New Year’s Eve Festivities Abound

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Rita Rudner
Comic and Laguna Niguel resident Rita Rudner performs at Laguna Playhouse on New Year’s Eve.

Many local restaurants offer New Year’s Eve revelers early and late dining options this Sunday, Dec. 31, and one live production continues its tradition of welcoming 2018 on East Coast time. For those who’ve made public transit a New Year’s resolution, free city trolleys will extend their hours on New Years’ Eve, running from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. There will be no service on Jan. 1.

The famous Boom Boom Room, 1401 S. Coast Highway, will re-open for a New Year’s Eve party at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 31. A $40 cover includes tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, a full bar and $10 drink tickets. Boom Boom patrons can dance the night away with DJ Andrew Blunk, and stay until 2 a.m. for party favors and a bubbly toast at midnight.

Rita Rudner’s new show, “Laugh, Drink, Leave” at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Rd., starts at 7 p.m. and features an opening act by local teen singer/songwriters Molly Bergman and Sidney Bowen. Tickets range from $99 to $125 and include dessert and a glass of champagne to toast the East Coast ball drop. Purchase tickets at: or call 949 497-2787.

Mozambique offers guests, here toasting the year to come, dining or dancing choices.
Mozambique offers guests, here toasting the year to come, dining or dancing choices.

Mozambique offers early and late diners a prix fixe menu at two seatings on New Year’s Eve, 5-7:30 p.m. for $80 and the second seating from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. for $120. Live music will be performed on three stages. Patrons interested in the live music party only, pay a $20 cover after 9 p.m. The restaurant is located at 1740 S. Coast Highway.

The Wine Gallery, 1833 S. Coast Highway, will also have two seatings, 5:30-6 p.m. and 8:30-9 p.m., respectively, for their four-course, prix fixe dinner. Choices from the regular menu are also available. The prix fixe dinner is $65 without wine pairings and $90 with wine and includes a complimentary glass of champagne. A special selection of champagnes by the glass will also be offered. Reserve at [email protected] or call 949-715-8744.

Selanne patrons can toast the New Year in the restaurant’s illuminated patio.
Selanne patrons can toast the New Year in the restaurant’s illuminated patio.

Selanne Steak Tavern, 1464 S. Coast Highway, is offering two seatings, 4-6 p.m. and 8-9:30 p.m. with live entertainment, party favors and a champagne toast. A vegetarian tasting menu is available upon request. The five-course New Year’s Eve menu is $225 per person. Wine pairings are available for an additional $125 per person. Pricing excludes tax and gratuity. Reservations required by calling 949-715-9881.

Skyloft restaurant, 422 S. Coast Highway, will offer two seatings; 5-7 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Reservations include a table all evening, live music, party favors and a midnight toast. For guests attending just the party there is a walk-in cover charge of $20.

The White House, 340 S. Coast Highway, will have a special dinner menu and last call at 1:30 a.m.

The Lumberyard, 384 Forest Ave.; C’est la Vie, 373 S. Coast Highway; Romeo Cucina, 249 Broadway Ave.; will all be open until midnight and Hennessey’s Tavern, 213 Ocean Ave., will close at 2 a.m.

Holiday lights add sparkle to Montage resort’s New Year’s Eve dining options.
Holiday lights add sparkle to Montage resort’s New Year’s Eve dining options.

Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 S. Coast Highway, offers a plethora of options. At The Loft, the 5-7 p.m. seating includes a four-course menu for $125 for adults and $40 for children ages 4 to 12 years. The second seating includes a five-course menu, complimentary midnight toast, party favors and live music from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. for $200 for adults; $60 for children plus tax and gratuity.

A gala at The Studio offers a five-course tasting menu, live music, dancing and party favors, as well as a midnight champagne toast. The $475 per person tab includes cocktails at an opening reception and wine pairings with dinner or non-alcoholic beverages, plus tax and gratuity.

New Year’s Eve at Montage’s Lobby Lounge from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. is open to hotel and local guests alike. Resident pianist David Allen Baker will provide entertainment throughout the evening while guests dance the night away. Reserved private table patrons will enjoy Perrier-Jouet Champagne and a private server. Or, guests can be part of the party without a table charge for standing room only.

Reserved tables are $400 to $600 for up to four guests and $1,000 for up to six guests plus tax and gratuity. A special event for kids runs from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at Montage Paintbox. Children age 5-12 years old can join games and activities in the ballroom at a cost of $150 per child. For more info call 949 715-6420.

Ringing It In Right!

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

New Year’s Eve is a night to have fun and celebrate the coming year. However, safety is a must when participating in New Year’s festivities and parties.

Make sure you have a plan and follow these safety tips that will help ensure that you’re safe and sound when the clock strikes midnight, ringing in the New Year.

  • Designate a Driver: If you are going to be driving New Year’s Eve, don’t drink and drive. If you have a friend who does not prefer to drink, make sure they take the wheel.
  • Be Alert: Be aware of your surroundings and how others are acting. Stay away from those who are out of control and might cause harm. Taking preventive measures is key. If someone is really intoxicated, prevent them from trying to drive or leaving with someone they do not know.
  • Don’t Drive: If you don’t have to go behind the wheel, avoid it. More people will be driving under the influence on this particular night, so avoid a potentially dangerous accident by staying off the road. Otherwise, be alert and drive defensively. Most importantly, wear your seatbelt. If taking a cab is too expensive, crashing at a friend’s place nearby is a convenient solution.
  • Stick Together: This way we can look out for our friends and family. Going out to parties and nightclubs means a fast-paced, crazy night, so be sure to travel in groups. Having a safety net around you in this environment is imperative.
  • Monitor your alcohol Intake: A majority of people will be drinking on New Year’s Eve, and there is nothing wrong with that. Just be sure to pay attention to how much you and others are consuming. Be responsible.
  • Don’t forget about your pets! They are just as much a part of the family as everyone else.
  • Be careful with open flames: If you’re burning candles, incense or oil burners, remember to extinguish them before you turn in or before you leave the room they are burning in.
  • Plain and simple, no fireworks.

Everyone wants to have an unforgettable night (in a good way!).  By simply using some common sense, we can keep it that way.

Happy New Year!

Sam DiGiovanna lives in Aliso Viejo and is the chief of the Verdugo Fire Academy in Glendale.

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