Dining out for Thanksgiving
Does anyone have any recommendations for dining out on Thanksgiving? Anywhere in the general LA (west or eastside) area is fine (Pasadena included).
I have had Thanksgiving dinner several times at Campanile and we have always been very happy with it. Everything is first-rate (as it always is), but they don't try to "reinvent the wheel" menu-wise.
624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Second Campanile. We ate there last year and it was good. I like traditional Thanksgiving food on Thanksgiving, and that's what the served, but everything was delicious and with ingredients that were just slightly unusual so you felt you were getting your money worth. It was a bit of a zoo though, it was packed. But we didn't feel service was lacking.
Am I third or fourth to recommend Campanile? We had a wonderful holiday there two years ago! We were at a somewhat large, round corner table so we didn't get a sense of it being a zoo. If it was, it wasn't noticed through our service, which was not lacking in any respect. They post the Thanksgiving menu on their website. I would suggest reserving well in advance!
Good to know; hotels with good restaurants usually do good Thanksgivings ...
These don't fit the OP's geographical requirements, but the Ranch House in Ojai and Downey's in Santa Barbara offer excellent Thanksgiving spreads.
La Cachette Bistro
1733 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401
701 Stone Canyon Road, Los Angeles, CA 90077
1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
500 W Lomita Ave, Ojai, CA 93023
Loews Santa Monica Hotel
1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Any recs for something a little more homey and not so fancy? We've done "fancy" before (i.e. upscale restaurant like Jar or Rockenwagner when it was still around) and have actually never been blown away by the food (or service).
Anyone ever been to Tam O'Shanter for Thanksgiving -- assumin' it's open?
It can be surprising, which places are open for T-day and which aren't. I dimly recall calling the Tam O'Shanter years ago to see if they were open for Thanksgiving, and they weren't. That may have changed.
I remember an interview with a restauranteur who said he was surprised how many people who go out for T-day don't order traditional meals. His theory was that people who are used to having it at home don't feel right at restaurants having someone else do it the "wrong" way.
Saddle Peak Lodge
419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302
Baby Blues BBQ
444 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
6521 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Original Pantry Cafe
877 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Tam O'Shanter Inn
2980 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Feliz, CA 90039
12036 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
I don't think it's so much that people don't order turkey because they don't want their turkey done the 'wrong' way, I think it's more of a cost issue.
If you go to someplace like the Saddlepeak Lodge, granted, turkey and 'the trimmings' are on the menu, but really expensive for turkey. Since most markets give away turkeys at Thanksgiving, there is something annoying about paying $25 (or more) at a 'nice' restaurant for something you can do yourself at home for a lot less money.
Plus, people don't go out to eat food they can cook for themselves.
Also, honestly, turkey isn't usually that great.....
If you want to go really casual...
When I first moved to LA and was a little hard up for cash, I had the Thanksgiving meal at Dupar's, which was actually really really good. For the $14 meal, I got a (non-alocoholic) drink, roll & butter, salad, turkey with all the trimmings (greens beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce), and a slice of pie. It's a great cheap way to have a real, huge, meal.
I also recommend volunteering at a Thanksgiving meal somewhere, which I've done for several years. You get to help others, and there are often a lot of leftovers you can take home.