Lunar New Year So Cal Celebrations

Were you born during the years 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007? Those years and 2019 are The Year of the Pig. In terms of yin and yang, the Pig is yin. In the Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth.

Here are some fun spots to celebrate your wealth this Lunar New Year:


Universal Studios Hollywood ushers in the “Year of the Pig” with festive decorations, specialty dishes and live entertainment at the movie-based theme park. Walk under a curtain of customary red Chinese lanterns, and write and hang a wish at the stunning plum blossom Wishing Trees. Guests will discover which of the 12 zodiac animal signs they fall under, accompanied by their symbolic attributes. Beloved global pop icon Hello Kitty is celebrating, as is DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda masters Po and Tigress. They encourage young guests to come up onstage to perform. A Mandarin-speaking Transformer’s MEGATRON welcomes guests into a special Lunar New Year pavilion, and foodie Mr. Ping talks to guests about healthy food choices, and serves noodles, dumplings and bao at his nearby food cart. This special event inside Universal Studios is now through Monday, February 18, 2019.


Year of the Pig at Disneyland – Disney California Adventure Park will observe Lunar New Year daily through Sunday, Feb. 17. Guests can enjoy a multicultural menu of traditional treats and drinks with the 2019 Lunar New Year Sip and Savor Pass. The celebrations will also include live entertainment and musical performances such as the updated Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession. Visit the arts and crafts area for beautiful décor ideas and shop themed merchandise for the whole family. 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, (714)781-4636.


TAO Hollywood Special Lunar New Year Dinner – Chef/Partner Ralph Scamardella and his culinary team, comprised of Executive Chef Yoshi Kojima (formerly of Morimoto, Oahu and Jai by Wolfgang Puck) prepare a special menu on Feb. 5 to usher in good fortune, happiness, wealth and longevity for the new year. Start with fluffy sesame scallion bread cut in fours and topped with juicy, thin-glazed pork belly and roasted sesame dipping sauce. The next course includes three red-colored soup dumplings filled with spicy pork. Kojima used beet juice to give the dumplings their red color, which signifies happiness and good fortune in Chinese culture. Each was then topped with thinly shaved black truffle, adding a slightly garlicky flavor to the dish. Cantonese pork belly with chow fun noodles was served next to represent longevity. The combination was a winner – the caramelized pork was tender, and the noodles featured a tangy and pleasing blood orange essence. Finish with one of the most beautiful desserts, a cheesecake shaped as a mandarin orange. Presented on a chocolate mochi cake, the sweet treat also included little chocolate beads for a nice crunch. This Year of the Pig four-course, prix-fixe meal is $85 per person. An à la carte menu will also be available. TAO is open daily from 6 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Friday. It’s open from 5 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, from 5 to 11 p.m. on Sunday and from 6 to 11 p.m. on Monday. $$$ 6421 Selma Ave., (323)593-7888.


On February 22 beginning at 6:30 p.m. WP24 by Wolfgang Puck at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles will host a sky-high night market dinner to celebrate The Year of the Pig. Wolfgang Puck draws upon Chinese traditions with a specialty cocktail served alongside a rotation of celebrated dishes presented throughout live cooking stations. Experiences will include a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, Chinese calligraphy tutorials, a red envelope giveaway, and lion dance performances. The lively street market atmosphere will feature seven live culinary stations offering savory Steamed Bao Buns with Pork Belly, Jian Bing with Scallops, Whole Roasted Peking Duck with Red Cooked Golden Pineapple. For dessert, Wolfgang Puck’s signature Mochi Waffle Dessert topped with Harry’s Berries Strawberries and Milk Tea Ice Cream. Tea experts from Art of Tea will share the history of a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony while calligraphy specialists will showcase the artistic expression of human language. Lion dancers will combine fundamental Chinese martial arts into a fluid routine to offer good fortune. Each guest will be issued a customary red envelope giveaway. Reservations can be made online and by calling 213-743-8824; tickets available for $65 per person not including tax or gratuity.


Chinese New Year at Barton G. LA – Starting on Feb. 5 for one week during the Lunar New Year, the whimsical culinary destination offers a multi-sensory dining experience with over-the-top comfort food creations from around the globe. Celebrate Chinese New Year with a crispy Maine two pound lobster special for two. What makes this dish unique are four-foot chopsticks. Eating Lobster on the holiday is known to symbolize a prosperous year of wealth ahead. This one-of-a-kind dish includes Chinese fried rice, housemade Lap Cheong sausage, and shiso chili vinegar.  861 N. La Cienega Blvd. (310)388-1888.

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