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Countdown to Thanksgiving

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Cooler, crisper weather seems to be accompanying Thanksgiving week in the Southland this year, so locals who stick around town (a subject of debate on LAist comments today) can enjoy this season’s bonus of "winter" weather along with our regular local gastronomic bounty. For those who haven’t yet settled on their menu, a day or so remains to peruse the plethora of Thanksgiving culinary suggestions, recipes, and other relevant information that’s out there. Keeping up with the annual assault of holiday press can be taxing, so LAist suggests a few key stops along the information superhighway while settling on the details of your forthcoming feast.

The LA Times Food section presents a wide array of Thanksgiving-related topics, from Thanksgiving-appropriate wine (Beaujolais crus recommended) to recipes from select rock star chefs, AKA "Turkey Day Dream Team." The LA Weekly’s Party Planning supplement includes Jonathan Gold’s method of avoiding the pitfalls of Thanksgiving while simultaneously honoring and breaking with tradition. On a national scale, the mind-boggling availability of Thanksgiving online resources are compiled and summarized over at the awesome New York-based Food Section blog.

Now regarding the meal itself, it’s probably too late to obtain any sort of exotic variety or special bird, but you never know. Perhaps a guardian angel will shine down in the form of an unclaimed free-range turkey at Bristol Farms. Best to hit the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market (Arizona and 2nd Street) on Wednesday as early as possible before the other foragers arrive if it's top-notch fresh produce your after.

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And maybe you just can’t be bothered to choose from all these astoundingly delicious recipes and suggestions, prepare the labor-intensive meal, and deal with the clean up. Plus being shut in the house with family and friends for hours and hours is overrated for many folks anyway. So why not opt to pay someone else do the grunt work for you, and limit the meal's length? LAist’s favorite local restaurants which rank high on the treat scale and serve divine Thanksgiving meals include Campanile and Jar. Check out a few other suggestions on CitySearch’s Thanksgiving guide.

Most of these dine-out options are quite spendy, so remember – roasted turkey is a menu mainstay at Canter’s (closed only on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur).

If distaste for all Thanksgiving to-dos entirely eliminates your hankering for this celebrated meal, then please, if you're not gonna observe the holiday, then spend your valuable time doing some good.