Anybody who enjoys live music in Los Angeles knows and appreciates that the outside food and drink policy at The Hollywood Bowl is the most liberal – and accessible – in the entire city. Basically, as long as you’re not making a ruckus, it is all allowed to be brought in and enjoyed at your seat. Thus, tons of restaurants offer take-away picnic options specifically designed for Bowl concerts, summer after summer. Concertgoers take advantage by bringing in bottles of booze in coolers and picnic baskets to be enjoyed and discarded on the sacred Hollywood Bowl grounds.
But if you go to The Bowl a lot – and I do, as a proud Hollywood resident – let’s just admit that sometimes we all get a bit lazy. The refusal to pay for $17 stacked parking leads to a small trek to this famous venue set against the Hollywood Hills – and sometimes I just get a little tired of all the lugging.
Hollywood Bowl season is upon us! And what better opportunity to combine your love of food with your love of music than to do up the pre-performance picnic the right way? Grab a recommended wine from JillÂ at Domaine LA to pair with your food and you’re set. Just make sure your show is an official Bowl event and not leased out. If it’s leased out (most likely to includeÂ the high profile rock bands not part of the KCRW World Music Series), then you’re confined to the Patina catering sold (or served in your fancyÂ box seats) at the venue. If not, you’re good to go!
Below, you’ll find options all over town. SoÂ wherever you hail from, you’re set toÂ make your little haven in Hollywood home for a few hours whether they be Pool, Garden, Terrace, Super or bench seats. And by the way,Â yes, you can always order from Nancy Silverton’s Mozza2Go – I would just recommend ordering and picking up extra early in the day on Bowl nights given its vicinity and the likelihood everyone may be thinking the same thing as you. Here we go… (Check the map at the bottom for a visual of all mentioned locations.)
Napa Valley Grille – Westwood
When at UCLA, I always knew the Napa Valley Grille as the out-of-range option for us students – the place you got your parents to take you to when they visited from out-of-town. But they’ve recently come out with a boxed lunch program that seems pretty accessible to me, ranging from $10.75 to $13.75 with 3Â seasonal options from Executive chef Joseph Gillard and packaged in recyclable materials. You can wax Napa in Hollywood (or elsewhere) as they areÂ themed after different Napa Valley regions:
Russian River Menu: Shrimp Salad Sandwich, with Poached White Shrimp, Fine Herbs, Buttermilk Dressing, and Shaved Cabbage on a Soft Herb Roll; Sweet Pea Salad with Butter Lettuce and Green Goddess Dressing; housemade Napa Potato Chips; and Summer Fruit Trifle ($13.75)
Stagâ€™s Leap Menu: Slow-Roasted Rare Prime Beef Sandwich with Bacon, Red Onion Jam, Creamy Horseradish, and Smoked Cheddar Cheese on Pretzel Bread; Roasted Red Fingerling Potato Salad; housemade Napa Potato Chips; and a Black and White Cookie ($12.75)
St. Helena Menu: Roasted Vegetable Foccaccia with Grilled Zucchini, Eggplant, Portabella Mushroom, White Bean Hummus, Tomato Fondue, and Basil Goat Cheese on Herb Ciabatta Bread; Orzo Pasta Salad with Pepperdew Peppers, Spring Onions, and Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette; housemade Napa Potato Chips; and a â€œBlondieâ€ Bar ($10.75)
You’ll undoubtedly want dessert (not included)Â – so choose from delicious selections like Mini Eclairs with Cordillera Dark Chocolate-Brandy Cream, Bourbon Pecan Bars and White Chocolate Coconut Cookies.
Petrossian Boutique & Restaurant – Robertson/West Hollywood
Ordering your take-away items from Petrossian means you demand taste, style and class. More power to you. In fact, I just ate there last night and was delightfully reminded how absolutely talented Chef Ben Bailly is. So tote his offerings to The Bowl – your tastebuds will be titillated while your ears are enchanted. Below are someÂ picnickingÂ suggestions straight off their menu:
Caviar Surprise, served in a caviar tin and comprised of layers of Caviar, King Crab, CrÃ¨me FraÃ®che and Apple Cider Jelly ($32)
Caviar Dip and Sweet Potato Chips ($14)
Blinis with Caviar, Trout, and Salmon Roe; the Green Bean Salad with Burrata, Marcona almonds and Transmontanus Caviar ($18)
Smoked Salmon Tartine with Goat Cheese, Capers, and Caviar ($16)
Eggxiting Caviarâ€”two 12 gram â€œeggsâ€ of Transmontanus caviar and spoons in an isothermic case ($49)
The Petrossian staff will kindly package the items to go in one of their stylish cooler bags or pack your picnic basket for you. Provide your credit card number ahead of time and theyâ€™ll deliver your items to you in your car.