Holiday Tamales at Gracias Madre
Starting Dec. 5, Chef Diana at Gracias Madre is making sweet and savory vegan and non-vegan Christmas tamales. Bring home a dozen red smoked Jackfruit Birria with Salsa Guajillo tamales for $54. She is also making green roasted butternut squash with chipotle kale and salsa tamales for $54 a dozen. Four-packs of batched tequila, mezcal margaritas or Paloma cocktails are available to go. Other holiday items include roasted yams and mushroom gravy, masple glazed carrots, pesto Brussels sprouts, braised beans and kale, and red pozole soup. Pre-order by Dec. 20 on the website. For those plant-based lovers looking to get creative in the kitchen, the newly-released Gracias Madre’s cookbook is available as a holiday gift. graciasmadre.com. 8905 Melrose Ave., (323)978-2170.
Cafe Gratitude holiday cookie kits, pies and sides
Celebrate with family and friends at home with a plant-based holiday meal. Take the stress out of cooking by pre-ordering Cafe Gratitude’s plant-offerings starting Dec. 5 on their website. The last day to order holiday pumpkin pie, chocolate coconut cream or baked apple pies is Tuesday, Dec. 20. Side dishes prices start at $20. Guests will receive a $25 bonus card when purchasing a $100 Café Gratitude gift card online or in-store. Starting Dec. 7, Cafe Gratitude is selling DIY Holiday Gingerbread Cookie Kits. These plant-based and gluten-free kits are made with the highest quality ingredients and 100% organic products. They are free of artificial colorings and shortening using beet juice and matcha powder, priced at $35. cafegratitude.com/pages/larchmont. 639 N. Larchmont Blvd., (310)580-6383 and 300 S. Santa De Ave., (213)929-5580.
Waldorf Astoria Nutcracker Tea
Inspired by The LA Ballet performance of “The Nutcracker,” the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is offering its annual holiday afternoon tea experience in the Lobby Lounge. Each weekend from Dec. 3rd to 18th, the afternoon tea will feature a menu of seasonal delights using favorite holiday ingredients. Sip from a choice of TeaLeaves tea or champagne. Guests will also enjoy listening to a live classical harpist to set the ambiance. Prices start at $70 for tea by TeaLeaves and $95 for a champagne experience. Seatings are Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 3 p.m. 9850 Wilshire Blvd.,(310)860-6666.
LA3C festival in Los Angeles
On Dec. 10 and Dec. 11, the Los Angeles Historic Park is hosting a two-day food, music and art festival celebrating the rich culture and creativity in Los Angeles. This event aims to connect people and communities through inspiring food from Gogo’s Tacos, Mexican Cena Vegan, artisan boba from Lil’ Bobacita, authentic dim sum from All Dat Dim Sum, authentic specialty coffee rooted in Mexico and crafted in L.A. from Tepito Coffee. Attendees can make the rounds through some of L.A.’s most acclaimed food trucks like Ridges Churro Bar, The Middle Feast, The Berlin Truck and Bulgogi Grill Truck. Plus, attendees can enjoy national favorites like New York’s own Prince Street Pizza and a special Frites Truck presented by Stella Artois. Exclusive music headliners include Megan Thee Stallion, Snoop Dogg, Maluma and Seventeen. Tickets to LA3C start at $179. la3c.com.
Enchanted Forest of Light
Enchanted Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens is an interactive, nighttime experience featuring a one mile walk through unique lighting experiences. Popular installations include an entire town of magical “stained glass” creations built in the Rose Garden by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin; and sparkling geometric installations from HYBYCOZO on the Main Lawn. The beloved Flower Power is on the Promenade, and exquisite lighting effects in the Ancient Forest. Open now through Jan. 8, tickets are available from 5:30 to 10 p.m., and must be purchased in advance. Tickets will not be sold on-site. 1418 Descanso Drive, (818)949-4200.
Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood
Come enjoy holiday inspired cookies, funnel cakes and cupcakes at Universal Studios Hollywood. As night falls on the snowy town, Hogwarts Castle, “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle,” offers an impressive light projection show with stunning imagery, animation and music from the Harry Potter film series. Sip holiday-themed fare including hot butterbeer at Three Broomsticks. Meet and greets with The Grinch, his dog Max and a roster for Who-ville Whos near the topsy-turvey Grinchmas tree. It twists and turns at over 65 feet in height. Nightly tree lighting ceremonies at Grinchmas begin at 5:30 p.m. Afterwards there is a snowfall flurry falling down on guests. universalstudioshollywood.com/web/en/us. 100 Universal City Plaza, (800)864-8377.
Lightscape opens for the holidays
The internationally acclaimed Lightscape is back in the greater Los Angeles area with a laser garden, Winter Cathedral and 15 other new displays. Take a walk through the Los Angeles County Arboretum on select dates through Sunday, Jan 8. The L.A. Arboretum produces Lightscape in association with Sony Music, and is creatively produced by Culture Creative. Purchase tickets at arboretum.org/lightscape-2022/. 301 N. Baldwin Ave., (626)821-3222.
Holiday Road is open
Bring the family to an immersive holiday experience to see larger than life holiday installations, thousands of Christmas lights, live carolers, Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves and countless candy canes. Holiday Road is open now through Dec. 30. Dine from one of the food trucks and cocktails, wines and beers are offered. Tickets start at $24.99. tixr.com/groups/holidayroadusa. 26800 W. Mulholland Hwy.
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