Sitting in a restaurant for Thanksgiving might not be your tradition (yet), but remember that it's the really best of both worlds: You get to eat your turkey (and often cake, too), and someone else will clean up. In some cases, you'll even have leftovers for that cold turkey sandwich in the morning.
It used to be that hotels were your best option for dining out on the holiday, and many still serve a lavish buffet and prix fixe menus. But we've got 10 non-hotel options for next week's gorge-fest, in no particular order. Turn the page...
1. The communal atmosphere at Evan Kleiman's Angeli Caffe is perfect for Thanksgiving. The menu, all served family-style, includes endive salad with fennel and fuyu persimmons or mixed mushroom soup; roast turkey with all the fixings; pumpkin stuffed with fondue soufflé; and greens braised with hot peppers and garlic. There will be various pies for dessert (of course). $40 per person. Seatings are at 2pm and 4:30pm. 7274 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles; (323) 936-9086; www.angelicaffe.com
2. Night owls can find their feast at the Tar Pit: Choose from mushroom barley soup, shrimp cocktail or a Boston bibb salad for starters. Entrees include dark-beer-brined organic turkey with whole-grain mustard gravy, sweet corn succotash, cranberry chutney, and Blue Lake green beans. For dessert, ice cream sundaes with rum caramel and streusel, and Wild Turkey pecan tart are among the choices. $50 per person; add $20 for cocktail pairings. 4 p.m. to midnight. 609 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 965-1300; tarpitbar.squarespace.com
3. What would Thanksgiving be without some shaved white truffles? You'll find them--on lobster ravioli, if you wish--on the holiday menu at Mélisse. Other dishes include pumpkin soup with black trumpet mushrooms, herb-roasted turkey with pomegranate gravy, and for the vegetarians, wild mushroom and burrata torte with autumn jus. For dessert, try chocolate soufflé, spiced pumpkin pie or apple pie. The three-course menu (with extra sides) is $89 for adults and $42 for kids. 3 to 7:30 p.m. 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 395-0881; www.melisse.com
4. If Suzanne Goin invited you to her house for Thanksgiving, you'd expect dishes like persimmon and pomegranate salad, herb-roasted turkey, and kabocha squash gratin with poblanos and candied pepitas. It's the same at Tavern, where the three-course menu ($65 for adults; $35 for children) also comes with an array of sides, including traditional chestnut stuffing and Brussels sprouts with pancetta. Caroline Styne's wine pairings are an extra bonus. Want to take it home? Order the whole deal from the Larder. 1 to 7 p.m. 11648 West San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood; (310) 806-6464; www.tavernla.com
5. Craft will serve an assortment of Colicchio-approved dishes like spiced pork terrine; frisee salad with apple-smoked bacon, chestnuts and black truffle; organic free-range turkey; prime rib; sweet potato puree; sausage-raisin-fennel stuffing; and chocolate pecan pie for dessert. $85 per person. 2 to 8 p.m. 10100 Constellation Blvd., Century City; (310) 279-4180; www.craftrestaurants.com
6. At Jar, get your roast turkey and sides like sausage and cornbread stuffing, cranberry relish, sweet potatoes au gratin, braised Brussels sprouts, and pumpkin pie or fruit crisp. The three-course menu is $85 per person; $40 for children. 8225 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 655-6577; www.thejar.com
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7. Eric Greenspan keeps it simple at The Foundry on Melrose: Three courses for $45 per person, including butter-poached turkey breast, turkey-confit stuffing, and yams with homemade marshmallow. Don't miss Leftovers in the Lounge during the holiday weekend--$6 turkey sandwiches and $3 Wild Turkey cocktails. 3 to 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day; 6 p.m. to midnight Friday through Sunday. 7465 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 651-0915; www.thefoundryonmelrose.com
8. Thanksgiving at Akasha Restaurant means the vegetarians in your clan will be as satisfied as the turkey eaters. Options include persimmon and pomegranate salad; slow-roasted Sonoma Willie Bird turkey with chestnut stuffing and cranberry chutney; herb-roasted tofu with wild mushrooms; and candied yams, Brussels sprouts and squash gratin for sides. Plus, there's a a pie and dessert buffet, with more than 10 different options. $60 per person: $35 for kids 12 and under. Noon to 7 p.m. 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City; (310) 845-1700; akasharestaurant.com
9. The three-course menu ($45 per person) at Napa Valley Grille includes choices like autumn squash bisque, duck confit ravioli with spaghetti squash and walnut emulsion, lemon-brined turkey with sweet potatoes and orange-cranberry sauce, and the veg-friendly toasted farro risotto with wilted chard. Think: braised fruit "pot pie" for dessert. You can also order the whole feast to go. Noon to 8 p.m. 1100 Glendon Ave., Westwood; (310) 824-3322; www.napavalleygrille.com
10. The harvest tasting menu at Palate Food + Wine includes blue hubbard squash soup; autumn salad with persimmon, pear and quince; roast turkey or pumpkin risotto; and your choice of dessert. $48 for adults; $25 for kids 12 and under. 2 to 7 p.m. 933 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale; (818) 662-9463; www.palatefoodandwine.com