The holidays are always a time when big groups like to get together and enjoy a festive meal, which is why private dining isn't just popular, it's essential. Many restaurants take special care to have a part of the restaurant reserved for office parties and communal gatherings, often with special menus to streamline service, and customized beverage pairings. Here below, just in time for Christmas and New Year's, a compilation of some of the best private dining rooms in Los Angeles.
1) The Hungry Cat Santa Monica: The private dining room at the Hungry Cat in Santa Monica is a great way to take in a pleasant ocean view with an onslaught of fresh seafood, seasonal cocktails, and more. While both Hungry Cat locations in L.A. have private dining options, this one has the view.
2) Craft: While there are plenty of talent agencies and other corporate types that will be drawn to the classy environs of this restaurant in Century City, that doesn't mean that regular folks can't put together a fine party at Tom Colicchio's enduring eatery. The service is always going to be top notch, and the farm-to-table fare is hard to beat anywhere.
3) Nick & Stef's: While the main dining room is a favorite for the bankers and lawyers, the high-end steaks and hefty wine list is a great place to have a holiday celebration for the non-corporate types at this Bunker Hill steakhouse. The white tablecloth service and old-time feel, albeit in a more modern space, makes it an ideal spot to bring the parents, or older folks who appreciate the mid-century kind of celebration.
4) Picca: Ricardo Zarate's South Beverly Hills restaurant has a secluded dining room and lounge area on the mezzanine that's great for birthday and holiday parties. Pair together fantastic drinks by Julian Cox (which can be mixed in the miniature bar upstairs) with Zarate's inventive takes on Peruvian cuisine (don't miss the anticuchos), and there's a recipe for a great dinner party.
5) YongSuSan: This Koreatown classic might not be the first place when one thinks of private dining, but that's actually the concept of the entire place. Without a main dining room, most of the restaurant is divided into smaller, private dining rooms that fit anywhere from 4 to a whole banquet. The traditional palace-style cuisine is both approachable for those unfamiliar with the cuisine, and very well executed, for those who've spent their time around Koreatown. The service is also a step above the average place in town.
6) Gordon Ramsay at the London: For a suit-and-tie type of holiday affair, Gordon Ramsay in West Hollywood has the right appeal. The cooking is more traditional, European-style but with a better nod toward the seasons, as any restaurant in L.A. should. There are a number of different room styles and sizes, most with round tables.
7) Napa Valley Grille:This Westwood eatery that boasts sharp, seasonal cooking has a number of versatile private dining spaces, such as the Silverado Room, that can be combined with another room to handle up to 60 people. For something a little less enclosed, The Tasting Room seats up to 16 people in a room that looks out to the street.
8) Valentino: Without a doubt one of the most impressive dining rooms in Los Angeles, Valentino offers up its wine cellar as a dining space, lined from the floor to ceiling with some of the best bottles of wine in the country. Pair the polished Italian cuisine from chef Nicola Chessa with owner Piero Selvaggio's fanastic wine selections for an over-the-top holiday experience.
9) Drago Centro: For something a little more modern, but still Italian, there's Celestino Drago's Vault space next to his Downtown eatery, Drago Centro. The former bank vault has its own open kitchen, as well as space for a dozen or more. The refined cooking (look no further than the pastas) of chef Ian Gresik goes particularly well with the expansive wine selection.
10) Spago: It seems Wolfgang Puck cut his teeth throwing some of the best parties in Beverly Hills, and with the recent remodel, the trend hasn't stopped. Still one of the premier private dining experiences in the city, but with an updated menu, Spago is still the restaurant to beat in this part of town for office holiday parties.
11) Patina: One of the intentional things about Joachim Splichal's build out at his flagship restaurant in Downtown's Walt Disney Concert Hall was that there be a significant amount of private dining space. There are two main spaces, the chef's table toward the entrance, which is great for smaller parties, and the room toward the inside that could fit much more than a few dozen diners to arguably the best fine dining experience that the Patina Group has to offer. Chef Charles Olalia takes a no-nonsense approach with clean, polished flavors that reflect the seasons. And the wine list is going to be hard to beat in this part of town.
12) Osteria Mozza:Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali would've have opened up a refined Italian experience without the opportunity to host private parties, and this outlet is no exception. The dark tones and the white table clothes makes Osteria Mozza one of the finest Italian meals in the city, along with the top-notch wine service.
13) Comme Ca:The room to interior of David Myers' modern brasserie can accommodate a decent sized party of a few dozen. The slightly updated French classics work great in the black-and-white interior that's ideally situated in the heart of West Hollywood.
14) RivaBella: The arresting wine cellar room inside RivaBella might be one of the best private dining spaces in the city, if only for the brick-lined interior and the intimate setting. Together with Gino Angellini's unique brand of Italian cooking, it's certainly an ideal place to throw a party on the Sunset Strip.
15) Cecconi's: West Hollywood seems to be rife with private dining, and Cecconi's is definitely one of the better places to throw a holiday party, with the bright and airy Butterfly Room that holds a few dozen diners. The bench-style seating is conducive to more mingling instead of the stuffier types of rooms that can be around around the city.
16) Tortilla Republic: This West Hollywood Mexican eatery has a stand-out decor piece attached to the ceiling: a rope canopy. On the ground, a stone fountain. So with ambiance aside, the fare is a little more upscale take on Americanized Mexican food, which is a nice departure from the likes of Pink Taco or El Torito.
17) Cafe Del Rey: The cozy Regatta Room at Cafe Del Rey has a nice fireplace to match the view of the marina while the fare tends to be on the familiar, comfort food side. The ciopinno has a slew of seafood in a spiced saffron broth while lamb osso buco comes with mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts, for something a little heftier.
18) Hatfield's: This enduring fine dining restaurant from Quinn and Karen Hatfield has a nice wine room that can accommodate up to 40 people, as well as a conservatory that can serve 35 in a more lush setting. There's everything from passed hor d'oeuvres to 3-7 course dining.
19) Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air: It's no surprise that the high-end diners in Bel Air would want to celebrate in style, and this private dining room, with marble fireplace, dark furniture and modern fixtures is no exception. Throw in the seasonal (albeit, with a hefty price tag) cooking and some of the celebrity chef's known classics, and there's a making of a memorable holiday party.
20) Cube: The newer wine cellar room at this Mid-City trattoria makes for a little more casual holiday dinner, with a tigher-knit table that's easier for people to share multiple bottles of wine. The Italian comfort food isn't going to win any Michelin stars, but it's reliable, and often quite delicious. And, if you're in the mood, the fried chicken is spectacular.
21) Rivera: John Sedlar's multi-faceted dining experience in Downtown has everything from great cocktails to imaginative pan-Latin cooking that's still some of the best in town. The Sangre Room, off to the side, is a study in modern interior design, and works for medium to large sized holiday parties.
·All Eater Guides Coverage [~ELA~]