Thanksgiving Dining: 6 Holiday Dishes With A Global Spin
Cham Korean Bistro
You eat kimchi pizza, Filipino adobo burritos and Japanese rice patty burgers. So when it comes to Thanksgiving, the most traditional of American food holidays, boring old stuffing won't do. Here are six Thanksgiving options that will make your globetrotting palate sing without scaring the traditionalists at the table.
Just think: When the rest of the country is gorging on turkey, green bean casserole and sweet potatoes smothered in marshmallow (and not house-made passion fruit marshmallow, à la The Bazaar), you'll be sampling Asian spiced roast turkey with chorizo cornbread stuffing and Korean cranberry sauce, with a slice of Hawaiian purple sweet potato pie for dessert.
But don't fret, you Turkey Day die-hards: Our list of traditional dine-in and take-out offerings is coming soon.
1. Cham Korean Bistro
There's sweet potato pie and then there's purple sweet potato pie like chef EJ Jeong's version at this Pasadena bistro. The sweet potato filling is made with Hawaiian purple sweet potatoes, which need little sweetener (just a bit of agave syrup), but the crust and chantilly cream are as classic as can be. You can also get side dishes from the Pasadena bistro for home, including jalapeno cornbread stuffing with tofu and Asian pears, cranberry sauce spiced with Korean red chile paste, kabocha squash stuffed with sticky rice, dried persimmon and nuts, and bokbunja gravy made with Korean wild black-raspberry wine (here's the menu). Orders must be made by November 18 to be picked up on Thanksgiving Day. 851 Cordova St., Pasadena; (626) 792-2474; www.chamkoreanbistro.com.
2. Susan Feniger's STREET
Just like the regular menu, Feniger's holiday menu is a romp around the world. Order a slew of side dishes for home--coconut and pandan creamed corn, pumpkin and poblano tamales, Moroccan-spiced squash, chipotle-spiked spaghetti squash, millet with fried plantains, and chorizo cornbread stuffing are just a few. There's even tandoori-turkey, should you need the bird (here's the menu). Orders must be in by November 22 for pickup on November 24. 742 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 203-0500; www.eatatstreet.com.
Chef Ray Garcia is known for using local, seasonal ingredients on his menus, but for Thanksgiving at the Fairmont Santa Monica hotel, his flavors span the globe. In addition to a traditional roast turkey, you can get turkey schnitzel, turkey tacos, or turkey and prosciutto croquettes. For sides, maybe potato-chorizo empanadas, mustard-and-cheddar pierogi, Okinawa sweet potatoes with maple-ginger butter, and poblano and rutabaga gratin are more your speed. A full traditional Thanksgiving feast can be ordered for pickup, too. 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 319-3111; www.figsantamonica.com.
4. Xino Restaurant
For a little Chinese influence, order your whole take-out feast ($35 per person) from this new Santa Monica Place spot. The roast turkey is rubbed with aromatic Asian spices and served with steamed Chinese pancakes, scallions and sweet beans (think: Peking duck, just larger); the mashed potatoes are a blend of taro and sweet potato with coconut milk and brown sugar; green beans have a peppery Szechuan kick; and the cranberry preserves are spiked with star anise. Orders must be placed by November 23 for pickup on Thanksgiving Day. 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica; (310) 755-6220; www.xinorestaurant.com.
The newest An family restaurant has several Asian-inspired dishes for Thanksgiving on-the-go. Order sides like sticky rice stuffing with shiitake mushrooms, Chinese sausage and chestnuts; Chinese long beans with caramelized onions and almonds; jicama-cabbage slaw; wasabi mashed potatoes, and even the famous An garlic noodles to go with your herb-brined organic roast turkey. Orders must be in by November 22 for pickup on Thanksgiving Day. 2700 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica; (323) 460-2645; www.tiato.com.
6. The Bazaar
José Andrés serves popcorn dipped in liquid nitrogen so you can breathe like a dragon, so it's a pretty sure bet that even his Thanksgiving dishes will offer a few surprises. The holiday menu for the SLS restaurant includes roast organic turkey, salty wrinkled potatoes with mojo verde, Brussels sprouts with grapes and lemon pith puree, Catalan spinach with apples and raisins, and roasted sweet potatoes with house-made passion fruit marshmallow, all served family-style ($65 per person). Dinner is 6pm to midnight; reservations required. 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 246-5555; www.thebazaar.com.
Get the Squid Ink'd Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly food newsletter, which features top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips and a link to our print review.