It’s the most magical time of year: Office holiday party season. That one special night where you get to spend even more time with people you don’t particularly enjoy, drink a lot of alcohol together, and see how it all comes out in the wash tomorrow. And if you’re tasked with making it all happen, your night is going to be even worse. Just know now - you probably won’t make everyone happy. But finding a place that’ll at least keep people stimulated for a good chunk of the evening will pay you great dividends. To give you the best possible chances for success, we’ve rounded up the 36 best spots in LA for holiday parties, broken up by what kind of company you probably work for. Seasons greetings.
PERFECT FOR an infantile tech start-up
Located above Hollywood on the grounds of Yamashiro, Kensho is a tiny Japanese restaurant/wine bar and the kind of place that makes eating and drinking with your bro-tastic coworkers after a day at the office actually enjoyable. There’s a fantastic front patio, unobstructed views of the Hollywood sign, and a constantly changing menu that’s always delicious.
Capacity: 40 people for a full buy-out.
When you picture an Italian restaurant in NYC, you probably picture something like Scopa - great food, a lively atmosphere, and an unabashed pride in its home country (Scopa’s signature cocktail is basically an Italian flag icee, and it’s delicious). Your picky coworkers will be happy with the classic, accessible Italian dishes, you will be happy with the excellent drinks, and your boss will be happy that the private dining room has a projector, so she can play that “2019 blooper reel” she’s been working on for four months now.
Capacity: Private room for up to 36 guests.
If your CEO likes to hold all his lunch meetings at the beach, he’ll be very pleased with a holiday party on the roof at Gjelina, where their private space is. Looking out over Abbot Kinney while eating some really good pizza will make you feel like you’re in an episode of one of those TV shows about rich people doing beautiful things, instead of holding out hope that those stock options you’ve got will someday bear fruit (spoiler: they won’t).
Capacity: Private room with deck for groups of 30+.
The worst-kept secret to every successful holiday party? Alcohol. And at Golden Road, you pretty much have it within arm’s reach no matter where you are. The Atwater Village brewery is massive, with both a great outdoor patio and large dining hall with communal tables perfect for smaller groups. But if you’re looking for something more secluded, their private speakeasy-ish event space, Chloe’s, is pretty damn cool too.
Capacity: Parties up to 75 people inside Chloe’s.
No matter how rowdy this Arts District sausage emporium can get on the weekends (and also at its Venice location), no one can deny this place works great for a big group party. Normally, you’d have to wait in line and order at the counter, but for groups big enough (12+), you’re able to snag a reservation and get a sectioned-off area of the restaurant. Sausage, beer, and hip-hop. Your coworkers will thank you.
Capacity: Groups of 12+ in a semi-private space.
It was a great year for your at-home foot massage app, but you’re still running at about ten employees, so there’s no reason to blow it out just yet. Instead, head to Button Mash in Echo Park, where old-school arcade games, a great beer selection, and an even better drunk food menu awaits.
Capacity: Reservations for groups of 10+. No private dining option.
Greetings from one of the most underrated restaurants on the Westside. Upper West’s Pico and Centinela location might be in a bit of a no man’s land, but this neighborhood spot has a laid-back space, excellent cocktails, an accessible American menu, and all the private dining options you could ask for.
Capacity: Front room fits 42 seated, 50 standing. Main room fits 90 seated, 120 standing. Full restaurant buyout fits 140 seated, 170 standing.
Nothing beats a big group Korean BBQ outing. And while Ktown has more options than it knows what to do with in this category, go with Chosun Galbee for the holiday party. The large, modern space is great, the meat is quality, and unlike some of the other popular spots, you won’t have to sell your soul to get a table here. Not to mention, there are several private dining rooms.
Capacity: Private dining room for groups of 12-45.
The thought of having an office Christmas party at a wine bar is downright excruciating, but when said wine bar is also serving some fantastic Thai food? Suddenly things get more interesting. Same Same in Silver Lake offers family-style dishes for big groups or buyouts, as well as all the beer and wine you’ll need. And trust us, you’ll need plenty.
Capacity: Restaurant buyout fits 50 seated, 80 standing. Regular reservations available for any size party.
Deep down you know the idea of sitting next to your coworkers for an entire dinner won’t end well. So, let’s go bowling instead. The Spare Room (inside the Roosevelt Hotel) is part bar, part restaurant, with a few bowling lanes thrown into the mix. If that sounds cheesy to you, know that this place’s Old Hollywood feel steers it clear from Dave & Buster’s territory.
Capacity: Full buyout fits 200. Regular reservations available for any size party.
PERFECT FOR a fashion brand that launched on instagram
The second you walk through the giant red doors of The Firehouse Hotel in the Arts District, one thing becomes immediately clear: This is the coolest boutique hotel in LA right now. The building itself used to be an actual firehouse, and the ground-floor restaurant and back patio is the ideal place for a holiday party that doesn’t get too formal. Plus, if Rachel from Marketing gets too wine-drunk again, you can always just put her in a room upstairs.
Capacity: Standing cocktails for up to 60 people, private seated dining up to 28.
E.P. & L.P. is a scene. There’s a rooftop bar, a famous neon sign, and lots of young Hollywood types lounging by the fire pit. So it might just be perfect for a company whose requirement for a holiday party is a space that people will recognize once it’s up on social media. There are private rooms available, but your move is to buy out the whole rooftop bar.
Capacity: Rooftop available for up to 300. Restaurant buyout available for 130 seated or 200 standing.
Rosaliné is a restaurant that works for pretty much any occasion, holiday parties included. The modern Peruvian spot serves shareable food in a light space that just feels good to sit in. If your company is small enough, book a space on the patio, which is basically a giant greenhouse.
Capacity: Outdoor patio seats up to 10. Private space for up to 30 seated or 40 standing. Restaurant buyouts available for 80 seated, 150 standing.
Malibu Family Wines
You work in fashion, so the average holiday party venue isn’t going to cut it. Obviously you’re going to Malibu and doing the wine safari. Open-air safari cars tool around Saddlerock Ranch and the Malibu Wines vineyard, stopping for wine tastings and to gawk at zebras and camels. Because getting drunk with your coworkers and hanging out with Stanley the giraffe is the best possible combination of things.
Capacity: Groups of 20 per tour.
If you’re lucky enough to have an office full of people you actually like, you’ve got a pretty special situation on your hands. Have a laid-back dinner with them on the cool end of Main St. at Chez Tex. The bare brick walls and dimly lit space will make your snobby boss happy, but bistro-style dishes, as well as a killer wine list are what the rest of you are here for.
Capacity: Semi-private dining room seats 8-12. Full buyout fits 36 seated, 50 standing.
This is LA. It’s not out of the question to have 80-degree weather in December, so take advantage and have a pool party. No, we’re not advocating actually jumping in the pool with your coworkers (unless it’s that kind of office), but a big group hang around the rooftop pool at the Ace is perfectly acceptable, especially when there are cocktails and food from LA Chapter downstairs involved.
Capacity: Minimum of 50 in private space, available Monday to Thursday after 6pm.
We’re not sure why Downtown LA doesn’t have more rooftops, but Perch is one of the OGs and still a great spot for an event. When you’re here for a private event, it’s much less likely you’ll find annoying people in the crowd (well, except terrible deskmate Jake), and there will probably be a lot more elbow room.
Capacity: Rooftop available for groups of 20-150.
Cassia is one of our favorite spots on the Westside, and it seems made for holiday parties. The upscale Asian food is shareable, the space is gorgeous, and there are a few different private rooms to choose from. Or, if it was a really good year, just go big and rent the whole space.
Capacity: Private dining room seats 20. Wine room available for 36 seated, 60 standing. Patio available for 60 seated, 75 standing. Full buyout available for 150 seated, 250 standing.
perfect for a high-powered talent agency
What Tesse lacks in exciting, interesting food, it makes up for with a massive, beautiful space on The Strip where industry people can just be themselves. And considering you needed two hands to count the number of violent mood swings your boss had today, it’s best to keep everybody as happy and agreeable as possible. It is the holidays, after all.
Capacity: Standing capacity up to 65 people.
When it comes to making deals about the next superhero franchise over dinner, there’s nowhere better to do so than Craft. But despite the amount of suits you’ll find on any given night, the bright space feels more cool than corporate. The food is simple (think steak with with green beans or a salmon filet with salad), but it’s solid across the board, and at this point, everyone in your office probably has a favorite thing on menu.
Capacity: Restaurant buyout for 140 seated/200 standing. Private dining rooms also available.
The Katsuya empire has admittedly transformed itself into more of a see-and-be-seen operation than a see-and-be-seen-eating-sushi one, but you work at CAA and that’s just what the doctor ordered. Here’s the good news though - quality sushi still exists here.
Capacity: Total buyout fits 400. Private dining available for groups of 12 or more.
Home to the world’s most important TV show and some pretty mediocre food, Sur works for a holiday party because everybody knows what it is and they know they can get trashed there. Plus, this place was essentially designed for private events. From the gaudy, over-the-top interior to the gaudy, over-the-top back patio, there’s plenty of space for you and the assistant bros to get sauced and stroll into work late tomorrow.
Capacity: Total buyout fits up to 300. Private dining rooms available for groups of 12 or more.
The NYC import can best be summed up by the line of desperation and stilettos snaking down Melrose on any given night - Catch is an all-out blockbuster. With over 12,000 square feet, a retractable roof, and other impressive things that don’t really matter, this seafood megaplex is a popular choice for private events, so start making those phone calls now.
Capacity: Private dining available for parties over 20.
Famous for being the hardest reservation to get in the world (or something like that), Rao’s Hollywood location is thankfully much easier to get into than its New York spot. Located on a side street south of Santa Monica Blvd., Rao’s is old-school New York Italian food with a warm interior that makes you feel like you’re in Manhattan. But it’s that back patio where holiday party glory truly begins.
Capacity: Full patio buyout available for up to 60. Regular reservations available for any size party.
After being put on life-support not all that long ago, this Hollywood landmark has been revived and is better than ever. Located on a private hill overlooking Hollywood, you won’t find many better views than at this iconic spot, and though its pan-Asian menu isn’t going to change the world, it is good enough to make everyone happy. They also have three separate private events spaces to choose from.
Capacity: 150 seated, 175 standing in the garden courtyard. 60 in the Skyview Room. 30 seated, 45 standing in the Koi Room.
This absolutely stunning co-work-millennial-glamazon-swap-meet space in Hollywood is here for any type or size holiday party your agency requires. With a ground-floor auditorium and two separate outside patios (one being on the roof), the hardest part is actually choosing which space you want. The food comes from the full, on-site restaurant and it’s actually very good.
Capacity: Studio A fits 600 standing, 300 seated. Mezzanine bar and semi-private dining room fits 50 standing, 12 seated . Garden Terrace fits 400 standing, 250 seated. Paley Penthouse fits 100 standing, 18 seated indoors, 40 seated outdoors. Paley buyout for 300 standing 300, 200 seated.
The Bazaar by José Andrés
Ahh, The Bazaar. That beautiful place where you can spend a sh*t ton of money and get a syringe of caprese squirted into the back of your mouth. ’Tis the season indeed. Though ridiculously over-the-top, this gastronomy shrine at the SLS Hotel is a great place to throw a holiday party, especially for excitable CAA agents. The space is massive and Greg from Theatrical is going to lose his mind once those chocolate pop rocks hit the back of his tongue.
Capacity: Terrace for up to 40. Rojo for up to 100. Blanca for up to 100. Bar Centro for up to 90. Patisserie for up to 60.
perfect for a very corporate finance or law firm
If you work in the financial district and need to find a holiday party location, just look up. At the top of the US Bank Tower Downtown is 71Above, LA’s shrine to corporate power moves and the ideal setting for a bunch of people whose idea of letting loose is business casual. That said, 71Above is serving excellent food, and the 360-degree views of LA are like nothing else in the city.
Capacity: Private dining rooms for 14 or 30 guests, larger dining room for 75 guests, full restaurant buyout available.
What is it with finance firms and themed parties? Just kidding, we know what it is: Their jobs are boring and everyone needs to forget that at least once a year. If a theme is necessary, at least make sure it’s a good one, and go for a Jazz Age night at Cicada Club. Banish all thoughts of spreadsheets and dance all night to the big band.
Capacity: 350 for full buyout. Group reservations for parties of 8+.
No matter the size of your party, Republique has a space that will work. They have 20 different private dining options (OK fine, they have eight), with enough space for up to 400 people. And if your firm leans pretty conservative, that’s fine. The French menu won’t scare any of the partners away.
Capacity: 18 in the wine room. 30 seated, 45 standing in the mezzanine room. 35 standing in the bakery. 32 at the kitchen tables (semi-private). 30 standing at the bar. 62 seated, 75 standing in the dining room. 210 seated, 400 standing for full buyout.
Redbird is stunning, huge, and not the kind of place you’re going to once a week - all reasons why it’s one of the best spots for a holiday party Downtown. The menu involves lots of plates to share, so maybe make sure you’re sitting next to a friend so you can hoard dishes together.
Capacity: In the main dining room, 30 seated in lounge, 90 seated on patio, 150 seated for a buyout, 225 standing. 100 seated, 200 standing in the garden. A number of private dining rooms for 16 to 110 seated, 30 to 150 standing.
If you need to play things kind of safe, but still want to go somewhere that feels kind of cool, the DTLA Terroni is the way to go. There are plenty of pizzas and pastas that are sure to please a corporate crowd, and the converted bank space in the Historic Core has lots of character, too.
Capacity: Private dining for up to 40.
We love the patio at A.O.C., but we might love their upstairs wine room even more. It feels like an old-school gentlemen’s club, but one where you drink lots of wine instead of scotch. Because we all know wine is the only way you’re going to get through tonight.
Capacity: 40 in the wine room. 160 seated, 200 standing for a full buyout.
If Pizzeria Mozza is for the cool tech kids, Osteria Mozza is definitely for the lawyers and accountants. It might be a formal option, but it’s all the better for it. There are white tablecloths as far as the eye can see, and some of the best pasta you’ll find in LA.
Capacity: 36 seated, 50 standing in the private dining room. 64 for a partial buyout. 150 seated, 200 standing for a full buyout.