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How to Have a Happy New Year: Top 5 "Good Luck" Foods

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Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM
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If you're the superstitious type, seize the moment. There's a huge handful of foods one can eat around New Year's which are thought to ensure good luck for the next 365 days. We've rounded up a list of a few "good luck" foods that, if for nothing more than karmic efficiency, are worth trying sometime in the next week or so. We've also tacked on a few suggestions of where to find a good version of these dishes in Los Angeles. (Note: A few of these spots are closed New Year's Day, as many restaurants are, but you can either pick up these dishes on December 31st for the following day, or check them out January 2nd. We're pretty sure the luck is still potent in leftovers.)

5) Pomegranate: Pomegranates are eaten mainly in Turkey and in other surrounding Mediterranean countries to invoke abundance and fertility. We suggest blending them, along with cherries and some plain yogurt, for a quick good luck smoothie. Or, pick up an Acai and Pomegranate smoothie at Java Smoothies in North Hollywood to get your fix. Open New Year's Eve.

4) Vasilopita: Lots of cultures boast some sort of good luck cake, but our favorite is the Greek Vasilopita, a spongy, often citrus-flavored cake with a coin baked in. It's often cut up and eaten at the stroke of midnight, and if you find the coin in your slice, good fortune will follow. Get yours anytime this week at Papa Cristo's Bakery. Open New Year's Eve.

3) Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens: It's a Southern tradition to eat these two soul food sides on New Year's - the former for luck in general, and the latter to bring fortune, as the leaves are green like money. We suggest trying Larkin's in Eagle Rock, which is running a traditional black-eyed peas special all this week in honor of the holiday. They always have greens on the menu, as well as black eyed pea caviar. Closed New Year's Day.

2) Pork and Cabbage: Pork is eaten all over Eastern Europe on New Year's Day, supposedly because pigs move in a forward motion when they root for food, therefore symbolizing progress. Some form of cabbage usually accompanies it since, like collard greens, it symbolizes money. Where to get yours: The Red Lion Tavern in Silver Lake. Try their Eisbein boiled pork shank, served with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut, and you'll be set. Closed New Year's Day.

1) Pretzels: So say the Germans, pretzels bring wealth and success in the New Year. Röckenwagner has an abundance of them for you to choose from. Pick some up this week to nosh on all weekend, or hit their sister location 3 Square Cafe + Bakery on New Year's Day (it's open!) for a pretzel burger.

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