Now that Christmas Eve has become a popular night to dine out, it's easy to find great restaurants open for dinner — but not so much on Christmas Day or evening. But we found four, with different price points, including Royal Khyber, which is one of our favorites.
In Laguna Beach, Las Brisas will be serving their popular four-course Mexican Riviera brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., which includes complimentary champagne, freshly baked Mexican pastries, and choice of coffee or tea.
Entrée choices include sand dabs Puerto Nuevo, pasta con camarones and filete de res con huevos. The cost is $36 for adults, and $18 for children younger than 12. The dinner menu with prime rib and fresh fish specials will be served from 4:30 to 10 p.m.
Las Brisas is at 361 Cliff Drive. For more information, call (949)497-5434, or visit http://www.lasbrisaslagunabeach.com.
Pinot Provence in Costa Mesa is serving a French-inspired holiday dinner with a three- or four-course prix fixe menu. Entrée selections include ocean-water poached Atlantic salmon, Yukon potato cremieux, pickled English cucumber, rye crumble, black olive oil and crispy pork belly, foie gras torchon, picked vegetables, toasted baguette and petite cilantro.
The cost is $70 per person for three courses; or $80 for four courses. The cost is $19.95 for children younger than 12. Dinner service starts at 5 p.m., and a la carte brunch menu is available from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Pinot Provence is at the Westin South Coast Plaza, 686 Anton Blvd. For more information, call (714) 444-5900, or visit http://www.patinagroup.com.
Royal Khyber Fine Indian Cuisine is offering a holiday brunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., with Indian classics like salads, appetizers, and specialties of tandoori chicken, leg of lamb, vegetarian, fish malabar, Basmati rice pilaf and tandoori breads, plus dessert specialties and fruits. It costs $21.95 per person, and an additional $4.95 for champagne. An a la carte menu will be available for dinner from 5 to 9:30 p.m.
Royal Khyber is at 1621 W. Sunflower Ave., in South Coast Plaza Village, Santa Ana. For more information, call ( 714) 436-1010, or visit http://www.royalkhyber.com.
El Torito Grill is offering an all-you-can-eat Christmas brunch buffet at its three Orange County restaurants, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The buffet includes a carving station of roasted beef, ham and leg of lamb. Also, choose from homemade soups, signature chile rellenos, chicken mole, omelets made to order, traditional and calamari ceviches, scrumptious desserts, aquas frescas, seasonal fresh fruit, plus champagne and more.
It costs $19.50 for adults; and $9.50 for children 12 and younger. El Torito Grill is at 951 Newport Center Drive in Fashion Island, Newport Beach; at 1910 Main St. in Irvine; and 555 Pointe Drive in Brea. For more information, visit http://www.etgrill.com.
New Year's Eve bashes
Looking for a New Year's Eve unlike any other?
AnQi by Crustacean is ringing in 2012 with a breath-taking, avant-garde celebration, unlike anything else in Orange County.
Starting at 9 p.m., graceful aerialists by Q du Soleil will be pouring champagne, and geishas will be hosting an ultramodern food bazaar with an edible food wall and an interactive molecular station. There will even be a noodle and dumpling rickshaw, a library of sushi, liquid nitrogen ice cream exhibit, and a decadent dessert art and a breakfast bar.
Top the evening off with Berlin, performing live, along with world-renowned DJ Angeline and drummer Joakine Eskasen. So come experience a New Year's Eve like never before with live on-stage performances, dancing and spinning and a countdown with special guests.
Tickets cost $170 (gratuity and tax not included). Glamorous chic attire required.
Other options include an a la carte dinner available from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and the award-winning restaurant will reserve five tables for VIP bottle service at $1,000 each, for up to 10 guests; or reserve the exclusive Chef's Table, which costs $3,000 for 16 guests, and AnQi's molecular chef and butler will be "at your service" to create a spectacular 10-course gastronomic tasting menu.
Finish off your unparalleled evening of extravagance with your first breakfast of 2012 and AnQi's exotic themed drinks.