Christmas is laden enough with expectations, between putting up decorations and shopping for gifts — so much so that an elaborate meal is maybe the last thing you want to plan. So we gathered together a list of Los Angeles restaurants that will do your Christmas Eve dinner cooking for you. Staying at home can be fun, but so can going out and having a chef make you a Blue Point oyster gratin or some braised beef shortribs with kabocha squash, Swiss chard and black truffle butter.

Cafe del Rey: Chef Chuck Abair has planned a three-course prix fixe dinner, for $65 per person, that'll include seasonal choices such as sweet potato gnocchi, lobster stew in a fennel tomato broth and a pear tart with brown butter. 4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey; (310) 823-6395.

Café Pinot: Café Pinot will offer two dinner options, the three-course for $65 and the 4-course for $78. The menu will have options such as an Alsatian onion tart with Bloomsdale spinach salad, Hokkaido scallops with crème fraîche caviar, Maple Leaf Farms duck breast in cherry jus and winter pears délice. 700 W. 5th St., Downtown; (213) 239-6500.

Chaya: Alaskan King Crab is the focus of the à la carte holiday menu at all three Chaya locations. There'll be a King crab roll, steamed King crab with yuzu butter, King crab kaisen yakisoba stir-fried with X.O. sauce and a paella made with, what else, King crab. Prices will range from $19 to $42. Beverly Hills: 8714 Alden Drive, Beverly Grove; (310) 859-8833. Downtown: 525 S. Flower St., Downtown; (213) 236-9577. Venice: 110 Navy St., Venice; (310) 396-1179.

Culina, Modern Italian: The five-course dinner, at $72 per person, starts with a Blue Point oyster gratin, celery root soup and pappardelle duck confit with pickled chestnuts. You'll have two options from both the mains and the desserts that follow. 300 S. Doheny Dr., Beverly Grove; (310) 860-4000.

Fred 62: In addition to the regular 24-hour menu, the corner diner will offer a special entrée of a half-roasted chicken with corn pudding, sautéed spinach and tater tots for $16. Holiday desserts include cinnamon sugar brioche bread pudding and a duo of s'mores mini pies. 1850 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; (323) 667-0062.

Hatfield's: The menu is under wraps for now, but you can expect the four-course dinner at $75 per person to bring back favorites from chefs Quinn and Karen Hatfield's repertoire. 6703 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; (323) 935-2977.

Il Grano: Il Grano's version of La Vigilia di Natale, or Feast of the Seven Fishes, will be a seven-course dinner for $65 per person. Look for cod cakes with wild baby arugula salad, spaghetti alle vongole and a traditional branzino alla Livornese. 11359 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 477-7886.

Mélisse: Artichoke véloute, truffle risotto and duck with lentils de puy are among the dishes chef-owner Josiah Citrin has planned for the five-course — plus amuse bouche — prix fixe dinner at $150 per person. 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 395-0881.

M Café: The macrobiotic restaurants have a holiday three-course to-go menu for parties of two at $70 or four at $135. Those in search of a Christmas dinner free of dairy, meat and processed ingredients can take home a soup, salad, one of two mains — smoked tofu, pumpkin and chestnut terrine en croute or gluten-free tempeh loaf — and two sides. Dessert is not included, but holiday specials such as pumpkin cheesecake and cranberry-apple tart, are available for order. You'll have to place your orders by noon on Monday, Dec. 23. Beverly Hills: 9433 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills; (310) 858-8459. Brentwood: 11678 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 207-1122. Hollywood: 7119 Melrose Ave., Fairfax District; (323) 525-0588.

Patina: Patina's Christmas Eve menu will come in three prix fixe options, including a three-course for $65, a four-course for $85 and a seven-course for $140. Highlights from the menu include a chocolate bûche de noël with eggnog ice cream. 141 S. Grand Ave., Downtown; (213) 972-3331.

Tavern Brentwood: Suzanne Goin has created a rustic three-course dinner menu that features mains such as grilled bass with saffron potatoes, preserved lemon and green olive salsa; and her popular braised beef shortribs with kabocha squash, Swiss chard and black truffle butter. 11648 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood; (310) 806-6464.

The Pikey: The English pub will have a holiday à la carte menu with updated classics including roasted chestnuts with bacon and chili, house-cured ham with white beans and salsa verde as well as minced pie topped with house-made ice cream. 7617 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 850-5400.

The Raymond & 1886 Bar: The Raymond Restaurant will host a four-course dinner, at $90 per person, that'll feature such dishes as an Argentinean pink shrimp Christmas cocktail, dry-aged top sirloin with bone marrow butter and sticky toffee pudding with cranberry and pine needle ice cream. 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena; (626) 441-3136.

Trattoria Neapolis: Bryant Wigger will flip the Italian tradition of the Feast of Seven Fishes by offering a beef-centric menu. Some of his reinterpretations will include roasted bone marrow, oxtail ravioli with barolo sugo and winter black truffles, an entrée duo of wood-roasted prime ribeye and braised beef short rib, followed by a honeyed Greek yogurt panna cotta. You'll have the choice of the four-course version at $59 per person or the seven-course for $88 per person. 336 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena; (626) 792-3000.

Valentino: It's an all-Italian feast at Valentino, featuring the flavors of Siciliy and Sardinia, with a five-course dinner at $85 per person. Courses will include options such as squid ink penne with seppia and sweat peas. 3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 829-4313.

Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air: The much-lauded chef has created a four-course holiday comfort menu, at $160 per adult and $65 per child, including roasted Italian chestnut soup with black truffles, a bluefin toro tuna carpaccio and Maine lobster pot pie. 701 Stone Canyon Rd., Bel-Air; (310) 909-1644.

Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Follow the author on Twitter at @chrstnchiao.

LA Weekly