It was Christmas on Saturday, and whether or not you celebrated the holiday, you probably still had dinner. People have different traditions -- whether it's turkey and stuffing, or Chinese food -- so we decided to check in with a few of L.A.'s food folk to see what they had for Christmas dinner. We texted, emailed, or spoke with everyone from high-end bar men, to chefs, to food writers. The one thing we found the most of? Brussels sprouts. Here's what they told us:
Library Bar's Matt Biancaniello: "Seven fishes. Seared scallops; shrimp (small cocktail and large); steamed mussels and clams with shallots, parsley, and beer; snow and Dungeness crab, steamed with beet horseradish cocktail sauce."
Street Gourmet LA's Bill Esparza: "We embraced Jewish tradition and had Chinese on Christmas Eve. I took my family to Sam Woo's, and everybody loved it, none of them had ever tried duck. I kept lying about the various parts so they'd be a LITTLE bit more adventurous, though. On Christmas day, I took my mom to Tijuana for Argentine-Mexican at Cheripan."
The Weekly's own Jonathan Gold: "There was Stilton, Epoisses, and an unusually stinky hard cheese called Salers, from the Auvergne. I made fennel-rubbed roast goose with onion/bitter-orange gravy; prune, pancetta and chestnut stuffing from an old copy of Gourmet; goose-fat-roasted potatoes; creamed brussels sprouts with bacon; a tossed salad with toasted walnuts; and a smoked turkey that was probably extraneous. My friend Nancy brought coppa, lardo and fermented salame to snack on before dinner. Anne Fishbein made a really fine buche de noel for dessert."
Eddie Lin of Deep End Dining: "Mongolian hot pot with lamb shoulder slices, fatty beef slices, pork blood, beef tendon & tripe, goose intestines, and lamb meatballs. Dipped in a Chinese BBQ sauce (sa cha), fermented tofu sauce, and sesame sauce. Best meal on a winter night. All washed down with Tsingtao."
Josh Lurie of Food GPS: "On Christmas day, My family ate a turducken with sausage cornbread stuffing, courtesy of the Cajun Grocer in Baton Rouge, roasted root vegetables, green beans with shallots, shredded Brussels sprouts with bacon, and gravy made from turducken drippings."
Eater LA editor Kat Odell: "I ate: My dad's turkey brined for three days in Asian spices; the requisite cranberries; butternut squash gratin with toasted hazelnuts and chevre; sautéed Brussels sprouts with pancetta, chestnuts, thyme, and maple syrup; sautéed mushroom and ham stuffing; my dad's famous diced potatoes roasted with shallots; Akasha's salty chocolate tart; raspberry coconut bars; candy cane cookies. LOTS OF WINE!"
Test Kitchen's Brian Saltsburg: "Yes, the man 'who probably has not eaten dinner at home in years,' ate at home - well at least a home if not my own - but I cooked nonetheless. Christmas was spent at my mother's house, where I made racks of lamb with a red wine sauce. The rest of the meal consisted of baked potato home fries, sautéed mushrooms, grilled vegetables, Brussels sprouts with chorizo, a green salad, and various desserts."
Animal chef Jon Shook: "Bone-in prime rib with Madeira butter and sauteed mushrooms; roasted butternut squash; Brussels sprouts with cream and bacon; mashed potatoes; salad of persimmons, mandarin oranges and arugula; and a ton of bread. For appetizers, I had honey baked ham; sweet Hawaiian rolls; assorted mustards; cheese; olives; cornichons; and one of my favorite old school things, which is little smokies cooked in the crock pot.
For beverages, I started with apple cider and Maker's Mark, then Bloody Marys, then rolled into vodka and sodas for the rest of the ride.
For dessert, homemade chocolate chip cookies. Then every single pie from the Apple Pan."
LA Magazine Dine Editor Lesley Bargar Suter: "Oh yeah, Xmas dinner Texas style:
Cheddar cheese, green chile soup, smoked brisket tamales, chocolate coconut cream pie. Thank YOU in-laws."
Starry Kitchen's Nguyen Tran: "The first dinner was a potluck with my family in OC: pasta, garlic bread, pot roast, tirasmisu, and Costco cheesecake cupcakes.
The second: traditional Jewish Christmas (aka a Chinese Restaurant!) -- Black bean spare-ribs and rice in a clay pot; shredded beef and julienned lotus root in XO sauce; their house special fried rice w/ scallops, fish, and shrimp; and stir-fried string bean. That was a nice Christmas meal! :)"
Ink chef Michael Voltaggio: "Was with family on the East Coast. Had a home-cured Virginia Country-style ham, experienced Southern country cooking all around. Stuffing, deviled eggs, 6 different pies, etc. A good departure to have home cooked, from-scratch humble food with family. Now stuck in the travel nightmare you see on the news. Hopefully will make it back to L.A. tonight! Been shuffled around airports for the past 28 hours."
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Talesai and Night + Market chef/owner Kris Yenbamroong: "Ikea Swedish meatballs at ex-girlfriend's Christmas cocktail party. Christmas dinner = Chinese five spice pork belly stew 'pah-lo;' fish ball green curry 'luk chin pla krai;' 'chieng rai' pork spare rib noodle soup 'kao soi;' isaan sour sausage (sticky rice-fermented) 'sai krok isaan.'"
UPDATE: A couple more Christmas dinners trickled into our inbox, so we've decided to add them below.
Josh Loeb of Rustic Canyon, Sweet Rose Creamery, and Huckleberry: "Yes we are Jews but we're the kind of Westside Jews who love Christmas! Every year Zoe [Nathan]'s dad cooks. He makes the same meal and we try to help a bit but he likes to be in charge. Prime rib, double-stuffed baked potatoes, grilled asparagus, popovers, and salad. It was actually better than ever this year. For dessert this year we had two Sweet Rose ice cream cakes. Chocolate cake with coffee ice cream and vanilla cake with vanilla ice cream. Needless to say we ate copious amounts of food that night!"
Craig Thornton of Wolvesden: "I made savory bread pudding with shallots, leeks, and chanterelles. Black elderberry purée with Swedish creme. Rib roast and crab dip from crabs that were caught the day of! And I made some cheddar bread, and s'more Rice Krispy treats for the kids."