Joan's on Third takes Thanksgiving very seriously. The marketplace and café has, in fact, been planning your holiday for months, getting ready to cook the turkeys and pies and side dishes that their catering department will be providing all this week, if you've had the foresight to order them. If you have not, and still want one of Joan McNamara's roasted North Carolina birds, this year she's doing something a little different. On Wednesday Joan's on Third will be selling not only roasted birds, but deconstructed turkeys as well. So if you don't want the entire turkey, you can pick and choose what part of it you do want. Think of it as a mix-and-match experience, or something tailored to a smaller scale feast.
The 20 deconstructed turkeys will be available on Wednesday, on a first-come-first-serve basis. Like the whole birds, these turkeys are seasoned with salt and pepper and herbs, lathered with butter and roasted on a bed of mirepoix. After roasting, the birds are broken down into separate parts, rubbed with more butter, wrapped in foil and parchment and tied with a string. At which point you can take them home and, on the day itself, pop them in your own oven.
To get a sense of the size of the operation, consider that Joan's orders 170 turkeys and 1,000 pounds of Altadena butter for the occasion. They rent a 23-foot refrigerated truck for their deliveries, and the staff pulls an all-nighter on Tuesday to prepare the maple brown sugar yams, the wild mushroom bread pudding, the creamy corn pudding, the pumpkin pies, and the rest of the the long catalog of Thanksgiving dishes. (Yes, Grandma's old fashioned stuffing is actually grandma's recipe.) “We have it down now,” says McNamara. “It used to be really crazy.” If she says so. In fact, the beautiful shop (think our Dean & DeLuca), which was considerably expanded 2 years ago, seems more like a well-oiled machine than a chaotic marketplace, even with the holiday crowds. Or maybe that would be well-buttered.
Joan's on Third: 8350 West Third Street, Los Angeles; (323) 655-2285.