Los Angeles

Get festive at Genghis Cohen. Photo courtesy of Genghis Cohen

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Resy’s 2022 Holiday Bucket List for Los Angeles

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To-do lists abound during the holiday season, especially when it comes to holiday gift shopping and grocery shopping but fret not — this list is all about savoring the special things that only happen during this time of year. It’s all about celebrating the season and making the very most of it, something you should definitely do here in Los Angeles.

From seasonal cocktails and fancy lunches to the best desserts and taking time out to be a tourist in your own town, here are a few of our favorite suggestions for how to best celebrate the season.

1. Get a seasonally-minded cocktail. 

Whether it’s a boozy hot number or simply a celebratory martini, drink specials abound this time of year, and you’d be wise to take advantage. Some of our favorite cocktail spots for the winter weeks: 

The Resy Pick:Perhaps the most perfect Los Angeles holiday cocktail can be found at Hippo in Highland Park: a mulled wine spritz dubbed the “Mull It Over,” done with brandy, orange curacao, cranberry, and lemon. Cheers.

2. Find the most festive holiday décor. 

Some restaurants go all out when it comes to the decorations, and we’ve handpicked a few of our favorites: 

The Resy Pick: Casa Vega is known for its festive atmosphere year-round, and for doing it up big come December. This year is no different: head to this longstanding family-run Valley institution for guacamole and enchiladas surrounded by shimmery decor, string lights, and wreaths galore.

3. Be a tourist in your own town. 

While a dinner out is entertainment in itself, there are lots of festive happenings that pair beautifully with your Resy. Spring for dinner and a holiday show: 

The Resy Pick: Share eggrolls, hot & sour soup, and walnut shrimp amongst friends and family at Genghis Cohen, then head to The Grove for the 8 p.m. nightly snowfall and a movie at AMC.

4. Have a fancy Friday lunch. 

Because one of life’s great luxuries is a special lunch on a wintry Friday. Whether it’s dim sum shared with friends or a classic destination with a long-lost friend, now is the perfect time to plan a long lunch.  

The Resy Pick: There’s luxury in the seasonal simplicity at Alice Waters and David Tanis’ Lulu, where you can have a leisurely prixe-fixe or a la carte lunch followed by a stroll through the Hammer Museum.

5.  Take advantage of all those holiday specials. 

Whether it’s seasonal menu specials (latkes! tamales! crabs!) or a special holiday pop-up, now is the time to seize the day.

The Resy Pick: Head to Kismet in celebration of “Kismetkkah” from December 18th–23rd, and delight in specials ranging from guava-and-cheese blitzes to latkes with applesauce, labneh, and chili crisp. 

6. Slow down.  

The holiday season is always a whirlwind. Whether solo or with a loved one, take time to slow down, and have a quiet dinner in a cozy, candlelit restaurant. Maybe even without cell phones. Have a nice cry while you’re there!  

The Resy Pick: Sourdough pizza, natural wine, brick walls, and spinning vinyl set the tone at Grá, one of the east side’s coziest restaurants.

7. And whatever you do, don’t skip dessert.

Actually, maybe go out of your way to get some holiday desserts.

 The Resy Pick: Italian holiday Cookie Tins baked in-house by the Jon & Vinny’s  pastry team are stuffed with rainbow cookies, pignolis, and plenty more. Place your order via Helen’s Wine’s for pick up, delivery—and even nationwide shipping—throughout the month.