Do the words “brining,” “trussing,” “spatchcocking,” “basting” and “carving” give you anxiety? Thanksgiving is a time when even the most kitchen-averse feel obliged to dust off a roasting pan, tie on an apron and crack open a vintage Julia Child hardcover in an attempt to prepare the most momentous meal of the year. But such attempts, even when successful, can be expensive, stressful and time-consuming.
So if the last thing you want to do is cook a full feast from scratch, but you still want to host — or just have dinner at home for one or two — there are lots of options.
Some of L.A.'s finest chefs and restaurants are offering everything from pre-brined turkeys to complete prepared meals with breads, sides and pies to-go. Relax, pop open some Champagne and let someone else take care of the rest.
The Larder at Tavern and Burton Way
In a perfect world, Suzanne Goin would cook your Thanksgiving dinner for you. It turns out the world is perfect, or at least your Thanksgiving dinner table will be. Because all of Goin's famous holiday dishes, prepared by her and her staff, are available for pre-order carry-out. The Larder will provide an oven-ready brined organic Diestel turkey and turkey gravy. The turkey plus a bevy of sides, Parker House rolls and pies is available as one package that serves eight for $68 per person. All items are available for order à la carte as well, and orders must be placed by 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22, for pickup on Wednesday, Nov. 25, and Thursday, Nov. 26. The Larder at Tavern, 11648 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood; (310) 806-6460, tavernla.com. The Larder at Burton Way, 8500 Burton Way, Beverly Hills; (310)278-8060, larderatburtonway.com.
Superba Food and Bread
For some, a desire to prep and cook Thanksgiving dinner begins and ends with the turkey. Those who need help with the rest can turn to Venice's Superba Food and Bread. Pre-order savory sides such as butternut squash and heirloom apple soup, sausage stuffing and maple smashed yams — or fun desserts like s'mores pie. 1900 Lincoln Blvd., Venice; (310) 907-5075, superbafoodandbread.com.
For the budget-conscious, the gourmet market at Artisan House in downtown L.A. is an excellent option. It will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and full holiday meals are available for $20 per person, making it possibly the most affordable Thanksgiving dinner in town. All orders must be placed by Thursday, Nov. 19. 600 S. Main St., downtown; (213)622-6333, artisanhouse.net.
Manhattan Beach Post
Another option for cooks who want to devote their Thanksgiving entirely to turkey is M.B. Post. Chef David LeFevre's sides, such as brioche stuffing studded with pork sausage, or whipped garlic and olive oil potatoes, are available à la carte by pre-order only for pickup at the restaurant between 3 and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Orders must be placed by Saturday, Nov. 21, by phone. 1142 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach; (310) 545-5405, eatmbpost.com.
Find comfort in knowing you can avoid wrestling with pie dough this year and just pick up some of Zoe Nathan's famous sweets, such as maple walnut pie, gluten-free orange cranberry cake and “take and bake” items that will make you feel like you (sorta) baked something! The Santa Monica favorite also is offering an entire Thanksgiving carry-out menu, which includes braised organic turkey thighs, Bartell Ranch beef brisket and savory cornbread pudding with butternut squash, kale, caramelized onions and sage. 1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 451-2311, huckleberrycafe.com.
Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill at L.A. Live
Ever thought you'd say that Wolfgang Puck is catering your Thanksgiving? Well, he can. His team at the Bar and Grill at L.A. Live is offering take-out orders of roasted free-range turkey breast or a whole turkey, seven holiday sides and a whole pie. All sides also are available à la carte, should you want to make your own turkey. The complete dinner is $400 and serves up to 10 people. They will deliver within a six-mile radius from the restaurant for $35, so downtowners can really relax. Orders must be placed no later than Thursday, Nov. 19, at 3 p.m. 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; (213) 748-9700, wolfgangpuck.com.
This grand downtown eatery is offering Thanksgiving menus to go for all levels of need. Whole, uncooked turkeys for those who want to do the heavy lifting, whole cooked turkey or just turkey breast are available for those who can't be bothered. An extensive list of hors d'oeuvres, salads, soup, autumnal sides, pies and macarons is available for pre-order. All orders must be placed by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20. 700 S. Grand Ave., downtown; (213)802-1470, bottegalouie.com.
Wally’s Beverly Hills
Make Thanksgiving a one-stop shop with the help of Wally's. The Beverly Hills wine shop is offering a full Thanksgiving spread for 12 people for $300 or a half Thanksgiving spread for six people for $180. Pick up Wally's suggested Thanksgiving wine pairings to go with your order and you'll feel like you have a lot to be thankful for. 107 Westwood Blvd.; (310) 475-0606; and 447 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 475-3540, wallywine.com.
The Church Key
For the first time, the Sunset Strip hangout is offering Thanksgiving menus to-go. Choose between a traditional whole turkey or a whole prime rib dinner. Along with a long list of sides, several holiday desserts are available for purchase. The whole turkey menu is available for eight people for $199 or 12 people for $299. The whole prime rib menu is available for $249 for eight people and $299 for 12 people. Orders must be in by Tuesday, Nov. 24. 8730 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (424)249-3700, thechurchkeyla.com.
The Hungry Cat
Deep-frying a turkey at home is a hazardous feat. Yet year after year, home cooks attempt it due to the bird's extreme deliciousness. This year, instead of accidentally burning down your house, let chef David Lentz deep-fry for you. The Hungry Cat's popular holiday menu features his famous turkey in addition to sides like romano beans au gratin, chanterelle mushrooms with pecorino and roasted root vegetables with pancetta. Both the Santa Monica and Hollywood locations are offering the meal, which serves eight, for $275. Orders must be in by Sunday, Nov. 22, for pickup on Thanksgiving Day. 1535 N. Vine St., Hollywood; (323) 462-2155; and 100 W. Channel Road, Santa Monica; (310) 459-3337, thehungrycat.com.