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Ultra-Casual, No-Reservations on Thanksgiving?

Any ideas? Yes, I'm aware of chains.

I'll be out strafing the streets on my motorcycle (they're almost empty on Thanksgiving!) and will get hungry at some point. I don't need traditional Thanksgiving, but I do want something good to eat.

Think downtown LA and radiate northwest, west and southwest from there, all the way to the ocean.


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  1. The Original Pantry
    Canter's $15.75

    4 Replies
    1. re: monku

      Interesting ideas, and two places I enjoy. Thanks. Are those places likely to have long lines?

      I don't want to spend an hour standing around!

      1. re: BeenThereAteThat

        At the Pantry I think it could get busy if it's near the lunch or dinner hours, otherwise I don't think it's a long wait if your flying solo. I actually enjoy sitting at the counter at there or there's that long table they seat mixed groups at. Maybe 30 years ago I went by myself for Thanksgiving there and it was a good meal.

        Not sure about Canter's. I happened to be at Canter's the other night and a lady came out of the dining room side (next to their bar) and said they were having Thanksgiving dinner all day there. In all the years I've gone there I never sat on the dining room side.

        Don't know if you're into Chinese food, but everything in Chinatown and the Chinese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley will all be open.

        1. re: monku

          I had Thanksgiving at Canters a few years back-there was no wait, but I do remember it being really full...

          1. re: schrutefarms

            Thanks. I'll keep a list going.

            It's always good to have backup plans!

    2. The Laugh Factory
      8001 Sunset Blvd.
      Hollywood, CA 90046
      (323) 656-1336 x1
      The Laugh Factory provides a free Thanksgiving dinner and live comedy show every year to comedians, actors, writers and anyone else who is alone for the holidays. Seatings are at 1, 3, 5 and 7 pm. Call 323-656-1336 x1 for reservations.

      1 Reply
      1. re: monku

        Thanks, but I'll refer you to the topic: Ultra-Casual, No-Reservations on Thanksgiving?

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Thanks...keep 'em coming!

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

        2. The Baby Blues BBQ in West Hollywood is open. The one in Venice will be closed, according to the sign. They're doing some kind of all you can eat meal with fried turkey and other various sides. I do think it said to call ahead, though.

          Definitely the kind of place you can wear jeans.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Azizeh

            Thanks. I'm sure some people can use that recommendation. I had an unfortunate experience at the Venice location, so I will not be patronizing that chain.

            1. re: BeenThereAteThat

              That's too bad. They're always nice to me.

              Chinatown is open on Thanksgiving/Christmas. We usually hit up Yang Chow on Christmas, but I'm sure that slippery shrimp makes a good Thanksgiving dinner, too.

            1. re: Servorg

              I thought of Pann's right away, but figured it would be a zoo.

              1. re: Servorg

                Thanks for the suggestion. Went there today and the turkey dinner was great. Wasn't too crowded. $9.99 for the dinner w/ mashed potatoes, stuffing, veggies etc.

                Everybody was having a good time and the service was friendly. If you were looking for a place to go today, this is a great choice. And I almost went to Campanile....

                1. re: bsquared2

                  They are such nice people. I keep getting free stuff from accumulating points on my "Pann's Frequent Dining Card" too. A great deal all the way around. Happy Turkey Day.

              2. Just over the LA/OC county line in Los Alamitos, on Katella Ave. west of the Los Alamitos Race Track:
                Katella Deli and bakery. Try to avoid the typical holiday dinner times 12-2:00 and 4:30/5 p.m. and you'll probably be fine. Normal wait is anywhere from zero to 20 + minutes on regular evenings, so a 30 - 45 minute wait probably wouldn't be bad on a holiday, and the deli/bakery adjoining the entrance is a great place to while away the wait. If yours is a small party of four or fewer, won't take too long as most of their booths and tables accommodate four. There's also a counter. They have a dinner special for Thanksgiving which includes a choice of more or less turkey. It's about a $3 difference for the larger helping of turkey. I believe the dessert is included but the beverage is not. Dinner and beverage (nonalcoholic) would be right about $20 per person for the meatier dinner. Not sure if they're offering regular menu items or not that day.

                Katella Deli-Restaurant
                4470 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, CA 90720

                1 Reply
                1. re: Joani Macaroni

                  Thanks for all the tips. I'll let everyone know where I went tomorrow!

                2. While having breakfast at "Panini Cafe" on 9th Street in Downtown LA last week, I noticed a sign announcing that they will be open until 3PM on Thanksgiving Day.


                  1. How about the Oaks Gourmet? Just north of Downtown in Beachwood Canyon? No reservations needed & they're serving until midnight.


                    1. So, we went by the Pantry, but the line was too long. We went to Chinatown, which was bustling, but there was nowhere to park. We headed up Sunset Blvd. and saw a little hole-in-mini-mall Mexican joint open and popped in there.

                      I enjoyed a delicious plate of lamb and beans with tortillas. My wife had chicken and cheese enchiladas, which she said were good (maybe even very good), but certainly not great. The chips were excellent and the service was quite friendly. Everything seems to be handmade, and that certainly counts for something in the plastic-container world.

                      Thank you to everyone for their suggestions.

                      El Huarache Azteca
                      1378 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: BeenThereAteThat

                        Thanks for your Thanksgiving report.
                        I've been to El Hurache Azteca #1 in Highland Park. Are they all related?

                        Jonathan Gold rec.

                        1. re: monku

                          Yep. This one is #2 (though the fancy Chowhound link engine doesn't recognize that).

                          I have a friend who has lived in both areas and says that #1 is superior.