DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - The year 2013 won’t arrive for three more weeks. That may seem like a long time away, but anyone with family, friends, a job, a life, etc. knows how quickly that can arrive, especially with the holidays upon us.
There are two schools of thought regarding the upcoming New Year’s Eve. The first holds that the Mayan prophecy (or at least an engaging way to misread the end of the Mayan calendar) will hit the planet on Dec. 21, 2012, and the major celebration that would occur 10 nights later won’t happen because, well, we won’t be here.
The other school of thought is that all of this is poppycock, and you still need to be ready with plans for New Year’s Eve. Here in Downtown Los Angeles, we’re expecting the latter to come to pass.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go far to find fun and celebrate the changing of the calendar. Below are 17 events, dinners or places where you can kiss a loved one, sing “Auld Lang Syne” or, if you want something really different, run 13.1 miles.
Mayan Mayhem: OK, the Mayans got it wrong this time, but the Mayan Theatre will get it right when it comes to a last dance — of the year, that is. Beginning at 8 p.m., one of L.A.’s most prominent salsa dancing destinations will feature a trio of music masters. DJ Pedro el Sabroso, DJ Pepper and DJ Saturn will spin a variety of genres on different levels of the Hill Street party palace. Bring your moves and your appetite because there’s also a decadent dessert and appetizer lounge, as well as the fashionable champagne toast at midnight.
At 1038 S. Hill St., (213) 746-4674 or clubmayan.com
From Vienna to Idina: If you think nothing says New Year’s Eve like show tunes, then you’re in luck in Downtown. On Dec. 31, the Walt Disney Concert Hall hosts two performances by Tony-winner Idina Menzel. You may know Menzel for her Broadway turns in Rent and Wicked and on TV’s “Glee.” Or you may be aware of her penchant for performing concerts barefoot. Whatever the situation, she has appeared in venues throughout the country this year, singing some of Broadway’s best, while also sharing personal anecdotes. She’ll hit the stage twice, first at 7 p.m., followed by a 10:30 p.m. performance.
In case you want to get an early jump on the new year, like a full day early, Disney Hall is also going continental. Dec. 30 marks the return of the program Salute to Vienna. The 2:30 p.m. show pays homage to the king of waltzes, Johann Strauss Jr. The concert recreates Neujahrskonzert, which is the New Year’s concert of the Vienna Philharmonic. It will be conducted by Austrian native Andreas Mitisek, the artistic and general director of Long Beach Opera.
Double DJs: Whether you label it electro house, techno or simply dance music, if you know the genre then you know DJs Nicky Romero and Zedd. The two figures in their early 20s have already become major producers working with prominent artists. They teamed for the track “Human,” and now they will celebrate New Year’s Eve together at Club Nokia, beginning at 9 p.m., playing some of their best mixes. Grab your water bottle and get ready to shimmy for hours.
At 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-5000 or clubnokia.com.
Grill ’em All: Chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken took a bet on Downtown more than a decade ago when they opened Ciudad. Then they turned Ciudad into a Border Grill, and the good eats continued. On Dec. 31, they have a four-course, prix-fixe dinner. The $65 meal includes a braised oxtail tamale, a bacon-wrapped steak and lobster surf and turf, as well as roasted banana crepes with dulce de leche and vanilla bean ice cream. The drinks, including a bevy of inventive cocktails, are up to you,
At 445 S. Figueroa St., (213) 486-5171 or bordergrill.com.
Go Green: Creatively blending art and entertainment in the 100-year-old Higgins Building, The Edison’s Dec. 31 Cabaret Ball will feature live music, a DJ, aerialists, stilt walkers and dancers. The club equally known for its boiler room decor and its inventive cocktails will also feature the Green Fairy on Dec. 31. While it may seem like a bad trip, it’s actually someone traversing the 14,000-square-foot venue with a tiny trolley car containing Kubler absinthe, one of more than a dozen types of the potent green liquor. The night starts at 8 p.m. Who knows when it ends?
At 108 W. Second St., (213) 613-0000 or edisondowntown.com.
10 + 24 = Delicious: Appetizers are the norm at New Year’s Eve parties. Still, few venues are better prepared to deliver a bevy of tasty small plates than WP24. The Wolfgang Puck venue on the 24th floor of the Convention Center hotel is offering a 10-course tasting menu, including the restaurant’s signature meal, roasted Peking duck. Other dishes are wok-fried cockles and a crispy glazed pork belly. The foodie’s dream come true includes a champagne toast. There is also dessert, in case you still have room. The dinner is $190 per person.
At 900 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 743-8800 or wolfgangpuck.com.
A Class Act: Not surprisingly, the Fashion District’s Pattern Bar is one of the most fashionable places in Downtown. So leave it to them to get all Great Gatsby on us and offer up a Roaring ’20s New Year’s Eve party. Get in touch with your inner Nick Carraway or Daisy Buchanan at the black tie event that begins at 9 p.m. Enjoy tiny tempting tapas and an open bar specializing in classic cocktails, while dancing to the soundscapes of Eduardo Castillo. It’s a blend of classic looks and spirits with modern music.
At 100 W. Ninth St., (213) 627-7774 or patternbar.com.
Circus Maximus: The Conga Room is celebrating its 10th anniversary with its annual La Desvelada, co-hosted by the radio station Latino 96.3. Hosted by Sandra Pena and featuring DJs Lu Rox and Santa Rosa, the “masquerade ball and circus” is a party with entertainment. Aerialists and other circus acts will be performing. You will be entertained.
At 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-0162 or congaroom.com
Yes to Noé: Whether you want to eat before your party, or your idea of New Year’s Eve is an extravagant, long-lasting meal, Noé Restaurant & Bar has you covered. A three-course dinner is served at 5 p.m. in the Bunker Hill eatery, followed by a four-course meal at 7 p.m. and, get this, a six-course feast at 9:30 p.m. Noé’s neo bistro cuisine specializes in seafood, and the wines come from around the world.
At 251 S. Olive St., (213) 356-4100 or noerestaurant.com.
A Sip of Seven: Wait, wethinks there is a theme here: Sip one of the seven featured drinks at Seven Bar Lounge, or have the staff help you choose a wine from the expansive wine room. Then spend the evening in a relaxed atmosphere at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue for a cozy New Year’s Eve party.
At 555 W. Seventh St., (213) 223-0777 or sevenrestaurantbar.com.
You’re Golden: Ticket prices for New Year’s Eve events can be sky high, but at the Golden Gopher bar, there’s no cover. DJ Mike T will spin a variety of rock, pop, punk and soul to accompany the $6 drink specials and a champagne cocktail menu. Don’t worry, you can always grab a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, chill out and avoid the crowds that throng the fancy clubs.
At 417 W. Eighth St., (213) 614-8001 or goldengopherbar.com.
Hart of Laughs: Few comedians were as hot this year as Kevin Hart, who will be serving laughs to thousand of fans on Dec. 31 at 10 p.m. at Staples Center. Whether he’s acting in movies such as this year’s Think Like a Man or guest starring on sitcoms such as “Modern Family,” Hart has become a hot commodity. But it’s his stand-up material that made him a star. This show will be one of the biggest L.A. comedy events of the year. Just don’t expect knock-knock jokes.
At 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 742-7340 or staplescenter.com.
All Together Now: The rave Together as One attracts thousands of revelers every year. They share their love of electronic music while bringing in the New Year together. In case that’s not enough dancey action, there is also a pre-party taking place on Dec. 29. Everything happens at the Shrine Exposition Hall. Be kind to all the USC students you see wandering around the area.
At 649 W. Jefferson Blvd. or newyearsevela.com.
Party High: Bring out your finest duds, because a strict dress code will be enforced at Elevate Lounge. The New Year’s Eve party at the penthouse 21 floors above the Financial District starts at 9 p.m. with music from DJ Ekidd. The $50 admission includes a glass of champagne at midnight. VIP tickets and table service will be available for those with deeper pockets. While the drinking has to stop by 2 a.m., the music will go on for another 45 minutes.
At 811 Wilshire Blvd., (213) 623-7100 or elevatelounge.com.
Sleepover: Many Downtown hotels are already sold out for New Year’s Eve, but there are still some rooms and deals up for grabs. As of last week, reservations were available at the Omni Hotel, which has specials including the Ooh La La Romance package. The deal includes a pre-check-in talk with a concierge to arrange for any romantic requests. You’ll also get wine and French macarons, breakfast for two in the morning and a late checkout.
At 251 S. Olive St., (213) 442-5251 or omnihotels.com.
Night Run: No one thinks about working out on New Year’s Eve, but by the next day, the world is filled with hordes of individuals who want to lose the pounds. One of the best opportunities occurs on Jan. 5. The 2013 New Year’s Race is a nighttime (you read that right) 5K and half-marathon that starts and ends in Downtown Los Angeles. The event under the glowing lights of the Central City begins at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue and the finish line is near L.A. Live, where a festival of live music and entertainment will be in full swing until 1 a.m. The start time is 9 p.m. There’s also a non-timed Kid’s Fun Run at 7 p.m. Think of this as the perfect opportunity to exercise (get it?) that new year’s resolution to get in shape.
At Seventh Street and Grand Avenue, (213) 627-8484 or newyearsrace.com.
New Year’s Eve Goes to the Dogs
If there is one thing we know about Downtown Los Angeles residents, it’s that they love their dogs. Still, even pet aficionados can’t bring their canine companions when they hit the club for a late night out.
Luckily, the Central City has a few options for those who don’t want to leave Lassie home alone.
Bark Avenue is one of the places that can take a dog or two on New Year’s Eve. The Historic Core pet center offers cage-free overnight stays, which means little dogs bunk together in one room and big dogs get other big dogs as roommates. Nervous pet owners can also check in on their dogs live via the Internet, since there are web cameras in the rooms. Dogs can be dropped off as late as 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
A few miles away is South Park Doggie Day Care. The facility will let canines in as late as 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 31. They’ll spend the night on elevated beds in shared rooms. The more pampered or skittish pooches can bunk down in private rooms with heated beds or crates. Like at Bark Avenue, South Park Doggie Day Care has cameras in the rooms allowing owners to keep their eyes on their dogs. If you check in and think you see dogs playing poker, you’ve probably had too much to drink.
© Los Angeles Downtown News 2012