Japanese-Inspired New Year's Feast at Hopscotch
Historically, New Year's Day was always the one day a year when women in traditional Japanese households weren't required to cook. Instead, in the days leading up to January 1, housewives would prepare extravagant bento boxes — known as osechi ryori — filled with foods that could be eaten on the first day of the New Year. Hopscotch (1915 San Pablo Ave., Oakland) chef Kyle Itani's $80 five-course New Year's Eve prix-fixe dinner will pay homage to that tradition with a first course that will feature a sampling of traditional osechi foods, including kuromame (sweet black beans) and dashimaki (a kind of rolled egg omelet). The rest of the Japanese-inspired meal will include three other savory courses and a dessert, and an optional beverage pairing — a mix of beer, wine, and cocktails — will be available for $38. — L.T.
Dec. 31, 5–10 p.m., $80. HopscotchOakland.com.
Once again, the folks at Top Ten Social are offering a buffet of East Bay events for the classy New Year's Eve partier. Beginning at 7:30 p.m., there will be a dinner party at Ozumo Japanese restaurant (2251 Broadway, Oakland) that features a sushi bar, ramen bar, kushi, dessert, and passed hors d'oeuvres such as tempura shiitake, spicy tuna tartar, sake cups (candy glazed salmon with shiso cream cheese in an endive leaf), and tsukune (housemade chicken and pork meatballs with spicy karashi mustard and green onion). Afterward, Sinkane will provide his smooth blend of jazz, funk, and Sudanese pop as a soundtrack, along with Proof and Wazir. Then, starting at 10 p.m., there will be a party at the new high-end Mexican restaurant Calavera (2337 Broadway, Oakland) featuring Joe Quixx and Wonway spinning a cocktail of Latin, funk, reggae, hip-hop, and house music. And at Lungomare (1 Broadway, Oakland), both inside and on the heated, waterfront patio, the party will focus on spectacular turntable techniques with the Triple Threat DJs Apollo, Shortkut, and Vinroc, alongside host Fran Boogie. If you can't decide which party you'd like to go to, it doesn't matter. General admission tickets, which are between $24 and $46 depending on when you purchase, get you into all of the parties — so you can decide last minute or even pop between all three throughout the night. For $65 (or $75 if you lag), you'll be treated to the Ozumo dinner party as well. — S.B.
Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. or 10 p.m. OakNYE.com
Lil B & Friends
Berkeley-bred rapper Lil B has had a strange and unparalleled career trajectory that began with his first hit, "Vans," which he released as a teenager with his group, The Pack, at the peak of the hyphy movement. After Lil B split off as a solo artist, he gained a large and loyal following for his prolific music releases, active social media presence, and "based" philosophy, which promotes peace, positivity, and compassion for all living things. While 2012 and 2013 were particularly busy years for Lil B, during which he released dozens of mixtapes and thousands of songs, he has become considerably more deliberate and methodical about putting out music. He made waves in 2014 with his Ultimate Bitch mixtape, which contained the single "No Black Person is Ugly," a rallying cry for racial equality amid the burgeoning Black Lives Matter protests. While fans wait for Lil B's forthcoming Thugged Out Pissed Off mixtape, they can see the Based God live at The Regency Ballroom (1300 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco) on New Year's Eve for the Lil B & Friends show. (Turn to page 63 for our music story on Lil B, "Communing with the Based God.") — N.V.
Dec. 31., 8 p.m., $55, $60. TheRegencyBallroom.com
New Year's Eve Dance Party at Comal
With its picturesque back patio and elegant, NorCal-meets-Oaxacan cuisine, Comal (2020 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) is probably the nicest Mexican restaurant in Berkeley. All things considered, the restaurant's annual New Year's Eve party actually offers a decent opportunity to sample chef Matt Gandin's food on the cheap. The $45 price of admission buys an entire night's worth of antojitos (little street snacks) such as adobo shrimp-wild nettle quesadillas, jalapeño-requeson flautas, chorizo molotes (fried masa dumplings), and mole negro chicken wings. Booze — and plenty of it — will be sold a la carte. Make no mistake, though: This is a dance party, not a dinner party. Local DJ Jose Ruiz will spin a mix of Latin and funk, and all the tables in the dining room will be cleared out to form a massive dance floor. This year's festivities will have a Mexican wrestling theme, with each of the first three hundred guests receiving a colorful lucha libre mask. You can snag advance tickets via Ticketfly.com. — L.T.
Dec. 31, 9 p.m.–late, $45. ComalBerkeley.com
New Year's Eve Comedy Fiesta: Latino Power Edition!
For the fourth year in a row, Brava Theater Center (2781 24th Street, San Francisco) will be ringing in the new year with laughs. With a lineup that boasts the region's best Latino comics, the show is billed as the place to be on New Year's Eve for "stand-up comedy lovers, dancing fools, feministas, radical dudes, non-binary-ballers, and progressive party animals." Donald Trump punchlines will abound, as well as sharp witticisms that hit the politically conscious Bay Area funny bone. The night will be headlined by Lydia Popovich, the hilarious host and producer of the Layover's monthly all female stand up showcase, Ladies Love. Popovich will also welcome special guests, including comedian Chris Storin; Los Angeles' iconic Chicana lesbian playwright and comedian Monica Palacios; humorous storyteller Baruch Porras-Hernandez; and San Francisco Mission district native and comic Betty Pazmiño. The night will be hosted by acclaimed San Francisco comic Marga Gomez. After the show, "Brava's Countdown Dance Party" will begin, climaxing in free champagne, refreshments, and party favors. — S.B.