Christmas Eve Fin-ale: ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes'

A number of regional restaurants will honor the ocean-piquant Christmastime tradition.

What to Know

  • Cecconi's in West Hollywood on Dec. 24
  • Casa Barilla in Costa Mesa through Dec. 31
  • Sosta in Hermosa Beach on Dec. 24

December-themed dining can often be dominated by desserts, at least in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

After all, sweets are fairly portable, and snackable, and rather uncomplicated to create, which means that cupcakes and brittles show up at bake sales and holiday parties far more often than, say, green been casserole or ham.

Cookie exchanges are still a thing, in short, while roast turkey exchanges are not.

But when Christmas draws near, the more elaborate and meal-oriented dishes begin to take the stage, with one of the most traditional, and piscine-pretty, filling out the fish-forward role on Christmas Eve.

It's the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a multi-course dinner that, yes, includes seven different offerings, all oceanic in nature.

Those dishes might feature salmon or cod or lobster or shrimp or crab or all of the above, and they'll all have an air of occasion to them.

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A number of Italian restaurants around Southern California celebrate this sea-worthy celebration each Dec. 24, though some will push the tangy tastes beyond Christmas with a wrap-up closer to New Year's Day.

Is your family's go-to Italian trattoria staging this grand meal, which hails from Southern Italy? Check in, if you're tempted, for a seafood-oriented experience that'll out-tang and out-brine every other fish-centered soirée out there.

Some local places going the "Seven Fishes" route in 2018 include Cecconi's in West Hollywood, Sosta in Hermosa Beach, and Casa Barilla in Costa Mesa.

Be sure to ring first, to make sure you can get a reservation, for reservations are essential when the making such a major meal is undertaken.

How many courses have you enjoyed come Christmas Eve? And have they all drawn from the same thematic category? If you've never Feasted upon the Seven Fishes, perhaps 2018 is the year to swim into a fresh way of approaching the holiday.

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