Chinese New Year is upon us, as is an active debate regarding 2015 being the official Year of The Ram, Sheep, Goat. Whether it’s a cultural disagreement or is simply lost in translation, we’re looking at it as an omen to celebrate the occasion any which way we prefer. Here are three events celebrating the holiday in and around The City of Angels:
Photo Credit: The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Chinese New Year Tea & Shopping with Vera Wang
Paying homage to The Peninsula Hong Kong’s world-famous high tea, the Beverly Hills location is serving a special Chinese-themed Afternoon Tea that concludes in a sweet surprise. Five of the fortune cookies served this month will reveal complimentary spa treatments and decadent dining gifts. Also, all tea guests are invited to shop at Vera Wang’s Beverly Hills Ready-to-Wear boutique and receive a 25 percent discount and gift with purchase. A portion of the proceeds from each shopping purchase and tea will benefit Operation Smile.
Additional perks during the celebration include the Peninsula Family Moments travel package ($610 per night, February 23-March 31) including four tickets to the hotel's annual Chinese New Year party, two complimentary Peninsula Academy Young Pastry Chef classes, and a treasure hunt around the hotel.
Photo Credit: Hakkasan Beverly Hills
Just a few blocks away, throughout the month of February, Hakkasan Beverly Hills presents a very special Chinese New Year dinner menu created by Michelin-starred Chef Ho Chee Boon. Served in the elegant restaurant’s newly-designed space, the sumptuous eight-course Cantonese meal includes dishes such as spicy lamb lupin wrap, golden fried sea prawns with red chili and curry leaf, abalone and dry scallop fried rice and Sha cha mock duck with cloud ear, celery and bamboo shoot. The sea prawns are personally one of my favorite dishes, and more than worthy of becoming the property’s new calling card.
Respect also goes to the new bar program for cocktail concoctions like the Buddah’s Palm and the savory Shiso Gimlet. But the festive Kumquatcha earns the spotlight this month as their Chinese New Year signature cocktail made with Leblon Cachaça, Campari, kumquats, lime and simple syrup. The too-pretty-to-eat Kumquat Wishing Tree dessert with chocolate, caramelized macadamia and cocoa rocks is designed to bring good luck, prosperity and happiness. When you’re finished, write your personal wish for the New Year on a red ribbon to hang on the hand-carved Hakkasan Beverly Hills walls.
Photo Credit: Library Bar
Greet Lunar New Year with Irony, Drinks and a Bedtime Story
Library Bar at 6th and Hope in Downtown Los Angeles invites imbibers to celebrate the Year of the Sheep with the bar that cried wolf. On February 19 enjoy special Big Bad Wolf cocktails made with Cabeza tequila, lime juice, raspberries, agave and egg white. The cocktail is just the thing to prepare you for bartender Dylan Snyder’s live reading of the children’s book “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. After the reading, the book will join other classics in the Library Bar's bookcase, but I think I’ll stick with the page-turning new bar menu.