Holiday Party and Catering Guide

Tabula Rasa’s farro salad with delicata squash, kale, shallot, pickled raisins and pepitas. Photo: tabularasabar.com

Holiday season is gearing up, bringing with it holiday parties, office shindigs and Thanksgiving banquets. And with all of that come the three “F”s: family, friendship and, perhaps most importantly, food. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend your days trapped in a kitchen and hunched over a hot stove.

The following is just a small sampling of the local restaurants, grocers and catering companies who are willing to do all the cooking—and in some cases the hosting—for you, leaving you free to kick back, sip some ‘nog and focus on those other two “F”s.

ALCOVE

Los Feliz al fresco dining favorite Alcove offers both offsite catering and onsite catering, for any type of holiday gathering, from office and dinner parties to family brunches. Onsite private parties can be booked in Alcove’s rear bungalow or on one of their lovely garden patios. All-inclusive breakfast feasts are priced per person and range from $18-$28 with a six-person minimum, while la carte platter options include salads, wraps, panino and sliders from $36-$180 per tray.

Additionally, all of Alcove’s baked goods are available for special order or takeaway, including cakes, pies, cookies and more. Cookies are priced between $3.50 and $4.95 each, while whole cakes, pies and tarts range from $60-$85.

Email events@alcovecafe.com to book a private party, or call (323) 644-0100 for catering orders.

CHLOE’S AT GOLDEN ROAD

Tucked behind Glendale’s Golden Road Brewery—a family-friendly San Fernando Road brewery and pub—is private even space Chloe’s, ideal for office parties or the annual holiday soiree that finally outgrew your house. Bedecked in charming plaid and twinkle lights, the venue’s nooks and crannies make it ideal for groups both small and large, while vegan and gluten free meal options mean no one will go hungry.

The menu features Golden Road pub food favorites, like fried avocado tacos, classic pub pretzels and mozzarella sticks, along with dinner options you’ll only find at Chloe’s like salmon, balsamic roasted vegetables, caprese salad or Korean-style ribs. Choose from sandwich platters, plated dinners or a buffet. Visit goldenroad.la/chloes to inquire about pricing and availability.

GELSON’S

Spare yourself the last-minute dash to the store for those forgotten ingredients and let the store do the cooking for you. Gourmet grocer Gelson’s offers a variety of catering packages serving between 2 and 12 people, featuring turkey, reduced sodium turkey, ham, rib roast or Cornish hens.

Packages include standard holiday sides, such as mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, cranberry sauce and gingered yam soufflé, or you can pick and choose by ordering a la carte. New sides this year include wild rice pilaf, four cheese mixed vegetables, broccoli au gratin and pumpkin brioche bread pudding.

Packages range from $47.99 for two people to $179.99 for twelve. A la carte items are priced by pound.

The last day to place orders for Thanksgiving is Tuesday, November 21st, though some a la carte side items will be available for purchase in-store without preordering. Pickup is Wednesday, November 22nd, though earlier pickup dates can be arranged by phone. Call your local Gelson’s store to order. Silverlake (323) 660-0378, Franklin Village (323) 464-7316

Gelson’s will also offer special catering menus for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s. Menus and pricing were not yet available at time of publication. Ordering deadlines are December 17th for Hanukkah, December 22nd for Christmas and December 29th for New Years.

HEIRLOOM LA

This popular Cypress Park caterer is a great option for all occasions, but they’ve pulled out all the stops for this year’s holiday menu.

Their locally-sourced traditional Thanksgiving dinner for six comes complete with organic turkey breast, crispy ciabatta stuffing, green bean casserole, smashed gold potatoes and gravy, marshmallow yams and more, all made with fresh ingredients from local, organic farms.

A la carte options include Heirloom’s claim to fame: lasagna cupcakes. Lasagna options include classic heirloom tomato and basil, turkey Bolognese or seasonally appropriate pumpkin, brown butter and sage, among others.

The full dinner serves six and costs $325. A la carte items serve between four and six people and range from $12 to $30 for sides and $96 to $187 for main dishes. Lasagna cupcakes are $9 each, with a 12 cupcake minimum.

Thanksgiving pre-orders must be placed by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 17th. Pickups will be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 22nd. No order minimum for pickups. Large food orders in excess of $1000 can be delivered on Thanksgiving Day for an additional fee. Email info@heirloomla.com or call (855) 456-6652

Gelson’s offers catering for Hannukah, along with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Photo: gelsons.com

JOAN’S ON THIRD

Skip the hot oven this Thanksgiving and turn to Fairfax-area staple Joan’s on Third for sophisticated versions of holiday classics, like maple brown sugar yams, mashed potatoes and gravy, a salad of butter lettuce, cranberries and French feta, mushroom bread pudding and of course, oven roasted turkey—available as a whole bird or just the breast.

Appetizer options include zucchini fritters with chili aioli, corn fritters with scallion cream and autumnal standby, butternut squash and pear soup.

For dessert, go traditional with pumpkin or apple pie, or make a statement with Joan’s cranberry pistachio shortbread cookies.

All items are a la carte. Turkey is $98 for a whole bird or $65 for breast only. Sides range from $9-$42.50.

Thanksgiving orders must be placed by noon on Friday, November 17th. Pickup is Wednesday, November 22nd. $100 catering minimum. Order online at joansonthird.com

MIMI’S CAFE

Along with catering standbys like sandwich platters and salads, each year Mimi’s Café, located in Los Feliz near Atwater Village, offers holiday take-home suppers. Mimi’s is unique in their flexible pickup options, allowing preorders to be picked up as late as Thanksgiving morning.

Choose between a Thanksgiving turkey supper—complete with candied pecan sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cornbread stuffing and other classic sides—and a holiday ham supper, featuring smoked ham with an orange-Dijon glaze, scalloped potatoes au gratin and more. For those who’d rather cook their own bird but hate chopping veggies and peeling potatoes, Mimi’s also offers a “just the sides” option.

Suppers serve six to eight people and cost $99.99 for a full feast, or $42.99 for sides only. Pickups are between November 20th and 10 a.m. on November 23rd. Plan to allow 2 hours for reheating. Visit snapfinger.com/menus/mimiscafe to place your order.

MOMED

Atwater Village eatery Momed caters their delicious, healthy and fresh Mediterranean fare for anything from a simple office lunch to a decadent dinner party, with an emphasis on ease. With an approach of “limited rules and unlimited experience,” Momed’s catering is incredibly flexible, adapting to your needs rather than forcing you to adapt to theirs.

The menu features favorite items from their restaurant, such as kababs, Greek meatballs, duck shawarma crostini, falafel and fattoush, available either a la carte or as combinations.

And don’t forget dessert! Go with a tray of classic baklava, or stray from tradition with a baklava bread pudding or pistachio cheesecake.

Combinations serve eight to ten and range from $124.50 to $128.50, while a la carte items are between $24.50 and $59.50 for eight to ten servings. Desserts range from $25.50 to $62.50.

Contact catering@atmomed.com or call (323) 522-3488 to order.

SPOTTED HEN CATERING

The closing of Eagle Rock’s comfort food favorite Auntie Em’s Kitchen earlier this year brought a tear to many an eye. But while the restaurant may be shuttered, Terri Wahl’s delicious, homey, farm-to-table food lives on via Spotted Hen Catering.

In addition to their standard catering services, appropriate for any holiday event, this year Spotted Hen is offering full Thanksgiving dinners, featuring an entrée choice of roasted turkey breast or a savory vegetarian nut pie, served with stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and more. A la carte side options include garlic grilled brussels sprouts, creamed spinach and pumpkin chipotle soup.

For dessert choose between pumpkin, pecan, pecan chocolate chunk or apple pie, or buck tradition and order cupcakes instead.

Thanksgiving dinners are $38.95 per person, with a la carte sides priced between $9.95 and $14.95 for four servings. Pies are $29.95 and cupcakes range from $1.50 to $3.50, depending on their size.

Thanksgiving orders must be received by Friday, November 17th. Pickup is Wednesday, November 22nd between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. in Pasadena. Order online at spottedhencatering.com/thanksgiving-orders or call (323) 255-0800

TABULA RASA

This charming East Hollywood wine and small plates bar can accommodate holiday parties as large as 100 people with an all-inclusive bar buyout, or as small as four in an intimate reserved booth. Or, for something in between, their rear patio can be reserved for groups of up to 40.

Buyouts can include a buffet-style lunch with expert pairings from their extensive wine list or interactive wine and beer tastings. Tabula Rasa’s menu of elevated bar food features standby favorites like a Cuban sandwich or cheeseburger along with sophisticated sides, like a delicata squash and kale farro salad.

Contact tabularasabar@gmail.com for reservations and pricing.

TAM O’SHANTER

Host a holiday party for the ages at Tam O’Shanter, which has been dishing up traditional Scottish grub in their charming Los Feliz location since 1922. Each of their dining rooms is available for private events and can accommodate up to 200 people, with glowing fireplaces, old-world charm and, of course plenty of tartan to set the scene. And because as the song goes, “nobody walks in L.A.” valet parking can be arranged for an additional fee.

Entrée choices include roast prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, chicken, fish or a seasonal vegetarian option. Or go all in and order the lobster tails—it’s a celebration after all. End your feast with a traditional English trifle or ice cream and fresh berries.

Prix fixe dinners range from $44 to $68 per person with optional add-ons, such as champagne and sparkling cider for $7 per person or the aforementioned lobster tail for $20 per person. Prices are subject to change. Visit lawrysonline.com/tam-oshanter/private-events/business-social to inquire about hosting a private event.

Additionally, Tam O’Shanter will be open on Thanksgiving Day, serving a classic Thanksgiving feast of slow roasted turkey and sides along with less conventional options for the holiday, such as pan roasted Scottish salmon with parsnip puree or Tam standbys like prime rib or toad in the hole. Reservations required (323) 664-0228

VEGGIE GRILL

Love the tradition, but not all the animal products? Turn to Veggie Grill, where you can pre-order a vegan Thanksgiving feast, featuring a meatless holiday roast stuffed with cranberries and wild rice. Sides include egg- and dairy-free versions of Thanksgiving classics like cornbread stuffing, mashed yams, green bean casserole, cauliflower mashed potatoes and porcini mushroom gravy.

Each feast costs $69.95 and feeds four to five adults; multiples may be ordered. No a la carte options are available.

Thanksgiving pre-orders are due by Sunday, November 19th and pickups are on Wednesday, November 22nd. Orders can be placed online at veggiegrill.com/thanksgiving

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