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Pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving

  • m

I'm looking for recommendations for the BEST pumpkin pie to order for Thanksgiving in the LA area. Also, I'm from Hawaii and this may sound weird, but... there was this place that made 1/2 pumpkin, 1/2 custard pie. If anyone has heard of anything like this, that would be awesome..

Also, good custard pie recommendations too...

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  1. Agree with the myriad of posters on this board who condemn the attitude of Sweet Lady Jane. But their pumpkin pie is the best of the ones I've ordered in LA -- gorgeous creamy texture, good blend of spices, lovely texture in the crust. However, must temper the recommendation by adding that the experience of picking it up was truly attrocious -- had to order in advance, stand in a massive line and then, when I noticed the crust was broken, had to trade in my left kidney to get a replacement.

    Spending this Thanksgiving in San Fran -- but would be interested to learn of options outside of Sour Lady Pain.

    1. The best pumpkin pie is not to be found in LA but in the city of Orange, at the Filling Station, on Glassell in Old Town Orange, Rich and custardy pumpkin in a delectable crust. Order ahead early. Their apple is also amazing.

      1. I am NOT a cheesecake person however, the seasonal pumpkin pecan cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory is awesome. They have plain pumpkin as well but, the pecan is extra special! :)KQ

        1. In addition to the Filling station, quite a few good ones actually...



          Urth Caffe


          The Farm

          Al Gelato (lots of pumpkin in this sucker)

          Auntie Em's (less cloyingly sweet)

          In the Valley:




          Costco actually has great (less expensive too!) pumpkin pie.

          For something a tad different:
          Susina has pumpkin mousse
          Surfas Cafe does a pumpkin cheesecake thing.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Emme

            I second the Urth Caffe recommendation - that's some good eatin'! It's very deep-dish, with a ginger crust, and if you eat a slice in the cafe, they serve it with a huge dollop of whipped cream. I would definitely recommend that you try a slice, Miss M - you know, for research purposes. =)

            1. re: aching

              If you order any of the desserts that come with whipped cream (specified on the menu) to-go, they'll pack that whipped cream in a separate coated-paper container (the kind used for soups) for you.

          2. I am looking forward to what LARKINS will do for Thanksgiving.
            They have the best sweet potato pie, so I can only imagine how good their Pumpkin pie will be...hmm, I wonder if they'll do pumpkin-custard.


            1. Pumpkin pies from Costco (seconding above) not are they just "pretty god" their darn excellent!

              3 Replies
                1. re: Diana

                  But, how is the crust? Because they're wrapped in plastic, I was wondering if the crust was soggy.

                  1. re: fatfudge

                    That can depend on whether they let the pie fully cool before they wrap it.

                2. I may get my posting privileges revoked for this, but: I really, really like Marie Callendar's pumpkin pie. It's not as big - and thereofore not as cost efficient - as Costco's is, but it's a dang good pie.

                  It's pie month at Marie Callendar which is conveniently located across the street from Costco...I shant be going to Costco for the entire month of October. My hips don't need any pie, even if it is half-priced.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jencounter

                    oh I also love pumpkin pie from marie callnder's...
                    I'm trying to avoid getting a whole pie from there, since I can eat the whole thing by myself within 2 days.....

                    1. re: radgirl

                      FWIW, Marie Callendar's also sells empty, unbaked pie shells, so if you are short on time (and interest) and solely want to home-make the filling, you can purchase as many as you like... Just order ahead, and fill at home. {Sshhh, many times, we've used the Libby's recipe and bought the crust from MC... everyone raves!)

                  2. How about the combo of pumpkin and pecan in the pumpkin pecan chessecake from Cheesecake Factory. Not at all traditional - but really good. I was raised in New England on squash pie which is impossible to get in LA . . .

                    1. In a tasting by the Downtown News last year rating pumpkin pies of downtown area restaurants, one of the higher rated pies was from Clifton's Cafeteria on Broadway. Inexpensive too. Haven't tried it so I cannot say if this is accurate or not.

                      1. If you don't mind spending a little extra $$, order a pumpkin pie from the Little Pie Company in New York City. It is outstanding, superb, flaky crust, creamy, not-to-sweet, not-to-spicy filling. They also have the best apple pie I've ever tasted (sour cream apple pie).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sweiner

                          Second (or third) Urth for pumpkin pie (all their desserts are swell, actually). Recently I got a birthday cake from Angel Maid & noticed a delicious-looking custard pie in the case. I keep meaning to go back & get one.

                          I remember liking Marie C's sour cream apple pie, but haven't had one in 100 years. Am intrigued by the Costco pies. Anyone know who makes them?

                        2. Hate disagreeing with the gastronomically erudite Emme and Diana, but the Costco pie doesn't do it for me. I've partially suppressed the memory, but it was veggie-tasting, as if the spices were off, and the texture seemed artificially thickened.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Akitist

                            I don't mind, and thanks for calling me erudite! :)

                          2. I have always favored the pumpkin pie at the Four'n 20 in Studio City (also with a branch in Van Nuys although I've never been there).

                            I first discovered Chowhound from Googling to see if anyone else had had as bad an experience with Sweet Lady Jane as I did. Hoo boy. bite bite may well be right about their pie, but I will never know, for I will NEVER GO AGAIN!!!

                            Sorry, I like most of Marie Callender's pies (esp. the mince, for the brief time they have it), but their pumpkin pie is so bland that if you tasted it blindfolded I swear you'd think it was a plain custard pie. Of course, ymmv.

                            Auntie Em's Kitchen
                            4616 Eagle Rock Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                            2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

                            1751 Ensley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                            Urth Caffe
                            8565 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

                            Al Gelato Continental Desserts
                            806 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                            Four'n 20 Restaurant Grill
                            4723 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Valley Village, CA 91607

                            Sweet Lady Jane Bakery
                            8360 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                            Filling Station
                            201 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

                            Farm of Beverly Hills
                            189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: maxzook

                              more links ... (Look like the ltap is working again!)

                              1496 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                              2901 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

                              Surfas Restaurant & Supply
                              8777 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                              Martino's Bakery
                              335 N Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502

                              Clifton's Cafeteria
                              648 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014

                              Euro Pane Bakery
                              950 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106

                              Porto's Bakery
                              315 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203

                              Susina Bakery & Cafe
                              7122 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                              Marie Callender's
                              5773 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                              Cheesecake Factory
                              189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA

                              Little Pie Company
                              407 W 14th St, New York, NY 10014

                              1. re: maxzook

                                I actually find the Van Nuys 4 and 20 better, in terms of pie. The rood beyond breakfast is nothing to speak of, though.

                                1. re: Bite Me

                                  A little unorthodox but the pumpkin squares at Euro Pane are awsome so get them while you can. You can buy a try and have them cut any way you want.

                                  1. re: Bite Me

                                    Retraction: I cannot recommend the pumpkin pie from Apple Pan. For Thanksgiivng I bought three pies: pumpkin, pecan, and apple. The apple was the best. The pumpkin was a big zero - not worth eating. I didn't taste the pecan. Very disappointing.

                                  2. Clementine's and SusieCake's are our favorites and, believe it or not, you can't go wrong with the Claim Jumper's frozen version if you're on a budget.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: cvc

                                      more links

                                      Apple Pan
                                      10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                      Euro Pane Bakery
                                      950 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106

                                      SusieCakes Bakery
                                      11708 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                      Claim Jumper
                                      6501 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90803

                                    2. In the LA area, URTH CAFFE has the best pumpkin pie I have found. I always get compliments when I bring it to family T-day dinners. They also have a pretty killer coconut custard pie.

                                      There are a lot of other great suggestions in this thread too (SLJ, Clementine, etc.)

                                      1. I agree about the Urrth cafe - can't get enough of it when I am in Santa Monica - but why not try baking one - the recipe on the back of the Libby's can seems to work really well, or you could always look one up online. As an America-phile in the UK, I've managed to make one one every year, - if you are worried about making pastry, you could always make a pumpkin cheesecake with a graham cracker crust - even easier, although its best made the day before so it has time to set in the fridge.

                                        1. How about something a little different: Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie ordered form Goode Company BBQ in Houston, TX. These folks will UPS you a tasty pecan pie with a layer of sweet potato; all packed in a wooden box. Website is www.goodecompany.com

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: orythedog

                                            Hi, Missm. I don't believe anyone has mentioned this yet, but Coco's (yes, a chain) makes a VERY tasty, half-pumpkin, half-pumpkin custard pie (it's called the Harvest Pie) with dollops of whipped cream on top. It's spiced just right, and may be JUST what you're looking for!
                                            (Coco's restaurants are located throughout the greater Los Angeles area, just Google them).

                                          2. You can't go wrong with Clementine -- their baked goods are delicious, including the pumpkin pie.

                                            Joan's on Third had good pies last year, and with the expansion the experience of buying food there is much more palatable.

                                            I also second (or third or . . .) the recommendations for Josie (amazing) and Al Gelato (get a pint of their incredible gelato to have with the pie).

                                            Thanks for the heads up on Urth Cafe. I wouldn't have guessed . . .

                                            If you are interested in some recipes, let me know

                                            1. I had a piece of the pumpkin pie from Amandine last night. It's the best I've ever tasted! The filling is quite creamy and custard-y, and the flavor not overly seasoned like the traditional pumpkin pie.

                                              1. My vote is for Urth Cafe....love the deep dish style and has a great, natural pumpkin flavor.

                                                1. As an aside, Susina has a very nice pumpkin cheesecake. Good crisp ginger crust and not too sweet.

                                                  1. After reading all the posts I went with Urth Cafe's pumpkin pie and even though it was a little pricey it didn't disappoint. It was a huge and had an incrdible fresh punpkin taste. Easily one of the best pies I have ever had.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: augustus gloob

                                                      I responded to this thread early on raving about the pumpkin squares at Euro Pane. Well, I went in just before Thanksgiving to get some only to find stacks of boxes for pies that were special ordered and to my dismay, no pumpkin squares. I left with a bunch of lemon squares instead (yum) but called to order a pumpkin pie for my hubby's birthday a couple of days later. We had it yesterday and it too was awsome! Not having many of the others that were recommended, I can only say that this too had more of a custard texture than the traditional pie. I was told that the filling is the same as what is used in the squares but it has a traditional crust which was one of the best I have ever had IM(humble?)O.