Whether you want festive food, wine, music, dancing and party decor or just a quiet night of good eating, there are plenty of New Year's Eve restaurant celebrations for you to attend.
Dinner and Dancing: The following places have music and dancing at their late seatings. Some of these restaurants also have earlier seatings without so much festivity (and at lower rates). Call for details.
The Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Center is throwing a black-tie party on New Year's Eve. It begins with a reception of passed hors d'oeuvres and moves into a five-course meal with wines from around the world. A live band facilitates dancing. The party starts at 8 p.m. and runs $150 per person. Reserve with credit card.
* The Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Center, 1570 Scenic Ave., Costa Mesa, (714) 327-8300.
The Sky Room has hired a seven-piece dance band, the Swing of Things, to play swing hits from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The four-course menu has dishes such as oysters on the half-shell, seared foie gras, curried prawns, a 20-ounce porterhouse, crab-stuffed Dover sole and a 3-pound lobster. This late seating begins at 8 p.m. and costs $175 plus tax and tip.
* The Sky Room, the Breakers, 40 S. Locust Ave., Long Beach, (562) 983-2703.
La Boca del Conga, the Latin fusion restaurant below the Conga Room nightclub, is serving a five-course meal with entree choices such as Pacific swordfish, lobster paella, double-cut pork chop, New York steak and chile relleno. A bottle of champagne comes with the meal. Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca will play their Afro-Caribbean and salsa sounds. The Marcos Loya La Brea Trio will also be singing into the wee hours. You can take your seat as early as 7 p.m. and keep it all night--until the party ends at 3:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast. The whole ball of wax costs $250. Reserve with credit card.
* La Boca del Conga, Conga Room, 5370 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., (323) 938-1696.
Flint's is jumping with Jump Jones and the Corn Liquor Boys and their swing and blues tunes from 10 p.m. on. Dinner beforehand is a five-course meal with entree choices of filet mignon with a Merlot reduction or a seared ahi Napoleon. Reservations are taken for 6 p.m. on. The tab is $75.
* Flint's, 3321 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 453-1331.
Chef and owner Tanino Drago has created a six-course menu at Tanino on New Year's Eve. It begins with oysters in polenta and moves through lobster in fava-bean puree, shrimp ravioli, sea bass with pomegranate sauce and veal medallion with a cheese souffle, ending with panna cotta. A deejay will spin music for dancing from 10:30 p.m. The late seating begins at 8:30 p.m. and costs $85 plus tax and tip.
* Tanino, 1043 Westwood Blvd., Westwood, (310) 208-0444.
Alto Palato has booked a deejay for New Year's Eve who will spin everything from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson to get you dancing. The four-course menu begins with antipasto and then a pasta course. Choose fish or meat for your main course. Follow with dessert and end the evening with lentils for good luck at midnight. The seating begins at 7 p.m. (you can keep your table all night long). The price is $75 plus tax and tip.
* Alto Palato, 755 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A., (310) 657-9271.
Maggiano's Little Italy restaurants in South Coast Plaza and Woodland Hills are serving their regular family-style menu on New Year's Eve. Both locations have booked jazz bands and will have dancing and a champagne toast at midnight. The final seating begins at 9:15 in Costa Mesa and 9:45 in Woodland Hills. There's a $25 cover charge for the entertainment on top of the cost of the meal.
* Maggiano's Little Italy, South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 546-9550; Westfield Shoppingtown Promenade, 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, (818) 887-3777.
Savannah Chop House is throwing a star-spangled New Year's Eve party this year. Dress in red, white or blue, if you like. The Barry Craig Trio will play jazz in the bar area for dancing while a five-course steakhouse-style menu (think steak, crab legs and lobster) is served. This seating begins at 9:30 p.m. It'll cost you $95.
* Savannah Chop House, 32441 Golden Lantern, Laguna Niguel, (949) 493-7107.
Just Dinner (and a Little Music): Lucques goes Moroccan for the New Year with a six-course menu of spiced foie gras, black-eyed peas, grilled lamb chops and more. The meal includes a glass of champagne (at the later seatings) and costs $150.
* Lucques, 8474 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 655-6277.
Jozu turns 5 this year, so owner Andy Nakano is celebrating two things on New Year's Eve. Chef Hisashi Yoshiara will make a four-course omakase menu with a glass of champagne. The entree choice is grilled filet mignon with a black-pepper sauce or sesame-crusted Hawaiian opakapaka fish with yuzu sauce. Reservations taken for 5 to 10 p.m. The price is $60.
* Jozu, 8360 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 655-5600.
Vermont serves its last supper of the year as a four-course meal of soup, appetizer, choice of entree (veal medallions or trio of lamb) and dessert. Live music in the new bar area until well into the wee hours. Final seating begins after 7:30 p.m. Dinner with a bottle of champagne costs $125 plus tax and 18% tip.
* Vermont, 1714 Vermont Ave., Los Feliz, (323) 661-6163.
Reach Angela Pettera at (310) 358-7647 or firstname.lastname@example.org