Now’s the Time to Make Those Thanksgiving Plans


If you’re planning to go out for Thanksgiving dinner this year, don’t wait until the last minute to choose a restaurant. Many popular ones close for the holiday, and those that are open are often booked up well in advance.

The following is a partial list that attempts to reflect both culinary diversity and a range of prices. Reservations are a must. Prices quoted do not include tax and tip. Some restaurants offer a special price for children under 12; others do not, but may supply an extra plate free of charge to small eaters. (Such details should be discussed when you make reservations.)


Joachim Splichal at Patina is offering a special, elegant four-course menu whose entree choices are “Turkey like Mother’s,” roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and/or pan-roasted whitefish. Desserts include a “trilogy” of pies or roasted Bartlett pear with Armagnac ice cream. Seating is from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. $48 per adult. (For $10 more add a course of Maine lobster on a cake of winter vegetables.) Children under 12, $20.


* Patina, 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 467-1108.


Pinot Bistro in Studio City offers a four-course dinner with an entree choice of “American classic turkey,” “crispy” whitefish, beef rib roast or apple-smoked Wisconsin ham. Desserts include a chocolate croissant pudding with Wild Turkey whiskey sauce. Dinner costs $29 per adult, $15 per child. Seating is from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

* Pinot Bistro, 12969 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 990-0500.


The spanking-new Pinot Hollywood offers a four-course menu with lots of appetizer options (including corn and acorn chowder or sweet potato gnocchi) along with a choice of braised Virginia ham, broiled John Dory, a young, roasted “American classic” turkey or standing rib roast. $28 per adult, $14 per child. Seating is from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

* Pinot Hollywood, 1448 N. Gower St., Hollywood, (213) 461-8800.


At La Cachette, chef Jean Francois Meteigner is preparing a four-course Thanksgiving meal featuring beet and celery root salads, organic farm-raised turkey stuffed with chestnuts and pumpkin tarte tatin. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at a cost of $35 per person.

* La Cachette, 10506 Little Santa Monica Blvd., Century City, (310) 470-4992.


In addition to its regular Tuscan menu, Cicada will serve a traditional Thanksgiving spread (turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberries, etc.) from noon on for $25 per person.

* Cicada, 8478 Melrose Ave . , West Hollywood, (213) 655-5559.


Joe’s in Venice will offer a four-course prix fixe turkey dinner with a choice of roasted turkey breast with yam puree or a brioche-stuffed “American classic” turkey dinner with “all kinds of cranberry things” and an autumn bread pudding. The regular a la carte menu of contemporary French/American food will also be available. Open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. $28 per adult, $15 per child.

* Joe’s, 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 399-5811.


The ever hip and imaginative Vida offers a special four-course menu featuring “Magpie Pot Pie,” an open-faced smoked turkey pot pie with a roasted garlic cream sauce, potatoes and fall vegetables and warm persimmon cobbler for dessert. There will be a vegetarian option as well. Three seatings: 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. $28 for adults, $14 for children.

* Vida, 1930 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz, (213) 660-4446.


In the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Saddle Peak Lodge offers a four-course special menu with such appetizers as antelope tenderloin toast with horseradish cream and a choice of hen turkey, pork tenderloin, Colorado lamb or tuna steak. Dinner is served from noon to 8:30 p.m. $45 per person.

* Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Road, Calabasas, (818) 222-3888. *

Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks is offering a traditional turkey dinner along with a small selection of items off its regular California/French menu. The chef is prepared to accommodate vegetarians, too. Dinner will be served from 11:30 a.m. until 9 or 10 p.m. $19.95 per adult, $12.95 per child.

* Cafe Bizou, 14016 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 788-3536. *

For an Italian-inflected Thanksgiving dinner, consider the six-course Thanksgiving meal at Locanda del Lago on Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade: borlotti bean soup, cannelloni stuffed with ricotta and pumpkin, turkey breast with walnut-sausage stuffing or trancio di prosciutto cotto al ananas, i.e., ham steak with pineapple! Served noon to 10 p.m. $24 per person.

* Locanda del Lago, 231 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 451-3525.


As ever, the Tam O’Shanter in Atwater Village will be serving Thanksgiving dinner from noon until 9 p.m. In addition to a traditional turkey dinner, there will be salmon, Virginia ham, prime rib and roast duckling. Meals range from $13.95 to $22.95.

* The Tam O’Shanter, 2980 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater (Los Angeles), (213) 664-0228. *

The Pacific Dining Cars in downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica are offering a special four-course dinner featuring free-range roast turkey. Customers may also order from the usual selection of prime steaks and chops. Thanksgiving dinner will be served from noon until the wee hours for $27.95 per person.

* Pacific Dining Car, 1310 W. 6th St., Los Angeles, (213) 483-6000. And 2700 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 453-4000. *

Bear in mind, too, that most hotels offer Thanksgiving feasts. These include Hotel Bel-Air, the Peninsula in Beverly Hills, Shutters in Santa Monica, the Westwood Marquis, and the Biltmore, Checkers and the New Otani downtown, among others.