Party on Thanksgiving Day

My nearest family members are in California and Connecticut. But I’ve never understood the point of coughing up the cash to travel during peak season unless for a funeral or wedding. Thanksgiving, not so much. If I want to gorge myself into a food coma, I can do it for $15 at the Cheesecake Factory and skip the family drama. A more practical plan is to gather my fellow single Seattle transplants and hit up the only part of the city that doesn’t shut down today: the International District. A slew of restaurants in the neighborhood remain open until 2 a.m. or later, including my two favorites: Purple Dot Café and Honey Court Seafood Restaurant (both on Maynard). The décor sucks and service can be slow, but people flock to the restaurants regardless for their succulent barbeque duck, sticky-sweet honey walnut prawns, and glorious array of spicy hot pots (all $12 and under). Open until 4 a.m. is Venus Karaoke, an unprepossessing joint on South King Street that, in traditional Asian karaoke style, rents out rooms to patrons for $20 an hour so they can make asses of themselves in private. Venus doesn’t serve alcohol, but believe me, it’s not an issue. (I’m not saying that my karaoke posse has successfully smuggled booze inside before, but I am saying … well, let’s not go there.) Come tomorrow morning, I’ll have leftover Chinese food—a microwavable version of dim sum!—and a splitting hangover. But the pain will be alleviated by the smugness I feel toward those forced to eat turkey sandwiches for the next three weeks. Happy Thanksgiving, folks. Purple Dot Café, 515 Maynard Ave. S., 622-0288. 10 a.m.-2 a.m. ERIKA HOBART

Thu., Nov. 27, 2008

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