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Counter: Thanksgiving dinner and Korean comfort food

Counter: Thanksgiving dinner and Korean comfort food
Friends and family gather for chef Adam Perry Lang's Thanksgiving feast. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

It's the last weekend before Thanksgiving, which means it's time to plan your menu, source your bird and your bottles, get a handle on your pies — and maybe your panic. Because if you plan ahead, there's really no need for panicking in the first place. We can help with that of course. We've got a story about where to find your turkey, what bottle of whiskey (yes, whiskey) to pair with it, and how to plan ahead for the reprieve of leftovers. This year, we've asked chef Adam Perry Lang to help us out, as he's got a pretty spectacular menu for the holiday. We've also got a beginner's guide to roasting turkey, if that's more your speed.

Thanksgiving is the biggest food holiday of the year, but it's a meal that is profoundly about comfort food. After a brutal election season, it's a good time for comforting, both on the table and around it. In this vein, Jonathan Gold's latest review finds comfort food in Koreatown, at a restaurant known for bowls of traditional soups and bubbling stone pots of stew. Not a bad idea for a holiday week night out, negotiated around football and food, friends and family. Because having your food flambéed table-side can be pretty comforting too.


Thanksgiving with a barbecue master

Adam Perry Lang may be known more for his barbecue pop-ups, but he's also cooked for some of the biggest names in French cuisine — and he likes to spend his Thanksgiving cooking traditional dishes, albeit with some serious technique. This year, the chef shares his Thanksgiving dinner menu — and no, he's not cooking his bird in a smoker.

A bird and a shot

Sure, you can open bottles of wine with your Thanksgiving feast, but why not pair a few shots with your bird as well? Deputy Food editor Jenn Harris details seven whiskeys that match up with turkey and side dishes, cranberry and all that pumpkin and pecan pie. This year especially, a few extra bottles of rye and bourbon might come in handy — a panacea for any fraught conversations about politics or football.

Small Batch 1792.
Small Batch 1792. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Bubbling cauldrons

In this week's review, Jonathan heads to Koreatown, to a 24-hour joint that specializes in Korean comfort food. Whether you're soothing a hangover or warding one off, or just want a huge bubbling cauldron of spicy beef ribs and oxtails, Sun Nong Dan is just the place. The restaurant specializes in sullungtang, a soothing soup, but you're there for the galbi jjim, "a favorite in the old royal courts and often served on Chuseok, which is more or less the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving." Enough said.

Galbijjim is heated.
Galbijjim is heated. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Your barbecue update

Kevin Bludso's Compton restaurant Bludso's BBQ is a standard on Gold's 101 Best Restaurant list, and one of the best barbecue joints in town. It's been closed since September for what Bludso hoped was a remodel; now it's staying shuttered until he finds a new location. Not to worry: Bludso will be doing pop-ups and spending more time at his second L.A. restaurant, Bludso's Bar & Que, while he finds a new location — yes, in Compton.

Kevin Bludso, with the smoker at his Compton restaurant Bludso's BBQ in October.
Kevin Bludso, with the smoker at his Compton restaurant Bludso's BBQ in October. (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants, the authoritative annual guide to local dining, is online for subscribers and now features his 2016 Best Restaurants. If you didn't get a copy of the booklet, you can order one online here.

Our cookie bake-off returns: It's time to vote for your favorite cookie recipe in our sixth Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off. Voting closes on Nov. 28.

"City of Gold," Laura Gabbert's documentary of Jonathan Gold's Los Angeles, is available on Amazon.

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