Sometimes cooking at home on Christmas Day becomes more of a chore than a fun event. Don’t despair. Plenty of Orange County restaurants of the highest calibre are open for your benefit, serving fine fare to salute the occasion with just the right measure of pomp for this circumstance. Consider five of the best.
(Credit: g w./yelp)

(Credit: g w./yelp)


Studio
30801 Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-6420
www.montagehotels.com

At the glorious Montage Laguna Beach’s Studio Restaurant, Christmas is celebrated over a five-course chef tasting menu for a holiday dinner to remember and perhaps, revisit next year. Open the evening of Dec. 25, this Laguna Beach outpost situated right on the beach, is also offering its a la carte menu allowing for limitless options. Make note: The beet and goat cheese ravioli made with basil and smoked almonds is to die for.

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(credit: OC Restaurant Week)

(credit: OC Restaurant Week)


Splashes
1555 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(855) 690-7114
www.surfandsand.com

Inside the Surf and Sand Resort, Splashes Restaurant shares 500 feet of Pacific beachfront with the popular property, making this the ideal setting for a Christmas dinner. If weather allows, request a seat on the patio peering directly down to incoming waves. On Dec. 25, a three-course, fixed price menu will be on tap with all sorts of festive food treats and the chance to order from the adjoining Splashes Bar (try the seaside ceviche, it’s divine.)

(Credit: Orange Hill Restaurant)

(Credit: Orange Hill Restaurant)


Orange Hill Restaurant
6410 E. Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92869
(714) 997-2910
www.orangehilrestaurant.com

Expect a roaring fire on Christmas Day when brunch is served buffet style with all kinds of cuisine, including Mexican and Italian. Each dish is prepared at its own station and holiday favorites across the pond, like Beef Wellington, also tempt the palate. Definitely leave room for dessert, where everything from a chocolate fountain to a full-on holiday cookie corner are on offer to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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(credit: Mastro's Ocean Club)

(credit: Mastro’s Ocean Club)


Mastro’s Ocean Club
8112 East Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92657
(949) 376-6990
www.mastrosrestaurant.com

On Christmas Day 2016, the full menu of this Newport Beach mainstay, located right on the coast as the name implies, is on offer so hungry revelers can partake to their collective hearts’ content. Seafood, including sushi and oysters on the half shell, is a big deal on this carte, as are a fine selection of steaks and chops. For dessert? Try the chocolate sin cake. Despite its name, you won’t be sorry afterword.

(credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel)

(credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel)


Raya
1 Ritz Carlton Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 240-2000
www.ritzcarlton.com

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Inside the posh Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Raya reigns every day including Christmas when chef Richard Sandoval’s pan-Latin coastal cuisine heighten the holiday experience. Natural and organic meat, sustainable seafood and local produce are prepared in an unforgettable way and special desserts, like cranberry brown butter cake and chocolate peppermint macaroons, are the perfect compliment to a fresh cup of coffee at the end of a very fine celebratory meal. 

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By Jane Lasky