Holiday party, book signing & pop-up boutique
Today, Dec. 7, from 4 to 8 p.m., stop into the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel for a festive holiday party celebrating the launch of Baggage, a new travel-inspired boutique. There are pieces of art, books, clothing, and accessories by local and emerging designers. The event also features festive cocktails, music from Clara Plestis, a jewelry preview from Joann Smyth and a cookbook signing from Karen Kaplan. Guests will receive sandwiches made from recipes in Kaplan’s latest book, “Open Faced: Single-Slice Sandwiches from Around the World.” 115 S. Fairfax Ave. (323)937-3930.
Culver City lights up for the holidays
Tonight, Dec. 7, is the annual tree lighting celebration and Santa Claus visit in downtown Culver City’s Town Plaza. Starting at 6 p.m., businesses are providing hot cider, hot cocoa, cookies and other festive treats to make everyone feel merry. Folk-dancing groups and local choirs will entertain participants. Watch the 22-foot Rocky Mountain pine tree with over 7,500 warm-white LED light up the area. Stay afterwards for dinner at one of downtown Culver City’s restaurants, and stroll along the historic buildings, boutiques and galleries for holiday shopping. This free event is at the intersection of Culver Boulevard and Van Buren Place. Parking is free for up to one hour in any of downtown’s three municipal parking structures. Take advantage of the universal valet parking system: drop your car off at any one of four convenient locations, then pick it up at another. Start next to Culver Hotel and the ArcLight Cinemas.
Santa at The Americana at Brand
On Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, have a VIP photo taken for $36 with Ol’ Nick at Santa’s House before enjoying a delicious brunch with bottomless mimosas. Participants receive a complimentary photo and goodie bag for the kids. Brunch is $17 for children 11 years and younger. Meet first for your photo at the lawn between 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. for your 9:30 a.m. brunch reservation, or from 9 to 10 a.m. for a 10 a.m. seating. 783 Americana Way. (818)502-1220.
Michael’s winemaker dinner
On Dec. 11 at 7 p.m., sommelier Roni Ginach and chef Miles Thompson are hosting winemaker Gavin Chanin of the Chanin & Lutum labels for an elaborate, one-night-only dinner. Participants will enjoy a six-course meal composed of four savory courses paired with two wines. The menu items include mussel escabeche with grilled bread; escargot with radish butter; chicken roulade with pistachio; and roasted lamb. Guests finish with two desserts and a single wine pairing. Learn about the Chanin & Lutum wines produced in Sonoma, Santa Rita Hills and Santa Barbara. Tickets are $150 per person. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. 1147 Third St. (310)451-0843.
Casa Vega’s Mexican buñuelos
Now through Dec. 24, Casa Vega is giving guests traditional holiday cookies made with cinnamon and sugar. These holiday cookies are delivered one packet per table as a sweet treat at the end of the meal. The restaurant also offers a new winter menu with filet mignon tacos, pozole, esquites and guacamole. For cocktails, start with the festive pomegranate ginger paloma. It’s made with 1800 Silver Tequila and ginger beer. New winter desserts include a chocolate tequila pot made with bittersweet chocolate, tequila and a topping of whipped cream. This is also the time of year when Casa Vega makes their tamales for the holidays. Guests may order ready-to-eat or frozen tamales by the tray. Varieties include beef, chicken, vegetable and sweet corn. These Vega family-recipe tamales include hot sauce and Mexican crema. 13301 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. (818)788-4868.
Holiday desserts at Pitchoun!
The French bakery Pitchoun! will help with your holiday office and home catering, events and parties up until Dec. 24. They are making seasonal pastries that include a variety of Yule logs, as well as eclairs decorated with Santa’s reindeer. The Red Dress Yule log is made with “Pain de Genes” sponge cake, streusel, vanilla mousse and a red berry heart. The Paris Yule log is made with a hazelnut biscuit, Manjari dark chocolate crémeux, Jivara milk chocolate crémeux, and hazelnut and ivory white chocolate mousse. Stop in for holiday chocolates, gift baskets and Christmas sugar cookies. 545 S. Olive St. (213)689-3240.
Westbound’s festive ‘Miracle on Santa Fe’
The speakeasy-inspired craft cocktail bar in the Arts District is now hosting the holiday pop-up bar, “Miracle on Santa Fe.” Enjoy seasonal spirits at the over-the-top event with 15 seasonal cocktails, snow falling, Santa visits, ugly sweaters, Manischewitz punch pong and kitschy decorations until Dec. 31. The bar is decorated with lights, garland, tinsel, ornaments, stockings and nutcrackers. There is a massive Christmas tree and two-foot-tall menorah. Westbound has partnered with PATH, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homelessness. Every guest who brings in a quart-size bag of new travel-sized hygiene products will receive a complimentary cup of punch. Closed on Mondays. 300 S. Santa Fe Ave. (213)262-9291.
To-go holiday pies from Jane Q
Inside the Kimpton Everly Hotel, choose from a selection of 10-inch pies with flavors that include pumpkin, chocolate caramel pecan, spiced apple and banana puddin’ pie. Each pie is $38, with an option to have the pie baked into a ceramic serving dish for an additional $19 (no need to return). House-made whipped topping and caramel sauce are also available for $6 each. Orders must be placed 48 hours in advance. 1800 Argyle Ave. (213)279-3534.
Winter culinary delights at Disneyland
From now until Jan. 7, enjoy festive food marketplaces at Disneyland resort, including Brews & Bites, Classic Crocks & Casseroles, Winter Sliderland and Making Spirits Bright. Venture over to Viva Navidad for food offerings that include tortas al pastor, elotes (street-style corn), paletas, jamaica, agua fresca de horchata, chicharrónes, street-style tacos, chicken mole, pozole and burritos. Santa Mickey ornaments are filled with red seedless grapes and pineapple. It’s a fun memento to hang on your tree. Be sure to get free peppermint bark at Ghirardelli and a complimentary piece of Boudin sourdough bread. Trolley Candy Treats on Buena Vista offers holiday gifts that include a gingerbread cookie mix, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse rice crispy treats, candy apples, cake pops and cupcakes. 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim.
Public School on Tap’s winter menu
The chef-driven gastropub, known for its eclectic, seasonal food and scholastic-inspired theme, just released brand new cocktails for winter. Start with the Crushed Velvet, made with Tito’s, lemon juice, lavender syrup, lavender bitters and ginger beer. The Light My Fire is made with mezcal, passion fruit purée, lime juice, serrano agave, egg white and garnished with chili flakes. The earthy Thyme After Thyme features Grey Goose, apple cider, lemon juice, cranberry juice and thyme simple syrup. 612 Flower St., (213)622-4500. 15300 Ventura Blvd., (818)728-9818. 9411 Culver Blvd., (310)558-0414.
Holiday flavor at Halo Top Creamery
America’s best-selling low-calorie and high-protein ice cream brand has released the new flavor Gingerbread House just in time for the holidays. The seasonal flavor is served at the first brick and mortar Halo Top Scoop Shop in the Westfield Topanga. This ice cream features a swirl of gingersnap cookie bites and royal icing. Ice cream lovers can enjoy this holiday treat via cup, cone, rainbow taco or ice cream sandwich. It’s also offered in soft-serve form at the Halo Top Scoop Shop without swirls of ginger snap cookie bites and royal icing. The ice cream is available in pints by all major grocery retailers. 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Taco Tuesday at The Peninsula
The Peninsula Beverly Hills is heating up weeknight dinners at The Rooftop restaurant by offering Baja California-inspired tacos created by Executive Chef David Codney. There are five signature tacos that include al pastor, octopus, pollo pibil, chimichurri camerones and carne asada tacos. Each taco is served atop a handmade tortilla and garnished with herbs plucked fresh from the hotel’s own rooftop garden. Chef Codney offers a “Para La Familia” option with family-style dining with a gourmet twist and all the fixings. Taco Tuesday is available every Tuesday from 5 to 9 p.m. 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd. (310)975-2855.
New Casa Barilla at USC Village
Casa Barilla at the new USC Village features an outdoor patio, indoor dining area and open kitchen preparing wholesome Mediterranean ingredients that Italians use and eat every day. Open for lunch and dinner, the menu offers a variety of pasta, pizza and panini, as well as eight different salads. Customization options are always available. Diners may choose among whole-grain, gluten-free, organic and ProteinPlus pasta. Pizzas are made with Barilla’s blend of wheat and whole-grain dough, with a variety of toppings. Chef Alfonso’s soups change to reflect seasonal ingredients, and his panini sandwiches can be made vegan, vegetarian and whole-grain. Pair your meal with a choice of Italian wines, or one of the imported or domestic beers. Barilla also makes Italian classic desserts, such as tiramisu, caramel and fruit panna cotta and torta del giorno, to finish the meal along with an authentic Italian espresso. Open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 3201 S. Hoover St., #1850. (323)797-8933.
Trejo’s opens two new locations
After establishing its first location on La Brea in 2016, Trejo’s Tacos has opened up another shop at the new USC Village, as well as Trejo’s Cantina in Woodland Hills. This location incorporates Trejo’s unique dining concepts, with donuts, tacos, a cantina, and indoor and outdoor dining all under one roof. Donuts are served from 7 to 11 a.m., and lunch is fast-casual with guests ordering at the counter. Happy Hour follows, and then a full-service dinner. An expanded dinner menu is similar to the Trejo’s Cantinas in Hollywood and Pasadena. The Woodland Hills location has 12 taps and several new menu items including the El Matador (skirt steak), shrimp and chicken fajitas, surf ‘n’ turf burrito, chile relleno, nachos and Brussels sprouts. Trejo’s vegan favorites, as well as some new options, are also on the menu. The new Trejo’s Taco’s at USC Village features the same fast-casual menu as the La Brea location. This restaurant also has Trejo’s Cerveza on tap, plus other craft beers. 835 W. Jefferson Blvd., #1735, (213)536-5513. 21550 Oxnard St., #125, Woodland Hills, (818)805-3275.
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