parties, and then one finds oneself saying, I don’t have anything too important to do tomorrow; I can stay out. On these occasions, there’s the Pikey. THEN, after a few more, one may say to oneself, I still can’t stop now. That’s when one takes oneself to The Friend, where the DJs are always on point, the cocktails are strong enough to ensure a three-day hangover and everyone — from the bartender to the other patrons — is down to party. They have decorations aplenty, including a Santa hat on their famous Mickey.
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