Los Angeles has many qualities, but two of the most enduring are its rich diversity of global cultures and its ability to make even the most extravagant dream a reality. No other city can claim to be the Entertainment Capital of the World and also be home to cultures that speak more than 200 languages. There’s no better time to combine these two attributes than on the eve of 2013. LA offers dozens of opportunities to spend the entire last day of 2012 ringing in the New Year while cities are doing the same thing around the world. Here are a few selected options.
As the clock strikes midnight in Seoul and Tokyo, LA locals and visitors can start the last day of the year in true Asian spiritual fashion. Koreatown boasts day spas such as Natura Spa, Olympic Spa, Wilshire Spa and Crystal Spa, which offer services ranging from a warm mineral pool to stress-relieving massages and legendary body scrubs. Some of the spas are unisex, so check in advance. And a few miles east, the Chado Tea Room at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo eases you into a Zen state of mind with teas from more than 10 different countries and a tranquil garden setting.
LA has long been nicknamed Teherangeles because of its large Iranian population, and there’s no better way to experience this phenomenon than by sampling the restaurants just south of Westwood Village as the clock strikes 12 in the Middle East. A good starting point is Shaherzad, which has been serving authentic Persian cuisine such as kabobs, stews and flatbreads since 1982. Read more about Persian Square dining in our Definitive Guide.
You’ve seen it in a bunch of TV ads. Now experience the closest thing LA has to an authentic City of Lights experience at Figaro Bistro in Los Feliz. Few things can compare culturally to waxing philosophic and toasting your partner with a couple of aperitifs at the café’s sidewalk tables, just as Parisians celebrate the dawn of 2013. Or for a slightly higher-energy experience with a coastal twist, Santa Monica’s Ye Olde King’s Head Pub will be hopping by the time Big Ben strikes 12 and will keep that party going with authentic British pub grub, brews and, just for the 31st, bagpipes. Yes, bagpipes.
LA is simply not LA without the influence of its vibrant Latino population, whose roots extend from Mexico deep into South America. So as millions are wishing each other Feliz Ano Nuevo, radio station LA 96.3 FM will be hosting its own party in Downtown at L.A. LIVE’s legendary Conga Room, complete with the station’s top DJs providing the tunes. Tickets at the Conga Room website, 21 and over.
After all of that globe-trotting, Angelenos and their friends can finally get the chance to party American style in true Hollywood fashion. Sitting front and center on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame, where the historic Egyptian Theatre will be home to the 3rd Annual Cleopatra’s Ball, which will include four DJs, three music rooms, light shows and, of course, a celebratory countdown. Meanwhile, Universal CityWalk Hollywood is putting on its CityWalk Rocks New Year’s Eve bash that includes two stages with live bands as well as three areas to view fireworks, not to mention its nearly dozen restaurants, lounges and clubs. Yes, it’s New Year’s Eve in LA, and you just got a little more worldly.