It's time to party like it's 2018, and we've picked out nine L.A.-area restaurants offering special New Year's Eve menus.
To help ring in the New Year safely, Metro will operate 24-hour, overnight service on Metro Rail, plus Orange and Silver Lines. Free rides will be offered for all bus and rail service from 9 p.m. on Dec. 31 until 2 a.m. on the morning of Jan.
Lucques presents “A Night in Monte Carlo.” Guests can virtually travel to the tiny principality near the south of France and live it up with a prix fixe menu, wine pairings, themed decor and costumed staff. The menu, prepared by chef de cuisine Mercedes Rojas, begins with de rigueur eggs and caviar à la Casino Royale, followed by a salad of bitter herbs and root vegetables with truffle vinaigrette and pissaladiére. Next is a course of pumpkin ravioli with Maine lobster, tomato confit and New Zealand spinach. There's a grilled veal chop with osso buco jus, saffron rice and Swiss chard butter for the main course. Dessert is croustillant praline with bittersweet chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Pricing is $110 per person for the first seating, menu only, and $150 for the second seating, menu only, and including a midnight countdown with a Champagne toast. 8474 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; (323) 655-6277, lucques.com.
AR Cucina offers options for everyone with its New Year's Eve menu, in addition to its complete à la carte menu for this end-of-year bash. The menu is inspired by one of owner Akasha Richmond's favorite regions in Italy, Emilia-Romagna. Many of the evening's ingredients, including special imported cheeses and balsamic vinegar, were brought back from her recent trip to Italy. The New Year's Eve starts with antipasti, zuppa de castagna (chestnut soup) with roasted pumpkin, celeriac, chanterelle mushroom and Romagna oil; a small plate of Parmigiano reggiano from Antica Corte Pallavicina near Parma and 25-year-old Villa Bianca Balsamico di Modena; and erbazzone, a savory pie with winter greens. Dolci are plentiful, with all of the regular menu favorites plus zuppa inglese with vanilla and chocolate pastry cream and amaro-soaked sponge cake. Dinner is served from 5 to 9 p.m.; New Year's Eve specials range from $10 to $25 per dish, plus beverages, tax and gratuity. Wine pairings will be offered along with mixologist Clare Ward's Italian inspired specialty cocktails. 9531 Culver Blvd., Culver City; (310) 558-8800, arcucina.com.
For a romantic evening overlooking the Marina, Cafe del Rey is offering a choice of venison carpaccio, lobster bisque or Caesar salad for starters. The entree includes a choice of filet mignon, New Zealand lamb chops, lobster tail, roasted chicken or king salmon. Dessert selections are chocolate cake, financier cake or key lime verrine. Cost is $90 plus tax and tip. 4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey; (310) 823 -6395, cafedelreymarina.com.
Crossings Restaurant in South Pasadena features an à la carte menu that includes starters such as oysters on the half-shell, crab cakes, a winter greens salad and Crossings' signature Caesar salad. Follow it up with your choice of entrees such as prime rib with horseradish mashed potatoes and broccoli, filet mignon with a loaded baked potato and green peppercorn cream, swordfish with roasted corn and shrimp salsa, charred onion risotto and beurre blanc, or salmon with asparagus, dill and cured lemon. Indulge by adding a lobster tail to any entree. A complimentary Champagne and sparkling cider toast will be made at 9 p.m. to mark the Times Square ball drop. 1010 Mission St., South Pasadena; (626) 799-7001, crossings-restaurant.com.
While the Santa Monica outpost is no more, Border Grill downtown is still going strong and the place for modern Mexican fare. In addition to the regular menu, NYE specials include a mezcal-based holiday guajillo cocktail, a seeded lamb chop appetizer, Negra Modelo–braised short rib with celery root puree or grilled salmon entrees and café de olla chocolate cake with cranberry sauce for dessert. Brunch is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: $30 per person for unlimited small plates; add bottomless mimosas for $15 per person, and add bottomless mimosas, micheladas and bloody marys for $20 per person. 445 S. Figueroa St., downtown; (213) 486-5171, bordergrill.com.
Toscana in Brentwood is going à la carte: Chef Hugo's king crab with polenta and lemon sauce; ravioli di aragosta with Maine lobster, saffron sauce and asparagus; cavatelli con salsiccia e funghi with house-made sausage, chanterelle mushrooms and black truffles; fresh filet of Dover sole in lemon sauce with thyme; and bison filet with red wine reduction and gorgonzola sauce. 11633 San Vicente Blvd., #100, Brentwood; (310) 820-2448, toscanabrentwood.com.
For $69 per person plus tax and tip, District in downtown L.A. has a four-choice prix fixe dinner that includes District winter salad, roasted apple and pumpkin bisque, prime rib, miso-glazed sea bass with winter root vegetables and pomegranate crème brulee for dessert. Then there's “The Party.” One seating from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., with live jazz from the Dave Damiani Quartet, a welcome NYE cocktail, multiple tasting platters, party favors and a midnight Champagne toast. The trains run all night, folks! District is on the plaza level inside The Bloc. 700 W. Seventh St., downtown; (213) 612-3185, districtdtla.com.
The Mar Vista will be open for New Year's Eve brunch and dinner. The special 9:45 p.m. seating includes a multicourse menu featuring New York strip roast, shrimp cakes, Mar Vista Waldorf salad and a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight for $70 per person. 12249 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista; (310) 751-6773, themarvista.com.
Alta Nordic Kitchen in West Hollywood has a seven-course tasting menu inspired by flavors from the Nordic countries. It includes borscht, blini with smoked Norwegian salmon, bleak roe and crème fraiche, venison loin with juniper sauce, potato tart and lingonberries. Wild sockeye salmon with morel mushrooms and Champagne mousseline also are included in the $65 prix fixe menu (plus tax and tip.) 7274 Melrose Ave., Fairfax; (323) 746-5221, altanordickitchen.com.