By: Ashley Berry
On the evening of Wednesday, December 5th, 2012, the lobby of 5900 Wilshire Blvd., home to the headquarters of Los Angeles Magazine, was transformed into a wintery wonderland of holiday-inspired cocktails, delectable small bites, tunes spun by DJ Hem, and a general sense of merriment for the second annual Los Angeles Magazine Big Holiday Party, from which a portion of the proceeds benefitted the Kids Courage Foundation.
Upon arrival, a decent sized crowd already populated the glass-enclosed lobby-turned-lounge of the mid-city high rise that sits directly across the street from LACMA. While the snowy decor and pulsing beats created a festive ambiance, the focus was definitely on the food and spirits, which is only fitting for a party hosted by one of Los Angeles’ top guides for dining and entertainment culture. About 500 guests were treated to signature cocktails from fine distilleries such as Tanqueray and Ketel One and a seemingly endless supply of small bites courtesy of Market Restaurant and Catering.
From the entryway to the opposite side of the lobby ran a line of cocktail stations that were illuminated by club lighting adding a hint of naughty to the otherwise elegantly nice atmosphere. Skilled mixologists created holiday-appropriate libations including drinks like the “Holiday Gold” which featured brown butter infused Karlsson’s vodka, pear eau de vie, sherry, and cinnamon syrup and the “Spiced Cake Martini”, which showcased the smooth and sweet flavors of Hazelnut Baileys Liqueur and Smirnoff Iced Cake vodka. For traditionalists, there were neat servings of Chivas and glasses of brut champagne courtesy of Malibu Family Wines.
When the spirits seemed to go to your head, it was time to delight your taste buds with an array of culinary creations. Attendees hovered around three primary buffets including an hors d’oeuvres table at the entryway, a buffet with heartier bites on the far end of the lobby, and a decadent dessert bar tucked away in an alcove that also featured a Nespresso coffee station and a booth where party-goers could take pictures with a slightly mischievous Santa Claus.
Appetizers included chile, garlic, and lemon infused mac ‘n’ cheese bites, rich wild mushroom and onion flan tarts, and flavorful lamb empanadas. Guests could be heard raving about the heartier bites such as cedar smoked Alaskan salmon that was encrusted with bacon caramelized onion and pork riblets prepared with tamarind, toasted peanuts, and Southeast Asian herbs.
If savory wasn’t your style, then a whole world of decadent goodness awaited you at the dessert bar where you could choose from countless indulgences including mini dulce de leche cheesecakes, raspberry vanilla macarons, and espresso profiteroles.
As the night went on, the crowd took on the satisfied glow that can only come from the perfect combination of delicious food, fine drinks, and lovely company. By the end of the night, partygoers could be seen dancing to the beats that ranged from current hits like Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” to party classics like “Billie Jean”. After the DJ closed his set with Dirty Dancing theme, “Time of My Life”, the crowd slowly began to thin and as people left the party, they went out into the cold night a little toastier and most certainly a little merrier.