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There Are Plenty of Places to Have a Fill-Good Holiday

November 17, 1994|BENJAMIN EPSTEIN | Benjamin Epstein is a free-lance writer who regularly contributes to the Times Orange County Edition. Information for this column can be faxed to (714) 966-7790. Or phone (714) 966-7700.

Turkey, again?

Yes and no. It's been several centuries since serving turkey with New World foods became a Thanksgiving tradition, and over time Americans have discovered that there's more than one way to stuff a bird, and themselves.

There's tandoori turkey, for instance. At the Clay Oven and Bombay Duck restaurants, turkeys are skinned, trimmed of fat, marinated in yogurt, herbs and spices for a day or two, stuffed with basmati , vegetables and nuts, cooked over mesquite in a tandoor oven and served with cranberry chutney. The turkeys weigh eight to 10 pounds, serve four to six, can be picked up on Thanksgiving Day or the day before, and cost $39.95.

A "Native American Thanksgiving Feast" at Topaz Cafe includes a native salad with avocado and appaloosa beans; roast turkey with pine nut, sage and corn bread stuffing; maple, bourbon and clove-studded ham with sour mango sauce; potlach smoked and oven-baked salmon with cilantro pesto and corn salsa; four-berry trifle, and chocolate bread pudding. The buffet will be served on the holiday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's $13.95 a person; $5.95 for children under 10.

Disney's version of the holiday, "A Disney First Thanksgiving," is set in a pumpkin patch. An all-you-can-eat buffet is only one of the draws; others include chipmunks Chip 'n' Dale in Native American dress, Pilgrim Goofy, Three Little Pigs, the Big Bad Wolf and continuous musical entertainment. It takes place from noon to 7 p.m. at the Disneyland Hotel. Adults, $35.50; children 3 to 11, $12.50; under 3, $3.

Las Brisas will serve Thanksgiving fare for the first time in its 15-year history. Choice of soups ($3.95) include a creamy roasted butternut squash soup in a strudel bowl. Among appetizers ($6 to $7.25) is a duck tamale with Indian corn and pomegranate sauce. Half a dozen entrees ($16.25 to $21) include turkey with jalapeno corn bread stuffing and cranberry-orange relish. Dinner served from 2 to 8 p.m.

Those on more of a budget might head for PoFolks, and what seems to be an amazing Thanksgiving Day bargain: an all-you-can-eat ham or turkey dinner with corn bread stuffing and giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans, biscuits and pumpkin pie for $7.99. For kids under 10, a turkey meal is $2.99. The restaurant specializes in hearty portions and Southern-style cooking; this offer runs 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

RUFF! Turkey's usually not good for dogs, but it can be if people are eating it. Every penny from a roast turkey dinner served from noon till 4 p.m. at Tivoli Terrace, including tips for volunteer waiters, will be turned over to RUFF, which stands for Rescuing Unwanted Furry Friends and the support arm for the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter. The meal includes salad, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie; wine is additional. Adults, $15; children ages 12 and under, $7.50. For those who love animals and don't eat them, vegetarian fare is available.

Vegetarian fare is all you'll find at Last Mango in Newport, so complementing traditional mashed potatoes, baked glazed yams and cranberry sauce will be a gluten-based mock turkey and brown almond nut roast. The meal is served from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; $13.95 includes pumpkin or apple pie and beverages.

And in the true spirit of Thanksgiving: La Casa Garcia hopes to serve 10,000 turkeys to those who are alone or unable to cook, or who simply need a way to feed their families a holiday dinner. Phone the restaurant if you can help with the loan of tables or chairs or donation of turkeys, milk, butter--200 pounds of butter are needed--fruit, vegetables or pumpkin pies. Financial contributions help pay for food. Dinner is served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the parking lot.

Bombay Duck, 229 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach. (714) 497-7307.

Clay Oven, 15435 Jeffrey Road, Irvine. (714) 552-2851.

Disneyland Hotel, 1150 W. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim. (714) 956-6413.

La Casa Garcia, 531 W. Chapman Ave., Anaheim. (714) 740-1108.

Las Brisas, 361 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. (714) 497-5434.

Last Mango in Newport, 2900 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach. (714) 723-5778.

PoFolks, 7701 Beach Blvd., Buena Park. (714) 521-8955.

Tivoli Terrace, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. (714) 494-9650.

Topaz Cafe, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana. (714) 835-2002.


'Tis the season for . . . Beaujolais Nouveau. The new vintage is released in France on the third Thursday each November, and there is traditionally a race to acquire first samplings. The wine also happens to go well with turkey.

Today from noon to 5 p.m., Hi-Time Wine Cellars hosts an open Beaujolais Nouveau tasting featuring more than a dozen wines; the cost is $10. The same tasting augmented by Thanksgiving hors d'oeuvres takes place from 5 to 8 p.m.; it's $20, and reservations are required.

Today from 5:30 to 7 p.m., French and California Beaujolais will be tasted side by side at Pascal Epicerie; the cost is $10 and includes hors d'oeuvres.

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