The holidays are busy enough without the added stress of cooking. Why are we thankful to live in L.A.? We have so many creative restaurants to choose from that are offering delish Thanksgiving menus this year. Don’t slave over a hot stove. Just make a reservation and eat out. Here are some options.
Combine the family traditions of Thanksgiving dinner and going to the movies on your holiday break at Chef Sherry Yard’s latest restaurant that is part of the fancy iPic Theater complex. Yard’s four-course menu ($55) includes acorn squash bisque (with crispy bacon and kale and topped with whipped crème fresh), herb roasted turkey with chestnut stuffing, and three-layered silken pumpkin pie.
10850 Wilshire Blvd., 310.307-7004, Westwood
If you have a choice (and you do), always let Chef Thomas Keller do the cooking. Celebrate the holiday in one of Bev Hills comfiest and luxest French bistros. The Thanksgiving three-course menu ($95) includes organically raised Diestel Family turkey (with stuffing), sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry relish and turkey gravy. Your choice of brownies, apple, pumpkin, or pecan pie for dessert. They are also offering this menu (and them some) to-go.
235 N. Canon Drive, 310.271.9910, Beverly Hills
Go old school at the DeBell Golf Course restaurant that hosts a Thanksgiving Day Champagne Buffet so big it needs its own room. The views of the Valley are stunning, there are really no bum tables, and a drink by the patio firepits couldn’t be more relaxing. The buffet ($54.95) includes roasted turkey, leg of lamb, or herb-crusted prime rib carving stations (natch), homemade waffles, a raw bar, and seconds on pie.
1250 Harvard Road, 818.848.6691, Burbank
While the Venice and Larchmont locations will be closed on Thanksgiving, The Arts District location of the 100% organic, plant-based, gourmet happy place will be open for the holiday. Even better? From 11—3 p.m. they are offering a FREE Thanksgiving meal on a first-come, first-served basis along with live music for the occasion. What is on the menu? It’s vegan-all-the-way from the butternut squash and sage lentil loaf, to the garlic mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, to the pumpkin pie.
300 S. Santa Fe Ave., 213.929.5580, The Arts District
The restaurant in the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel is offering a “Friendsgiving” menu ($35) on Wednesday from 5 p.m.—closing. The best part? Each roasted turkey roulade with cornbread stuffing, candied yams, and black-eyed peas meal comes with an automatic to-go “moist maker” sandwich (inspired by Ross on Friends) so you have guaranteed leftovers the next day.
115 S. Fairfax Ave., 323.556.2608, Los Angeles
Why stay inside when you can dine al fresco at one of the most gorgeous settings in the Santa Monica mountains? The hidden Café at the Calamigos Ranch is serving a special Thanksgiving menu ($45) that includes a creamy parsnip soup with pear and walnuts, herb roasted organic turkey, glazed sweet corn, and pumpkin pie.
327 Latigo Canyon Road, 818.540.2400, Malibu
Spend the holiday at this bustling DTLA spot (gasp, they are accepting reservations – only through Open Table!). They are offering a full holiday menu on the 24th ($55) with Diestel Ranch free range organic turkey, butternut squash soup, mash potatoes and gravy, epi bread and then some.
700 South Grand Avenue, DTLA
You can’t get much more traditional than the SmokeHouse (they’ve been around since 1946). The historic hangout next to Warner Brothers Studios has clubby booths, celeb photos (Doris Day, John Wayne, Bogie) ringing the walls, and a discount if you hit them on Thanksgiving at the oddball times (20% OFF 11—11:30 and 7:30 p.m.—Closing). What’s on the menu? ($28.95) Turkey or ham and your choices of potato/yams, soup-salad and apple/pumpkin pie.
4420 West Lakeside Drive, 818.845.3731, Burbank
Akasha Richmond and Alan Schulman’s place is offering a terrific Thanksgiving menu from 1 p.m.— 7 p.m. Start with roasted cauliflower bisque with parsnip chips, then on to her-roasted turkey with chestnut and sage stuffing and cranberry chutney. How can you say no to sides like orange, cinnamon, and palm sugar brussels sprouts? Right now they are full but there are always cancellations.
9543 Culver Blvd., 310.845.1700, Culver City
Bonus Before: Jazz great Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Jazz Grill in Bel Air has a turkey din-din on Wednesday, Nov 23rd if you just can’t wait until the big day. ($34) Chef Carlos is serving sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, mac ‘n’ cheese, Brussels sprouts, buttered corn, and, and …
Bonus After: E.P. & L.P. is offering a fun and inexpensive “Chinese Classic’ menu exclusively on Black Friday if you are not in the mood for Thanksgiving leftovers. Hit the W. Hollywood joint for chicken & sweet corn soup, pan seared snapper with white soy and mushrooms, and deep fried ice-cream.
Kari Mozena is the Special Projects Manager at Los Angeles magazine. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @karimozena. She wrote The Arts District’s Most Ambitious Building Complex Is Now Open For Business.