Ways to ring in New Year

Orange County will have a smorgasbord of New Year's Eve offerings as Americans say goodbye to 2011 and ring in 2012. Here's a list of some of the O.C. bashes on tap:

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An Ultramodern Evening

For a one-of-a-kind touch of the big city in O.C., consider the decadent New Year's Eve celebration hosted by AnQi by Crustacean, adjacent to Bloomingdales at South Coast Plaza, 3333 S. Bristol St., Costa Mesa.

Enjoy a Cirque-style aerialist performance by Q de Soleil; sushi served on partially clothed women rather than plates; an edible food wall; an interactive molecular gastronomy station; a noodle and dumpling rickshaw; liquid nitrogen ice cream; and much more. Entertainment will be by the legendary Berlin and famous DJ Angeline, along with drummer Joakine Eskasen.

Tickets are $170; glam attire required for admission. Or consider an a la carte dinner; one of five VIP tables seating up to 10 people at $1,000; or the $3,000 Chef's Table, which seats up to 16 and includes a 10-course gastronomic tasting menu.

Complete the evening with an extravagant breakfast. Information: (714) 557-5679.

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For Fun-Loving Adults Only

Relive your Muppet memories in a way you never thought possible with "Stuffed and Unstrung," onstage through Jan. 1 at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. The puppet show for grown-ups featuring real Henson Workshop puppets was created by Brian Henson and Patrick Bristow.

Six puppeteer comedians join Bristow for an improv show like no other. The New Year's Eve show includes a live telecast from Times Square with a special midnight Muppet countdown.

Tickets are $38 and up. Information: http://www.thebarclay.org.

*Baja Style in the OC

Join SOL Cocina, 251 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, for a Baja-style New Year's weekend including chef's specials, regular menu, champagne midnight toast and live deejay on the Balboa Marina waterfront.

Partake in a New Year's Eve or New Year's Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (including bottomless mimosas). The New Year's Eve dinner menu includes specials like tenderloin "ceviche" in addition to the regular menu; dinner service starts at 4:30 p.m.

Information: (949) 675-9800 or solcocina.com.

*A Culinary Adventure

Stop by A Restaurant, 3334 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach for a $150-per-person "culinary adventure" hosted by chef Jon Blackford that includes a six-course tasting menu; champagne toast at midnight; music by the All Star Trio and DJ "C Los;" party favors; dancing; midnight countdown; and complimentary valet. The party starts at 9 p.m.

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Recession-Friendly Party

Keep it low-key with an evening at La Casa del Camino, 1289 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach that includes complimentary appetizers and a dessert bar from K'Ya Bistro from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Enjoy live entertainment from Andrew Corradini from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Grand Lobby, and a champagne toast at midnight. Information: lacasadelcamino.com.

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Sushi + Bar

RA Sushi, 155 5th St., Huntington Beach has planned a variety of food and drink specials starting at 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve, along with hot beats. Located at the Strand, this sushi bar features sushi, signature rolls, Japanese fusion cuisine and legendary Happy Hour deals, along with a playful atmosphere.

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Black-Tie Decadence

The beautiful Balboa Bay Club & Resort, 1221 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, will host several ways to ring in the New Year, including a holiday dinner served in the First Cabin Restaurant from 5 to 10 p.m. and a black tie gala in the Grand Ballroom from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

"A Night to Remember" will feature a reception with butler-passed hors d'oeuvres and champagne from 8 to 9 p.m.; an elegant dinner with paired wines; and dancing to music by Rembrandt. Alternately, the Duke's Place Lounge will offer a New Year's Eve celebration from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Information: (949) 645-5000.

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