Thanksgiving in Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Grille Facebook

Los Angeles has always been known for bucking tradition, so it's no accident that Southern California gives those who visit during Thanksgiving ample opportunity to do the same. With average temperatures well into the 60s, numerous dining options, and many attractions open for at least part of the day, Thanksgiving in LA is as stuffed with activities as that turkey about to be carved.

Hotels

Rendezvous Court at Millennium Biltmore | Photo courtesy of Frank Hsu Flickr

Whether you're visiting Los Angeles or just want to let someone else take care of everything, hotels offer some of the best Thanksgiving dining options.

LA PRIME & LAKEVIEW BISTRO - WESTIN BONAVENTURE HOTEL & SUITES
Located on the 35th floor of the landmark Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Downtown, LA Prime is an award-winning, New York-style steakhouse that specializes in prime beef and fresh seafood. LA Prime is serving Thanksgiving dinner from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The three-course dinner is $58 and includes choice of starter, entrée and dessert. The four-course dinner is $65 and includes choice of two starters, entrée and dessert. Menu choices include a charcuterie plate and acorn squash soup to start; entrées such as roasted free range turkey and sea salt and pepper-crusted wagyu prime rib; and deep dish chocolate pecan pie or sweet potato cheesecake for dessert. For reservations, call 213.612.4743.

On the hotel’s lobby level, guests can enjoy healthy fare in the casual atrium setting of Lakeview Bistro, open for breakfast and lunch. On Thanksgiving Day, Lakeview Bistro is serving a champagne buffet brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Priced at $28, the buffet includes a bakery basket, salads, soups, omelette and eggs station, carvery, and desserts. For reservations, call 213.612.4897.

THANKSGIVING BUFFET - MILLENNIUM BILTMORE
Centrally located near some of Downtown LA’s top attractions, the historic Millennium Biltmore features 683 luxurious guest rooms and suites, four bars and restaurants, health club and fitness center with indoor pool, and a full array of concierge services. On Thanksgiving Day, the hotel is serving a bountiful Thanksgiving buffet with all the trimmings from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The buffet features traditional and contemporary favorites, comforting entrees, and tantalizing desserts. The buffet will be served in the elegant Smeraldi’s and Rendezvous Court, with seating in Smeraldi’s. $59 per adult; $25 for kids 4-11, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations are highly recommended: 213.612.1562.

Photo courtesy of Cleo, Facebook

CLEO - THE REDBURY
Located at the iconic intersection of Hollywood and Vine, The Redbury provides a relaxed and entertaining environment, with spacious guest suites offering a home-like atmosphere to accommodate stays of any length. Tucked within the hotel, Cleo entices guests with the intoxicating aroma of nouveau Middle Eastern cuisine that wafts out of Executive Chef Danny Elmaleh's open kitchen. Cleopatra 's Feast is Thanksgiving with a Mediterranean twist, featuring a special menu of Cleo favorites and Thanksgiving classics served family style. $65 per person, $32 for kids, free under 5. Open seating from 3:00-7:00 p.m. 

ESTEREL - SOFITEL LOS ANGELES AT BEVERLY HILLS
Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills features elegant luxury accommodations and dramatic decor with an ambiance that combines French style and Hollywood glamour. Chic and stylish restaurant Esterel offers artfully-prepared meals with Mediterranean accents, a perfect spot to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving buffet with family and friends, featuring a complimentary apple cider tasting. $45 per person, $19 for kids under 12. Available from 11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

GORDON RAMSAY AT THE LONDON WEST HOLLYWOOD
Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood is offering a three-course menu on Thanksgiving Day, prepared by Chef de Cuisine Anthony Keene. The menu includes holiday-themed items such as Sweet Pumpkin Agnolotti, Roasted Organic Turkey and Baked Apple Tarte Tatin. Non-traditional menu items include Poached New England Lobster, AND Black Angus Beef Filet with a Garlic Herb Crust and English Sticky Toffee Pudding. Dinner is priced at $95 per person and seatings are available from 11:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 310.358.7788.

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LOS ANGELES AT BEVERLY HILLS
Celebrate Thanksgiving Day with family and friends over an elegant buffet prepared by Executive Chef Ashley James at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Traditional selections include a carving station with maple-cinnamon brined turkey; apple and clove glazed baked ham; roasted prime rib and more. Guests can also enjoy oysters, shrimp, Alaskan crab legs, seared ahi tuna and an array of sushi and dim sum, as well as artisan cheeses, omelets, eggs benedict, and Belgian waffles. A charcuterie and house-made Flatbread Station is available until 3:00 p.m.  A Farmer’s Market Station features a variety of salads, and the children’s buffet has an assortment of kid-friendly items. The Pie Factory Station offers a variety of Thanksgiving desserts, as well as house-made doughnuts with assorted toppings. Seatings are available from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Price is $98 for adults and $49 for children 12 and under.

LIVELLO - L’ERMITAGE BEVERLY HILLS
Executive Chef Mirko Paderno brings time-honored classic Italian cuisine to LIVELLO, the signature restaurant of L’Ermitage Beverly Hills. LIVELLO welcomes diners to the annual Thanksgiving Celebration Brunch, served from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The traditional turkey is enhanced with seasonal dishes such as snow crab legs, shucked oysters, roasted lamb, mash potatoes, grilled veggies, a cheese and charcuterie platter, egg station and dessert bar. Adults can indulge in bottomless mimosas, coffee or tea. Price is $85 per person, and $28 for children 12 and under. Reservations are required, call 310.860.8660. 

LUXE SUNSET BOULEVARD & LUXE RODEO DRIVE
The Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel and the Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel are hosting Thanksgiving dinners available at their restaurants, On Sunset Restaurant and On Rodeo Bistro & Lounge, respectively. At On Rodeo, chef David Padilla has created a delicious, multi-course dinner served from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Pricing is $65 for adults, $85 with wine pairings. Dinner is $30 for children 12 and under. Reservations: 310-273-0300. On Sunset’s Executive Chef Olivier Rousselle is serving a four-course dinner on Thanksgiving Day, available from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Dinner is $56 for adults, and $28 for children under 12. Make reservations by calling 310.691.7584. Includes complimentary two-hour parking.

The Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel is also offering a special Thanksgiving Package from Nov. 24 to Dec. 2, 2013. Priced at $350 per day, the package includes:

  • Executive Junior Suite accommodations 
  • Thanksgiving Dinner for two 
  • Daily American Breakfast for two 
  • Daily valet parking
  • 30% off a second guestroom (does not include package amenities)

POLO LOUNGE - BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL
The famed Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel offers California cuisine with an Asian twist in a charming indoor-outdoor garden setting. The Polo Lounge is featuring a Thanksgiving Brunch and a Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving Day. Brunch is a 2-course, prix fixe menu with dessert buffet. Dinner is a 3-course, prix fixe menu. Brunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Dinner is served from 4:00-10:00 p.m. Pricing for brunch or dinner is $135 per adult, $55 per child age 10 and under. For reservations, call 310.887.2777.

SCARPETTA - MONTAGE BEVERLY HILLS
Scarpetta is the acclaimed Italian restaurant by chef Scott Conant, adjacent to the Beverly Canon Gardens at the luxurious Montage Beverly Hills. Named one of the "Best New Restaurants in America" by Esquire magazine, and nominated for "Best New Restaurant” by the James Beard Foundation, Scarpetta’s beautiful al fresco dining augments the Mediterranean-inspired experience, creating an enchanting backdrop for dinner. Scarpetta is serving a lavish Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Price is $95 for adults, and $35 for children 4-12. For reservations, call 310.860.7970.

Thanksgiving buffet at Breeze | Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Facebook

BREEZE - HYATT REGENCY CENTURY PLAZA
Breeze, the award-winning restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, invites guests to a special Thanksgivukkah Buffet, served on Thanksgiving Day from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The multi-course buffet features countless traditional and modern delights inspired by the local autumn harvest, as well as paleo options. This year, Thanksgiving Day coincides with the first day of Hanukkah, a rare occurrence that won’t happen again for another 70,000 years. Breeze is marking the occasion by offering traditional Hanukkah foods with a Thanksgiving twist - think parsnip latkes and sufganiyot doughnuts stuffed with pumpkin pie filling. Indoor and outdoor garden seating is available, weather permitting. Adults can toast and give thanks with a complimentary glass of champagne. The Thanksgivukkah Buffet is priced at $70 per adult, and $25 per child ages 4-12, plus tax and gratuity. Included beverages: champagne, coffee, tea, juice and soda. The buffet is complimentary for children ages three and under. For reservations, call 310.551.3334.

WOLFGANG PUCK AT HOTEL BEL-AIR
Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air features modern California cuisine with European and Mediterranean influences in a spectacular garden setting that embraces the fabulous California lifestyle of indoor and outdoor living. On Thanksgiving Day, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air is serving a 4-course, prix fixe menu from noon to 8:00 p.m. $140 per person, $65 for children 12 and under. For reservations, call 310.909.1644.

HILTON UNIVERSAL
Located at the entrance of Universal Studios Hollywood, the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City offers spectacular views, great dining, received the AAA Four Diamond Award and is Green Seal Silver level certified. The hotel is walking distance to over 70 shops, dining and entertainment venues at CityWalkLA. The award-winning Cafe Sierra offers a traditional champagne brunch and dinner buffer this Thanksgiving Day. To make reservations, call 818.509.2030.

  • Holiday Champagne Brunch - Enjoy a traditional champagne brunch buffet from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Cafe Sierra. $46 for adults and $22 for children ages 3-10.
  • Seafood and Prime Rib Dinner Buffet - Sit down to a lavish Thanksgiving dinner buffet featuring traditional favorites like roast turkey, mashed potatoes, candied yams, giblet stuffing and gravy, as well as international cuisine such as sushi and sashimi, har gow, siu mai, oysters, mussels, leg of lamb and much more. Dinner buffet will be available from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. $54 for adults and $25 for children ages 3-10.

CAST - VICEROY SANTA MONICA
On Thanksgiving Day, Cast at the Viceroy Santa Monica offers a buffet-style brunch with traditional favorites, including a turkey carving station, eggs Benedict, butternut squash soup, a lavish array of tempting seasonal desserts, and much more. The Thanksgiving Brunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Price is $65 for adults, $25 for children age 10 and under, and complimentary for children 5 and under. Grown-ups can also indulge in tableside bottomless mimosas for $17. Make reservations directly by calling 310.260.7511. 

BALEENKITCHEN - PORTOFINO HOTEL & MARINA
Located at the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach, BALEENKitchen is a two-level waterside restaurant that overlooks the Portofino Marina, featuring a menu rich with quality prime steak and fresh regional seafood in a relaxing atmosphere. From 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, chef Richard Crespin is featuring a traditional four-course menu of butternut squash soup, oven-roasted glazed turkey, rib eye and pumpkin pie. The dinner is priced at $50 for adults, and $65 with wine pairing. Kids are $17. An a la carte brunch and Bloody Mary bar is available from 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

THE LANGHAM HUNTINGTON PASADENA, LOS ANGELES
A Pasadena landmark since 1907, The Langham Huntington Huntington Pasadena, Los Angeles is located on 23 acres with grand historic ballrooms and gardens, award-winning dining and a luxurious spa offering treatments based on traditional Chinese medicine. The Langham is featuring numerous Thanksgiving Day options. For dining reservations, call 626.585.6218.  

  • The Terrace - Indulge in a holiday breakfast buffet from 6:30-10:00 a.m. ($30/person, a la carte selections available), or enjoy a dim sum breakfast brunch with sparkling wine from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ($52/person). A three-course Thanksgiving dinner is served from 4:00-9:00 p.m., with live entertainment included. $65 without wine, $95 with wine and $30 per child under 12.
  • The Royce | Wood-Fired Steakhouse - A three-course Thanksgiving dinner is served from 5:00-9:00 p.m. $85 per person without wine, $125 per person with wine pairings.
  • The Huntington Ballroom - A champagne brunch with live entertainment will be served from noon to 4:00 p.m. $95 per person, $35 per child under 12.

mar'sel | Photo courtesy of Terranea Resort, Facebook

TERRANEA RESORT
Situated on 102 spectacular oceanfront acres in Rancho Palos Verdes, Terranea Resort features 582 rooms, including a luxurious collection of residential bungalows, casitas and villas. Terranea is offering a variety of Thanksgiving Day dining options throughout the property. To make reservations, call 310.265.2836.

  • Ballroom Buffet - Enjoy Thanksgiving in Los Angeles at Terranea’s featured event, the lavish Ballroom Buffet. Seating times are 1:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Pricing is $90 for adults and children (age 11 and up), and $45 for children 5-10. Children 4 and under are free.
  • bashi - Enjoy a special Asian-inspired Thanksgiving Day menu in addition to bashi’s regular menu. bashi’s Thanksgiving menu is available from 11:00 a.m. to close. $50 for adults and $25 for children. 
  • Catalina Kitchen - A family-style Thanksgiving Day feast is served from 1:00 to 10:00 p.m. Menu items include an autumn bread basket, butternut squash bisque, family-style platters of roasted free range turkey with all the fixings, and a dessert buffet with fall favorites. The menu is priced at $75 for adults, $35 for children age 5 to 10, and free for children 4 and under. 
  • mar’sel - Chef Rebecca Merhej offers guests an elegant family-style Thanksgiving meal. Priced at $80, the special menu features free range heirloom turkey with roasted turkey gravy, buttermilk biscuits, red rose mashed potatoes, baked cornbread stuffing, Italian sausage, green beans almandine, pumpkin pie, roasted apple pie, and brown sugar pecan pie.
  • Nelson’s - Celebrate Thanksgiving in the Beer Garden with a day filled with football and a buffet of Thanksgiving favorites, priced at $65 per person. Nelson’s will also feature a Thanksgiving Blue Plate Special inside the restaurant from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Theme Parks

Photo courtesy of RV Sun, Flickr

For a fun, family-friendly Thanksgiving, a visit to one of LA's theme parks may be just the ticket. Book the VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood, and get VIP seats to shows and front-of-line privileges to all attractions, including the mind-blowing Transformers™: The Ride-3D, an immersive, next-generation thrill ride that blurs the line between fiction and reality. Speaking of thrills, there are 18 roller coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain - more than any amusement park and the world - making it the undisputed “Roller Coaster Capital of the World.” The park’s Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom is the current record holder as the world's tallest vertical drop ride. For a classic, oceanfront experience, visit Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier for rides and games the whole family will enjoy. 

Griffith Park

Trails of Griffith Park | Photo courtesy of Butch Cordero

At more than 4,000 acres, Griffith Park is a day in itself, with plenty of hiking trails to work off all the Thanksgiving Day overindulging. The Griffith Observatory offers stunning architecture and a breathtaking view of the LA basin, though its closed for the holiday. Train enthusiasts can check out the Travel Town Museum, open daily except Christmas Day and featuring fully-preserved trains that give visitors a chance to brush up on U.S. rail history. The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is also open every day except Christmas and is home to 1,200 rare and endangered mammals, reptiles and birds, and includes areas such as the Campo Gorilla Reserve and Red Ape Rain Forest. Located near the Western Canyon entrance of Griffith Park, Ferndell is a favorite Park destination, especially on a hot summer afternoon. The winding trail, tropical garden, babbling brook and picnic area offer a quiet retreat from the bustling city. 

SPECIAL EVENTS

Thanksgiving Day Run | Photo courtesy of Community Center of La Canada Flintridge

Nov. 16, 2013: CITY FARM TURKEY TROT - GRIFFITH PARK
The 1st Annual City Farm Turkey Trot at the Autry Farmers Market takes place in Griffith Park on Saturday, Nov. 16. Families, friends and children are invited to participate in a fun day of running, food, live music, games, free gifts, and much more. The 5K/10K Turkey Trot starts at 8:00 a.m. and features a 5km or 10km course that travels along the dirt trail around the LA Zoo, Autry Museum, and Griffith Park Golf Course. Children age 5 and up can join the 1K Kids Turkey Dash, a run through the park with a loop along the dirt path and a final sprint on the Autry grass. The Turkey Dash starts at 9:30 a.m. and finishes at the race expo. Parents are welcome to run with their children. The 200-meter Turkey Toddle is a free run designed for children 2-5 and the parents who want to run alongside them. The 200-meter dash starts at 10:00 a.m. and takes place on the Autry grass, lined with cheering volunteers and festive decorations. Registration is $40 for the 5K/10K Turkey Trot and $15 for the 1K Turkey Dash.

TURKEY TROT LOS ANGELES
The first-ever Turkey Trot Los Angeles is taking place in Downtown LA on Thanksgiving morning. Turkey Trot LA features 5K and 10K routes on the historic streets of Downtown, a post-event festival at Grand Park, costume contest and much more. Early bird entry fees start at $35 for the 5K Run/Walk (ages 17 and up), $40 for the 10K Run/Walk, $50 for the 5K/10K Combo, and $10 for the Widdle Wobble, a half-mile kids and family run/walk.

TOFURKY TROT 2013 - ROSE BOWL STADIUM
The Tofurky Company invites the entire family to join in Tofurky Trot 2013, taking place on Thanksgiving Day at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. The 5K (3.1 miles) race is a run, trot, or walk that’s open to all levels of physical fitness. Prizes and coupons will be awarded to the top male, female and children finishers, as well as for best costumes and random prize drawings. The Tofurky Trot starts at 9:00 a.m. Cost is $25 for online pre-registration, or $30 for on-site registration. Participants are asked to bring non-perishable, vegan food and other donations for the homeless and their animal companions. Proceeds benefit the National Museum of Animals & Society (NMAS).

20TH ANNUAL THANKSGIVING DAY RUN & FOOD DRIVE - LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE
The 20th anniversary Thanksgiving Day Run & Food Drive takes place at Memorial Park in La Cañada Flintridge. The event is a major fundraiser for the Community Center and proceeds are used to support its year-round programs. The 5K run/walk has been a local tradition and a community favorite for two decades - as many as 2,000 participants have run along Foothill Boulevard at this popular annual event. The race is professionally timed, and begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. The Kids’ Mile is perfect for children age 12 and under. Parents are encouraged to run alongside registered children at no additional cost. Kids receive a t-shirt before the race and an award as they cross the finish line. The Kids’ Mile begins at 9:30am. Pre-registration for the 5K is $35 and $40 on-site. Pre-registration for the Kids’ Mile is $15 and $20 on-site. Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be dropped off at Memorial Park on Thanksgiving morning and donated to families in need.

34TH ANNUAL FREE THANKSGIVING DAY FEAST - LAUGH FACTORY
The world-famous Laugh Factory is hosting its annual Thanksgiving Day Feast, welcoming the underprivileged, the homeless and anyone who is alone for the holiday to a day of free food, fun, and comedy. Top comedians will greet and help serve guests, as well as perform live shows following each of four meals served at 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Past celebrity guests have included Dane Cook, Tim Allen, Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Jamie Kennedy, Dave Chappelle, Bob Saget, and the late Richard Pryor, among many others.