What's our favorite thing to make for Christmas dinner? Reservations. Pardon us if you've heard that one before. But we know that sometimes the whole gather-the-family-for-a-huge-sit-down dinner isn't exactly for everyone.
For those who would prefer to leave the cooking (and cleaning and decorating) to others, here's our list of 10 Great Restaurants Open on Christmas Day, large and small and in no particular order, that are open on the big day. Check the websites for full menus, hours and availability. Of course our list isn't comprehensive, and we've picked primarily bigger name restaurants -- half of the San Gabriel Valley's restaurants are probably open, as are most hotel dining rooms, although they may serve only the regular menu. So if you have a favorite spot you'd like to share, comment below.
1. For an impressive raw bar, hor d'oeuvres and entrees such as prime rib of beef, try Delphine Eatery & Bar at the Hollywood W. 6250 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 798-1355; www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels.
2. At Simon L.A. in the Beverly Center-adjacent hotel, the Sofitel Los Angeles, chef Kerry Simon is keeping the ovens cooking on Christmas at his namesake restaurant. Expect everything from lobster pot pie to chicken curry to "holiday junk food." The restaurant is also holding a holiday brunch on December 26th. 8555 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 358-3979; www.simonlarestaurant.com.
3. Sure, maybe you always go for Chinese on Christmas, but this year the Kabuki Japanese Restaurants will be open, including those in Burbank, Hollywood, Pasadena, and West L.A. Lots of light seafood dishes are available, such as yellowtail carpaccio and broiled King Crab legs. For details on 11 Southern California locations, see www.kabukirestaurants.com.
4. Open every day of the year, the two Pacific Dining Car locations offer the kind of velvet-curtained elegance that seems just right for Christmas. 1310 W. 6th St., Los Angeles; (213) 483-6000, and 2700 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 453-4000; www.pacificdiningcar.com.
5. For Persian-Armenian fare, including beef, lamb and chicken kabobs and some of the fluffiest rice around, there's the casual Raffi's Place Restaurant, offering its regular menu and patio dining on Christmas Day. 211 E. Broadway, Glendale; (818) 240-7411.
6. Some occasions just seem to call for lox, bagels and cream cheese, and Canter's Delicatessen and Restaurant has plenty, along with enormous deli sandwiches, salads, brisket and even stuffed kishka, in case you haven't stuffed your own lately. 419 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 651-2030; www.cantersdeli.com.
7. Then there are the lavish kinds of buffets that appear only in movies and Beverly Hills luxury hotels. At Montage Beverly Hills, a "Welcome to Winter Wonderland" brunch buffet will be held in the Marquesa Ballroom. Expect a dozen buffet stations laden with everything from chilled shellfish, to dim sum, salads, cheese and bread and even Brew & BBQ. 225 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 860-7800; www.montagebeverlyhills.com.
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8. Grand, lavish decor in an historic building just feels so Christmasy. Pour on the grandeur with Afternoon Tea in the Rendezvous Court at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles. 506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles; (213) 612-1662; www.millenniumhotels.com .
9. Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood will offer a four-course brunch and dinner menu on Christmas Day that includes such treats as a small jar of duck foie gras parfait, butter-poached lobster and apple tarte tatin. 1020N San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 358-7788; www.thelondonwesthollywood.com.
10. RH at Andaz is hosting a Christmas Day holiday brunch from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. including French-style scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, homemade duck confit and slow-braised beef cheek. 8401 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (323) 785-6090; http://bdhyatt.com/restaurants.