If you’re Jewish, the traditional scents of Christmas aren’t gingerbread, peppermint and pine. They’re whatever’s emanating from the Lazy Susan at the local Chinese restaurant. THR serves up the quintessential Jewish-American tradition three ways.
1. Chef Mark Gold Presents His Riff on Chinese Take-Out Cuisine This Christmas Eve:
The family-style five-course menu ($49 per person) at Eva includes war wonton soup with matzo balls, organic chicken with ginger and green onion, crispy lo mein noodles with roast shishito peppers, prime beef with broccoli and ginger and pear custard. One-night-only $10 cocktails include a variant on a Snowball featuring spiced apple martini and house eggnog. Also offered: A screening of Funny Girl, headlined by that least gentile of stars, Barbara Streisand. 7458 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323.634.0700, evarestaurantla.com
2. Sandra Bernhard On The Best Place To Eat Chinese This Christmas In New York:
"Chinatown Brasserie: Lychee martinis, vegetable spring rolls, hot and sour soup, three-chili chicken, wok-stirred beef, Peking duck that is second to none. It’s a beautiful setting downstairs. The music is sublime and the wait staff is so incredibly nice it’s kind of overwhelming. And they deliver to boot!” 380 Lafayette St., New York City, 212.533.7000, chinatownbrasserie.com
3. Director Eli Roth On His Most Chinese-Filled Jewish Christmas Yet:
“Like most Jews, I follow the tradition of having Chinese food on Christmas and then going to see the new Spielberg film. However, last year I took this tradition to a whole new level when I was in prep on a martial arts film I co-wrote and produced, called The Man With the Iron Fists, which we shot in China."
“We were scheduled to start photography December 26 and were on location in a small town in the south called Heng Dien. Heng Dien is something out of Blade Runner, except with an entire replica of The Forbidden City built for filming. On Christmas Eve, I had dinner at a Chinese restaurant — or as they call it, a restaurant — with the cast, which includes such Kung Fu legends as Gordon Liu and Chen Kuan-tai.”
“Everyone kept asking if it was strange for me to be spending Christmas in China, away from my family. I explained that this was just a more extreme version of every other Christmas: Chinese food and movies.”