Imagine preparing another Thanksgiving dinner at home with the family: stuff the turkey(s), peel the yams, cook the beans, make the gravy, pour the wine. . . . For some, this annual routine of sunup to sundown work is the happiest of holidays. For others, the idea of finding a nice restaurant that serves a good Thanksgiving dinner makes better sense. And there are plenty of restaurants that do just that.
Yanks, in Beverly Hills, invokes the ghost of Thanksgiving past: They have researched Thomas Jefferson's eating preferences and put together a menu that includes Jefferson's wild game pate with cranberry bourbon relish, apple cider sweet potatoes, butternut squash soup, a salad of bitter greens with watercress and mint, spit-roasted suckling pig, roast turkey with ham and wild mushroom stuffing, and deep-dish apple pie with homemade maple ice cream. They are also following another thoroughly American tradition: They will supply leftovers to make turkey sandwiches and soup for the football games over the weekend.
If the American fare of Yanks is a bit too traditional, several restaurants will celebrate Thanksgiving with non-American cuisines. Casablanca, in Venice, is offering a Mexican Thanksgiving feast including turkey or salmon with your choice of four different Mexican salsas, a special dark Dos Equis gravy, pumpkin pie and entertainment. In Marina del Rey, the Warehouse Restaurant is preparing an 84-foot buffet for a special Thanksgiving brunch (served from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.) in an exotic tropical island atmosphere. And in West Hollywood, Scandia will serve traditional Danish dishes from akvavit-cured gravad lax to Danish apple cake in addition to a choice of several entrees including fresh turkey roasted with pecan dressing and giblet gravy.
For Thanksgiving in a more international atmosphere, there's Chez Melange in Redondo Beach. They offer a complete Thanksgiving dinner with your choice of six different entrees. They will also prepare the meal for take out.
The Biltmore Hotel downtown is also planning a special "Turkey To Go" dinner. It is available to anyone who orders a bird by the Monday before Thanksgiving and picks it up the following Wednesday. In addition, the Biltmore's pastry shop will supply the pie of your choice. The Presto Deli at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach also offers a "Turkey To Go" dinner. And in Brentwood, Mandarin-style turkey and rice is pre-prepared for a Thanksgiving at home by Abacus, a Chinese seafood restaurant.
For vegetarians, there is Kingsley Garden near downtown. They offer a completely vegetarian Thanksgiving meal of soup, vegetable loaf, steamed yams and vegetables, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
If you run out of Thanksgiving options, keep in mind that such hot spots of tourism as Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and Universal Studios offer Thanksgiving dinners. And hotels always make sure that Thanksgiving dinner is available to their guests.
At the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, four restaurants will serve Thanksgiving dinner including formal dining at La Chaumiere. For a Thanksgiving with a view, the Surf and Sand Hotel in Laguna Beach offers patrons a Thanksgiving dinner in its Towers Restaurant.
Some of the other hotels in the area offering Thanksgiving dinner include the L'Ermitage Hotel in West Hollywood; the Marina Hotels in Marina del Rey, with four different restaurants to choose from; the Emerald of Anaheim Hotel's Summertree Restaurant and, also in Anaheim, the Inn at the Park Hotel's Overland Stage.
Other choices include the Windsor, for classic Continental cuisine; Anne Marie's Restaurant in Newport Beach, and, at 13 locations in the Los Angeles area, the Red Onion offers a Thanksgiving buffet with turkey, fajitas and the ever popular all-you-can-eat option.