For a gift to truly savor, treat your friends and family to a holiday meal at a favorite neighborhood eatery. Whether you share a special dinner together or give a gift card so they can enjoy an evening out whenever they choose, you’ll be providing a deliciously memorable experience while supporting our local restaurants.
Since indoor dining restrictions loosened in the spring, many in our community have been eagerly returning to their old haunts after eating takeout or cooking at home for much of the pandemic. Give your loved ones the gift of a night out at one of Toluca Lake’s most popular eateries, Prosecco Trattoria. The restaurant is fully open for dinner service and offers gift cards that can be used for meals and drinks. Order a bottle of wine and enjoy authentic Italian dishes such as short rib risotto, beef Bolognese, carbonara and more in a warm, welcoming and safe atmosphere. Diners can enjoy their food inside or al fresco along Riverside Drive.
Locals have been celebrating special occasions at the Smoke House for 75 years and counting, and with good reason — it’s a classically elegant but comfortable hangout where every diner is treated like a star. Gather with your nearest and dearest in the cozy red leather booths to savor cocktails and prime rib (a specialty since 1946), or give a gift card to anyone in need of a night out with good food and live music. And even those unlucky folks who live far from the neighborhood can be blessed with the greatest gift of all: the restaurant’s world-famous garlic cheese bread, which you can order online, uncooked and vacuum-sealed, to be shipped anywhere in the U.S.
Verse’s juicy 38-ounce tomahawk steak for two has been the talk of the town this holiday season, and for good reason. Aged for about a week and cooked to perfection over fresh almond wood, this mouthwatering cut comes complete with Verse’s famous bone marrow salsa. Prepared tableside, “the well-balanced blend of shallots, serrano peppers, tomatoes and green onions ties in the marrow to the tomahawk steak and any of our dishes perfectly,” Chef Oscar Torres says. “Our cuisine is meant to be shared, so follow your taste buds or let us guide you through your new favorite combinations.” Going to Verse over the holidays or giving a gift card to a loved one will provide a dining experience that can’t be easily matched, owner Manny Marroquin adds. “We’re passionate about cuisine, sound and libation — our calling is to let every person who is transported through our doors feel that.”
For a sweet and unexpected addition to any holiday dessert spread, consider delectable doughnuts from fonuts. The Studio City–based shop offers “enlightened doughnuts” — freshly baked (never fried) gluten-free treats with creative twists and vegan options. This holiday, fonuts is adding seasonal flavors like pecan pie, gingerbread, candy cane crush and special-edition Baileys to its menu. Patrons can pick up a box of fonuts in store or order online for same-day pickup. And if you’re looking for a great gift, owner Nancy Truman recommends fonut Baker Kits, which come in numerous flavors and include everything you need to whip up a batch of delicious fonuts at home. “They’re so easy to make; you don’t need any baking experience to make your own delicious fonuts!” she says, adding that kits are shipped nationwide and can be purchased online along with gift cards and other goodies.
For more local holiday gifting ideas, check out our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.