The tree is trimmed, the presents wrapped, and the cookies baked and boxed. Hmm. Now, what to make for Christmas dinner. Our suggestion? Reservations. That’s right. Many Southland restaurants are open and happy to serve you on Christmas Day. You’ve already done so much to get ready for the holidays—instead of holing up in the kitchen, pile your family and out-of-town guests into the car and give yourself the gift of dining out. That way you all get to enjoy the day!
Here is a list to get you started. Please remember that reservations are always recommended (and sometimes required). Call before you show up so that you can be guaranteed a seat.
Kung Pao Bistro
In the mood for some traditional (American-style) Chinese food? Kung Pao Bistro fits the bill. The herbivores in your family will also enjoy the wide selection of hearty faux meat dishes, such as vegan sweet & sour chicken and vegan Mongolian beef.
7853 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood 90046
Maybe all you're wanting is a dozen bagels and someone to make you a pastrami sandwich. You're bound to find something delectable on Canters' extensive menu.
419 N. Fairfax
Los Angeles 90036
“It’s cool, it’s hip and IT STINKS.” So says its website. Curious? Why not try it on Christmas day. Have a look.
55 N. La Cienega
Beverly Hills 90211
The patio at Ocean and Vine definitely says special occasion. Photo courtesy of Loews Hotel
Ocean and Vine at Loews Santa Monica Hotel
Prepared to splurge on Christmas Day? This is just the kind of once-a-year place to do it. Brunch is served from 11am-2pm on the holiday. Reservations are required.
1700 Ocean Ave.
Santa Monica 90401
Gaucho Grill- Brentwood (& Long Beach)
Try something that’s (perhaps) a little different: Argentinean food. Gaucho Grill in Brentwood serves it up with chicken, steak, fish, morcillas, and mollejas. Complement your meal with a glass of boutique Argentine wine. Christmas day is a busy one there so make your reservations early!
11754 San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles 90045
Watch the airplanes while you eat. Photo courtesy of 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant
94th Aero Squadron Restaurant – Van Nuys
If aviation is of interest (and even if it’s not), consider the 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant. Adjacent to “the world’s busiest general aviation airport,” this American fare restaurant offers some delectable holiday meal options.
16320 Raymer St.
Van Nuys 91406
The Queen Mary - Long Beach
Sir Winston's is serving up Christmas Day meals in all its elegant charm on board the vintage ocean liner. Handy to know that CHILL is also open on Christmas, so a family could easily make a whole Long Beach day of it.
The Reef - Long Beach
Boats make you queasy? Just a few steps from the Queen Mary is The Reef on the Water, serving a Christmas Day champagne brunch with a view of the ocean liner, but without actually boarding it. In case that's a deal breaker. The seafood fare boasts a subtle Polynesian twist.
Restaurants With Multiple Locations
Buca de Beppo
Mangia, mangia! Buca di Beppo’s crowd-pleasing family-style Italian dinners are a sure bet on Christmas day. Thanks to the many locations, you’re bound to find a restaurant near you.
Saddle Ranch Chop House
Five locations: Sunset Strip, Universal City, Costa Mesa, Orange, Valencia
There’s surf, there’s turf, salads, wraps, and a kids' menu. Choose from small plates to the more substantial steaks and specialties.
Chart House Restaurant
Locations: Marina del Rey, Redondo Beach, Dana Point
Steaks, seafood, and ocean views. Yum! Serving the dinner menu on Christmas day.
McCormick & Schmick's
Southland locations include Anaheim, El Segundo, and Irvine
If Santa catches a tail wind, you might spot him stopping off here for some oysters; decadent seafood is plentiful on the holiday menu.
Still haven’t found that perfect place? Check out the Open Table’s listing of area restaurants serving meals on the 25th.
Happy Holidays. We hope you have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Originally published December 11, 2013