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.