Thanksgiving in Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Grille Facebook

Los Angeles has always been known for bucking tradition, so it's no accident that Southern California gives those who visit during Thanksgiving ample opportunity to do the same. With average temperatures well into the 60s, numerous dining options, and many attractions open for at least part of the day, Thanksgiving in L.A. is as stuffed with activities as that turkey about to be carved.

NOTE: All Thanksgiving dinners and events are taking place on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 unless otherwise noted.

Hotels

Rendezvous Court at Millennium Biltmore | Photo courtesy of Frank Hsu Flickr

Whether you're visiting Los Angeles or just want to let someone else take care of everything, hotels offer some of the best Thanksgiving dining options.

MILLENNIUM BILTMORE
Centrally located near some of Downtown L.A.’s top attractions, the historic Millennium Biltmore features 683 luxurious guest rooms and suites, four bars and restaurants, health club and fitness center with indoor pool, and a full array of concierge services. On Thanksgiving Day, the hotel is serving a bountiful Thanksgiving buffet with all the trimmings from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The buffet features traditional and contemporary favorites, comforting entrees, and tantalizing desserts. The buffet will be served in the elegant Smeraldi’s and Rendezvous Court, with seating in Smeraldi’s. Pricing is $59 per adult and $25 for kids 4-11. Reservations are highly recommended, call 213.612.1562.

WESTIN BONAVENTURE HOTEL & SUITES
Located on the 35th floor of the landmark Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Downtown, LA Prime is an award-winning, New York-style steakhouse that specializes in prime beef and fresh seafood. LA Prime is serving Thanksgiving dinner from 2-9 p.m. The three-course dinner is $62 and includes choice of starter, entrée and dessert. The four-course dinner is $68 and includes choice of two starters, entrée and dessert. Menu choices include a crispy duck confit or pumpkin bisque to start; entrées such as molasses baked free range turkey or roasted loin of lamb; and dessert options like warm cinnamon pecan torte and Fuji apple tarte tatin. For reservations, call 213.612.4743.

On the hotel’s lobby level, guests can enjoy healthy fare in the casual atrium setting of Lakeview Bistro, open for breakfast and lunch. On Thanksgiving Day, Lakeview Bistro is serving a champagne buffet brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Priced at $36, the buffet includes a bakery basket, salads, soups, an omelette and eggs station, carvery and desserts. For reservations, call 213.612.4897.

Photo courtesy of Cleo, Facebook

CLEO - THE REDBURY
Located at the iconic intersection of Hollywood and Vine, The Redbury provides a relaxed and entertaining environment, with spacious guest suites offering a home-like atmosphere to accommodate stays of any length. Tucked within the hotel, Cleo entices guests with the intoxicating aroma of nouveau Middle Eastern cuisine that wafts out of Executive Chef Danny Elmaleh's open kitchen. Cleopatra 's Feast is Thanksgiving with a Mediterranean twist, featuring a wide variety of mezzes served family-style, and a choice of specialty salads, entrees, sides and desserts. Seatings at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Price is $65 per person. For reservations, call 323.745.2247.

GORDON RAMSAY AT THE LONDON WEST HOLLYWOOD
Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood is offering a three-course menu on Thanksgiving Day, featuring classics like roasted organic turkey with sage stuffing, acorn squash and pumpkin pie. Other favorites include Oysters Rockefeller, Gordon Ramsay’s Beef Wellington for Two, and English sticky toffee pudding. Dinner is priced at $95 per person and seatings are available from 11:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. For reservations, call 310.358.7788.

CULINA - FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LOS ANGELES AT BEVERLY HILLS
Culina, Modern Italian showcases the intersection of traditional and modern Italian cuisine with a menu guided by exceptional ingredients. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Culina is featuring an all-day Thanksgiving Brunch from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The menu includes roasted turkey with rustic stuffing, Belgian waffles and omelets made to order, seafood and hand-rolled sushi, artisan cheeses, and much more. Desserts include Culina’s famous fresh doughnuts, house-made ice cream, and an array of home-style pies including pumpkin, pecan, and apple. Price is $ 98 for adults and $37 for children ages 5-12. Children 4 and under are free. 310.860.4000.

LIVELLO - L’ERMITAGE BEVERLY HILLS
Time-honored classic Italian cuisine is showcased at LIVELLO, the signature restaurant of L’Ermitage Beverly HillsLIVELLO invites diners to the annual Thanksgiving Celebration, served from 2-8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The prix fixe menu features a five-course decadent display of seasonal dishes, enhanced with Italian flavors. Menu highlights include seared branzino with grilled palm of hearts and parsley juice, and the traditional turkey breast with braised chard, red grape compote and crisp shallots. Price is $85 per person. Reservations are recommended, call 310.860.8660.

LUXE SUNSET BOULEVARD
The Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel is hosting Thanksgiving dinner at its on-site restaurant, On Sunset Restaurant. Executive Chef Olivier Rousselle is serving a four-course seasonal dinner on Thanksgiving Day, featuring local and organic ingredients. Available from noon to 9 p.m., the dinner is $56 for adults, $76 with wine pairing. Children under 12 are $28. Includes complimentary two-hour valet parking. For reservations, call 310.691.7584 or email: dining@luxehotels.com.

POLO LOUNGE - BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL
The famed Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel offers California cuisine with an Asian twist in a charming indoor-outdoor garden setting. On Thanksgiving Day, the Polo Lounge is featuring a Thanksgiving Brunch and a Thanksgiving Dinner. Brunch is a prix fixe menu with dessert buffet, served from 11 a.m.to 3 p.m. Dinner is also a prix fixe menu with dessert buffet, and is served from 4-10 p.m. Pricing for brunch is $90 per adult, and dinner is $135 per adult. Brunch or dinner is priced at $55 per child age 12 and under. For reservations, call the Polo Lounge at 310.887.2777.

SCARPETTA & THE ROOFTOP GRILL - MONTAGE BEVERLY HILLS
Scarpetta is the acclaimed Italian restaurant by chef Scott Conant, adjacent to the Beverly Canon Gardens at the luxurious Montage Beverly Hills. Scarpetta’s beautiful al fresco dining augments the Mediterranean-inspired experience, creating an enchanting backdrop for dinner. Scarpetta is serving a lavish Thanksgiving feast from noon to 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Price is $105 for adults, and $45 for children. For reservations, call 310.860.7970. Guests can also visit The Rooftop Grill, which is serving an à la carte menu with traditional Thanksgiving holiday options, and take in the stunning views of Beverly Hills. Call 310.860.7990 for reservations.

Thanksgiving buffet at Breeze | Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Facebook

BREEZE - HYATT REGENCY CENTURY PLAZA
Breeze, the award-winning restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, invites guests to a special Thanksgiving Day buffet from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The multi-course buffet features features champagne, roasted turkey, stuffing bar, oysters, jumbo shrimp, prime rib and Thanksgiving favorites. Indoor and outdoor garden seating is available, weather permitting. The Thanksgiving buffet is priced at $70 per adult, and $35 per senior (age 65 and over), $25 per child ages 4-12. The buffet is complimentary for children ages three and under. For reservations, call 310.551.3334.

WOLFGANG PUCK AT HOTEL BEL-AIR
Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air features modern California cuisine with European and Mediterranean influences. The spectacular garden setting embraces the fabulous California lifestyle of indoor and outdoor living. On Thanksgiving Day, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air is serving a four-course, prix fixe menu with dessert feast from noon to 8 p.m. Price is $140 per person, $65 for children 12 and under. For reservations, call 310.909.1644.

THE CULVER HOTEL
According to legend, Charlie Chaplin lost ownership of The Culver Hotel to John Wayne in a game of poker. But here’s a sure bet: you’re going home with a full stomach after feasting at the hotel on Thanksgiving Day. A buffet of traditional holiday favorites will be served in the elegant Crystal Dining Room, featuring endless tables of slow-roasted turkey, peppercorn-crusted prime rib, maple-glazed ham and Swordfish Livornese. The array of classic sides includes caramelized onion and apple stuffing; rustic mashed potatoes; braised greens; radicchio and arugula salad with dates and hazelnuts; and whole cranberry relish. After indulging in the traditional dessert station, keep the festivities going with live music in the Grand Lobby starting at 7:30 p.m. and sip Prohibition-era cocktails into the midnight hour. Too full to drive home?  Ask the front desk about the special “After Midnight” room rates (subject to availability). The Thanksgiving Buffet at The Culver Hotel is $39 per person. Reservations are required, call 310.558.9400. 

CAST - VICEROY SANTA MONICA
On Thanksgiving Day, Cast at the Viceroy Santa Monica offers a buffet-style brunch with traditional favorites, including a turkey carving station, fresh salads, butternut squash soup, a lavish array of tempting seasonal desserts, and much more. The Thanksgiving Brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Price is $65 for adults, and $25 for children age 10 and under. Grown-ups can also enjoy a seasonal cocktail, Red Autumn or Harvest Mule, for $14. Make reservations directly by calling 310.260.7511.

CAFE SIERRA - HILTON LOS ANGELES / UNIVERSAL CITY
Located at the entrance of Universal Studios Hollywood, the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City offers spectacular views, great dining, received the AAA Four Diamond Award and is Green Seal Silver level certified. The hotel is walking distance to over 70 shops, dining and entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk. On Thanksgiving Day, the hotel's award-winning Cafe Sierra is offering a traditional champagne brunch and dinner buffet. Holiday champagne brunch from 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. ($48 adult, $24 children ages 3-10); seafood and prime rib holiday dinner buffet from 5-10 p.m. ($56 adult, $26 children 3-10). Reservations are recommended, but not required: 818.509.2030.

THE LANGHAM HUNTINGTON PASADENA, LOS ANGELES
A Pasadena landmark since 1907, The Langham Huntington Huntington Pasadena, Los Angeles is located on 23 acres with grand historic ballrooms and gardens, award-winning dining and a luxurious spa offering treatments based on traditional Chinese medicine. The Langham is featuring Thanksgiving Day dining options throughout the day. For dining reservations, call 626.585.6218.

  • The Terrace - Enjoy a dim sum breakfast-brunch with sparkling wine from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Priced at $58 per person, $29 per child under age 12. A three-course Thanksgiving dinner is served from 4-9 p.m., including live entertainment. $65 without wine, $95 with wine and $32 per child under 12.
  • The Huntington Ballroom - A champagne brunch with live entertainment will be served from noon to 4 p.m. $98 per person, $38 per child under 12.
  • The Royce | Wood-Fired Steakhouse - A three-course Thanksgiving dinner is served from 4-9 p.m. $85 per person without wine, $125 per person with wine pairings. $45 per child under 12.

mar'sel | Photo courtesy of Terranea Resort, Facebook

TERRANEA RESORT
Situated on 102 spectacular oceanfront acres in Rancho Palos Verdes, Terranea Resort features 582 rooms, including a luxurious collection of residential bungalows, casitas and villas. Terranea is offering Thanksgiving Day dining options throughout the property. To make reservations, call 310.265.2836.

  • bashi - Enjoy a special Asian-inspired Thanksgiving menu on Thanksgiving Day. The non-traditional menu is offered in addition to bashi’s regular menu and costs $50 for adults and $25 for children 5-10. Children under 5 are free. bashi’s Thanksgiving menu is available from 11 a.m. to close.
  • Catalina Kitchen - On Thanksgiving Day, Catalina Kitchen is offering a delicious family-style feast. Menu items include an autumn bread basket, butternut squash bisque, butter herb roasted free range turkey, cranberry compote, apple, chestnut, and sage brioche stuffing, creamy country mashed potatoes, a dessert buffet, and more. Noon - 9 p.m. Adults $75, children 5-10 $35, children under 5 are free.
  • mar’sel - Terranea Resort's acclaimed restaurant mar'sel is offering guests an elegant family-style Thanksgiving meal. The special menu from Chef Charles Olalia features gourmet versions of traditional favorites such as slow roasted Diestel Ranch turkey, pumpkin soup with truffle oil, green bean casserole, savory cornbread stuffing with housemade sausage, and of course, pumpkin pie. 4-9 p.m., $80.

Theme Parks

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem | Image courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood

For a fun, family-friendly Thanksgiving, a visit to one of L.A.'s theme parks may be just the ticket. Book the VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood, and get VIP seats to shows and front-of-line privileges to all attractions, including the new Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem - a 3D Ultra-HD movie motion-simulator ride - and Super Silly Fun Land, an interactive playland adventure. If you're looking for thrills, there are 19 roller coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain - more than any amusement park in the world - making it the undisputed “Roller Coaster Capital of the World.” The park’s Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom was the world's tallest vertical drop ride when it opened. For a classic, oceanfront experience, visit Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier for rides and games the whole family will enjoy.

Griffith Park

Trails of Griffith Park | Photo courtesy of Butch Cordero

At more than 4,000 acres, Griffith Park is a day in itself, with plenty of hiking trails to work off all the Thanksgiving Day overindulging. The Griffith Observatory offers stunning architecture and breathtaking views of the L.A. basin. Although the Observatory is closed on Thanksgiving Day, it's open on Friday, Nov. 28 from noon to 10 p.m. Train enthusiasts can check out the Travel Town Museum, open daily except Christmas Day and featuring fully-preserved trains that give visitors a chance to brush up on U.S. rail history. The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is also open every day except Christmas and is home to 1,200 rare and endangered mammals, reptiles and birds. Popular zoo exhibits include the Rainforest of the Americas, the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles) and the Campo Gorilla Reserve. Located near the Western Canyon entrance of Griffith Park, Ferndell is a favorite Park destination, especially on a hot summer afternoon. The winding trail, tropical garden, babbling brook and picnic area offer a quiet retreat from the bustling city.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Thanksgiving Day Run | Photo courtesy of Community Center of La Canada Flintridge

TURKEY TROT LOS ANGELES
The second annual Turkey Trot Los Angeles is taking place in Downtown L.A. on Thanksgiving morning. Turkey Trot L.A. features 5K and 10K routes on the historic streets of Downtown, a post-event festival at Grand Park, costume contest and much more. Early bird entry fees start at $35 for the 5K Run/Walk (ages 17 and up), $40 for the 10K Run/Walk, $50 for the 5K/10K Combo, and $10 for the Widdle Wobble, a half-mile kids and family run/walk.

TOFURKY TROT 2014 - ROSE BOWL STADIUM
The Tofurky Company invites the entire family to join in Tofurky Trot 2014, taking place on Thanksgiving Day at the landmark Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. The 5K (3.1 miles) race is a run, trot, or walk that’s open to all levels of physical fitness. Prizes and coupons will be awarded to the top male, female and children finishers, as well as for best costumes and random prize drawings. The Tofurky Trot starts at 9 a.m. Cost is $25 for online pre-registration, or $30 for on-site registration. Participants are asked to bring non-perishable, vegan food and other donations for the homeless and their animal companions. Proceeds benefit the National Museum of Animals & Society (NMAS).

THANKSGIVING DAY FEAST - LAUGH FACTORY
On Thanksgiving Day, the world-famous Laugh Factory is hosting its annual Thanksgiving Day Feast, welcoming the underprivileged, the homeless and anyone who is alone for the holiday to a day of free food, fun and comedy. Top comedians will greet and help serve guests, as well as perform live shows following each of four meals served at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Past celebrity guests have included Dane Cook, Tim Allen, Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Jamie Kennedy, Dave Chappelle, Bob Saget, and the late Richard Pryor, among many others.

2014 THANKSGIVING DAY RUN & FOOD DRIVE - LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE
The Thanksgiving Day Run & Food Drive takes place at Memorial Park in La Cañada Flintridge. The event is a major fundraiser for the Community Center and proceeds are used to support its year-round programs. The 5K run/walk has been a local tradition and a community favorite for more than two decades. As many as 2,000 participants run along Foothill Boulevard at this popular annual event. The race is professionally timed, and begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. The Kids’ Mile is ideal for children age 12 and under. Parents are encouraged to run alongside registered children at no additional cost. The Kids’ Mile begins at 9:30am. Pre-registration for the 5K is $35 and $40 on-site. Pre-registration for the Kids’ Mile is $15 and $20 on-site. Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be dropped off at Memorial Park on Thanksgiving morning and donated to families in need.

35th ANNUAL HARRY SUTTER MEMORIAL THANKSGIVING DAY FUN RUN
The City of Torrance Community Services Department invites the entire family to participate in the 35th Annual Harry Sutter Memorial Thanksgiving Day Fun Run. This three-mile fun run begins at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. After the fun run, there will be a prize drawing for mountain bikes, dinner vouchers, gym memberships and many more fantastic prizes. All registered participants receive a commemorative Turkey Trot sweatshirt. Registration is $30 from Oct. 25 - Nov. 21, 2014 and guarantees a shirt on race day.