Just like Christmas has traditional treats, Hanukkah—the eight-day Jewish holiday that starts this Sunday, December 22—has its own festive fare. The holiday’s most famed component is the potato latke, the fried pancake made from grated potato, matzo meal, and egg. Then there’s challah bread, beef brisket, noodle kugel (egg noodle casserole), roasted brussels sprouts, the obligatory matzo ball soup—and the all-important traditional sugared jelly donuts known as sufganiyot.
A number of L.A. restaurants do Hanukkah meals, both sit down and take out. Akasha in Culver City, the restaurant of celebrity chef Akasha Richmond, who’s worked for Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Pierce Brosnan, and Billy Bob and Angelina, has the most elaborate—and fun—Hanukkah sit-down meal she calls Vodkas and Latkes.
”We’ve done it since we opened 2008,” Richmond says. “Our brisket’s a recipe developed over years. I use natural ginger ale, mustard, honey, lot of onions, shallots, slow braise it for three or four hours. Our Yukon Gold potato latkes [are] served three ways: with apple sauce and sour cream, smoked salmon and crème fraîche, or duck confit and cranberry chutney. I thought calling it ‘Vodkas and Latkes’ made the whole thing seem Russian—our mixologist comes up with unique vodka drinks every year.”
Also on the menu: citrus braised chicken with tangerines, cauliflower couscous with dried fruit and roasted vegetables, and apple fritters with cinnamon ice cream. And there’s also a whole lotta latkes to go—they’re sold frozen and people buy ‘em by the dozen. 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City; Dec. 22-29, with the exception of Christmas Eve.
Other eat-in Hanukkah dinners…
Chef/owner Adam Perry Lang’s contemporary steakhouse APL adds a few Hanukkah items to his steakhouse menu for the run of the Jewish Festival of Light: potato latkes with sour cream, nutmeg and compressed apples; matzo ball soup, Hanukkah brisket with pommes purée, and fritters with raspberry jam. 1680 Vine St., Hollywood.
Freedman’s in Silver Lake is offering a menu of Hanukkah specials—smoked duck and herb cigars, latkes two ways, root vegetable fritters, Hanukkah fried chicken, and more—as well as a Hanukkah catering package for 4 to 6 people with a choice of either roasted chicken or glazed brisket. 2619 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake.
Take-out Hanukkah dinners…
The Tavern’s Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne create traditional fare for their special Jewish holiday menu, which includes roasted leg of lamb or braised beef brisket with horseradish cream, potato latkes with applesauce and crème fraîche, braided challah, duck-fat-roasted potatoes, Italian broccoli, roasted root vegetables, Moroccan beets with labneh, pine nuts and olives, and challah bread pudding. Of course, jelly donuts are on the menu, as well as a cookie extravaganza and rugelach. Each Hanukkah menu serves eight people—or a single, solo serving for each night is $48 per person. They also have a la carte items like goat cheese and leek tartlettes, chicken liver mousse, AND marinated olives. Orders must be placed 48 hours before pick up. 11648 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood.
Whole Foods is offering a full wine-braised brisket dinner for eight, as well as matzo ball soup, an eggplant dish, chicken schnitzel, leek and potato pancakes —even vegan latkes. Various locations.
At Clementine, Hanukkah items are available for pick up on Saturday December 21 through Tuesday December 24. They include matzo ball soup, potato latkes, honey glazed carrots, applesauce, rustic onion tart, crudité, spiced nuts, rugelach pastry, and a Hanukkah cookie platter. Bake-at-home rugelach are also available. Locations in Beverly Hills and Century City.
Both locations of Wexler’s Deli—Santa Monica and DTLA—offer luscious Hanukkah dinner for 10 to 12 people ($450), or for 5 to 6 ($250), with optional Oscietra caviar ($25 to $284), available for pickup or delivery ($30 fee) from December 22 to December 30. It includes brisket braised in plums and apricots, roasted heirloom carrots, roasted market squash, matzo ball soup, salad, and a whole loaf of gooey chocolate babka (layered bready cake with filling). FYI, they deliver dreidels with your order. Last year, Wexler’s served thousands of latkes—with divine crème fraîche—in the L.A. area. All must be ordered in advance! Locations in Santa Monica and Grand Central Market.
Both locations of Astro Dougnuts & Fried Chicken offer a special Hanukkah mini box with a dozen doughnuts inspired by the holiday: sufganiyot, crème brûlée mini doughnuts topped with Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil), and Hanukkah cookie mini doughnuts. They also sell full-size sufganiyot and offer vegan options. Order now at firstname.lastname@example.org or (424) 280-4414 and have they’ll arrive in store by December 20. Locations in DTLA and Santa Monica.
Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe whips up a special Hanukkah take-out catering menu available December 22 through 23 and December 27 through 30 that includes organic lemon and herb chicken, braised brisket, herb roasted winter vegetables, garlic roasted broccoli, organic sweet noodle kugel, potato pancakes, arugula salad, homemade apple sauce, donut holes with blue sprinkles, jelly donuts with strawberry preserves, chocolate gluten-free macaroon tart, and star of David shortbread cookies with blueberry glaze. Orders must be placed by 5 p.m. on December 18. 1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica.
Take-out or eat-in latkes…
God forbid you need latkes in the middle of the night—with or without applesauce or sour cream—but Canter’s is still open 24/7. And just not at Hanukkah: potato pancakes are served 365 days a year. 419 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax.
Hanukkah is every day at Nate ‘n Al’s—latkes are on the permanent side dish menu. 414 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills.
Since 1947, latkes have always been on the menu at Langer’s in Westlake. 704 S. Alvarado St., Westlake.
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