You can barely speak the word "Thanksgiving" without its sibling word "tradition" appearing somewhere in the general vicinity, and with fine reason: It's among the most nostalgia-laden of holidays.
Christmas trees can boast different ornaments each year, and our Easter brunch can be ham or eggs, but, come November, many people want the same mashed potatoes served in the same dish that's been on the Thanksgiving table since 1973.
Still, there are spins on the seasaonal supping, and leave it our creative and whimsical Southern California chefs to do the job. For sure, several of the more offbeats spots'll honor traditional ways, but call this step one into branching out, dinner-wise, on the fourth Thursday of the year.
BARTON G.: The La Cienega Boulevard surrealerie -- that's like an eatery with a surreal bent -- is staging a whimsical three-courser for Thanksgiving. Cost? It's sixty five bucks, and spiced calabaza pumpkin soup, pumpkin donuts, and herb-roasted turkey confit are part of the feasting. Or order The Mother Clucker, the presented-on-a-small-crate meal that's all about roasted chicken and autumnal veges. It serves two, for $68.
BADMAASH: If you've ever noshed on a samosa and thought "this would be a most excellent vehicle for the savory ingredients of Thanksgiving," you're in luck, daydreamer. Downtown's "only Indian gastropub" is serving the Thanksgiving Samosa, complete with rosemary-roasted turkey and other holiday table staples inside. It's a "Bombay-inspired Thanksgiving" from Chef Pawan and his son Nakul Mehendro.
OLIVERIO: So Italian food is your very favorite, and Thanksgiving day is the only day of the year you'll take a break from it? The Avalon Hotel's restaurant says you don't have to forsake your go-to food. It's Thanksgiving feast has an Italian flavor, so think porchetta-style roasted turkey and lasagna. Hmm, lasagna on Thanksgiving. Yeah, that should probably become a straight-up rule, as in it should always be served, year in and year out.
CAFE GRATITUDE: A full-flowered vegan Thanksgiving isn't all that offbeat these days -- many a restaurant chef and home cook have developed dishes that are now front-and-centered, year after year, on many a Thanksgiving sideboard. But waiving the fee and making it totally free, in the spirit of gratitude, is not commonly seen. The Venice eatery is serving a free vegan Thanksgiving meal to all, from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. on the holiday "or until the food runs out." Do note that this is the Cafe Gratitude in Venice.
Grateful on, gourmands.