While most places are closed on Thanksgiving, there are some that aren't. Disneyland, movie theaters and the following spots are establishments we came up with when rustling up some recommendations. It's a list 'o fun, alphabetized and peppered with noteworthy details. Location info links below guide you to all but Moulin. Remember to call ahead for availability, and don't say we didn't warn you.
1. Bayside – Newport Beach
1-8:30 p.m.; live entertainment 4:30-8:30 p.m.
$46 adults; 12 and under $19.75
Complimentary valet and self parking available.
Traditional three-course menu with limited a la carte options available.
Things we're spying: Compressed smoked salmon salad, savory bread pudding with forest mushrooms and caramelized onion, and the warm chocolate souffle cake with hazelnut ice cream
2. Clancy's American Grill – Anaheim
4 p.m. – close (see notes below)
A la carte menu served.
Clancy's "Gobble, Gobble Feast" menu kicks off next Monday. However, on the actual holiday, the kitchen may close around 9 p.m., "If everybody's home watching football, we're going home to watch football." said a friendly voice when we phoned. In addition to a traditional turkey platter ($17.50), we like their gobble gobble burger ($12.50) stuffed with cranberry chutney, stuffing, Swiss, gravy and sprouts. Don't forget a beer selection that pairs well with their helpful link to all sports airing that day.
3. Leatherby's Cafe Rouge – Costa Mesa
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$48 adults; ten and under $19
Three-course prix-fixe (two courses for children)
Our Patina Group outpost helmed by Chef Ross is typically only open on days when there's a performance, so having them around on a major holiday is a rare treat. Expect daytime dishes dressed to the nines in presentation. Lobster coconut bisque with Thai curry, plus halibut served alongside charred octopus and chorizo potato hash aim to please.
4. Lucca Cafe – Irvine
Take-out for 10: $325; individual meals are $32.50; a la carte items vary
Last day to order: Saturday (website said Friday, but we double-checked)
"Let us roast while you host!" says the kitchen cooking with love. For an all-encompassing meal, they prepare a 12-14 pound free-range bird by stuffing it with apple-pork sausage, fennel and sage. Mashed parsnips and taters with Parmesan, pumpkin spice cheesecake and green beans adorned with oregano and hazelnuts are only half of what's included with the gobbler. Damn.
5. Moulin – Newport Beach
Last day to order: Friday at 7 p.m.; a la carte items vary
A slice of France in Orange County means oven-roasted birds in three sizes and a magical Tropezienne tart–sweet cream-filled brioche, sprinkled with rock sugar(!!). Vegetarian sides are covered with the likes of sweet potatoes au gratin and assorted chilled French salads. Need a last minute Beaujolais? Done.
Moulin is located at 1000 Bristol St N, 844-FROMAGE (no joke); www.moulinbistro.com
6. Nieuport 17 – Tustin
12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; $55
A trio of classy courses await diners at this corner spot. If you're not in the mood for turkey, request prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin with bourbon cranberry apple sauce. We are leaning towards salt and herb crusted prime rib. And the haricot verts have bacon in them.
7. Prego – Irvine
12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
$36 adults;10 and younger $15.50
Get the whole shebang at this family-style meal. Chow on lentil and sausage soup, Caesar greens and Italian breads in addition to hearty, seasonal sides and turkey breast. An a la carte menu of signature entrees include grilled salmon and ravioli filled with mascarpone and pumpkin.
8. Ritz-Carlton – Dana Point
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
$115 adults; $57.50 kids
Otherwise known as their Laguna Niguel property, you'll find one serious buffet served in their ballroom. Their "Thanks-for-Giving" brunch promotes bringing canned and non-perishable goods, which will be donated to OC Rescue Mission. We don't even know where to start . . .except the smoked fish and caviar station. Our breakfast tendencies will be at the Belgian waffle bar, but save your calories for dulce de leche bread pudding. Or sea scallops seared to order. Or the snow crab claws.
9. Taco Asylum – Costa Mesa
Call for hours and pricing
Carlos Anthony (or Capricorn Carlos, as we like to jest) was this week's featured chef in our On the Line feature. How does he plan to celebrate the holiday? With a Thanksgiving taco, naturally. Brined in beer, our protein shares company with spicy cran chutney, chorizo-cornbread stuffing and sweet potato fries. On Black Friday, Sous Chef Sean Masucci plans to launch a special Jaladay sauce- a medium spicy cranberry condiment infused with jalapeno and orange.
10. TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Brea
12 – 7 p.m.
$43.99 adults; ages 3-10 are $14.99
Notoriously known for their Sunday brunch, we welcome the fancy selection they're offering. Shucked oysters, roasted lemon Brussels sprouts, and balsamic glazed beets to start. Carved meats include your herb-brined turkey, prime rib or honey ham. Sous-vide pork belly wrapped stuffing, triple mac and cheese and a spread of desserts are a fraction of what's available.