Where to Dine Near Los Angeles Music Venues

The best eats before or after a concert
Donabe smoked hiramasa pastrami | Photo courtesy of Otium, Facebook

Throughout the year, Los Angeles welcomes world-famous acts and rising stars for concerts at iconic venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall, STAPLES Center and more. Fortunately there’s a wide range of pre-concert dining options that go beyond the usual concession stand fare. Read on for some of the best restaurants located near L.A.’s top music venues.

WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL: OTIUM



Walt Disney Concert Hall (WDCH) is an architectural and acoustic marvel located on Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. In addition to classical concerts by the acclaimed Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Frank Gehry-designed venue hosts jazz performances, world music artists and special events throughout the year. Dining options include two restaurants from Joachim Splichal: Patina, Splichal’s Michelin-starred flagship restaurant located inside WDCH, and Kendall’s Brasserie at the nearby Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Located adjacent to WDCH on Grand Avenue, The Broad is a stunning new museum that houses the contemporary art collection of Eli and Edythe Broad. Situated beyond a small grove of olive trees in The Broad’s plaza, Otium was recently praised by Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold as “L.A.’s most ambitious restaurant in years.” The striking indoor-outdoor space features a triple-height atrium, open kitchen and a mezzanine garden. Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, the former chef de cuisine at Thomas Keller’s celebrated French Laundry, interprets a wide range of global cuisines in dishes such as falafel, gravlax, hamachi, mole and handmade pastas. Dinner highlights include sea urchin with brioche, lardo, pistachio and truffle butter; dry aged beef tartare with lavash, bulgur, yogurt and mint; foie gras funnel cake; grilled blue prawns; and the playful donabe-smoked s’mores with kumquat and olive sable.

Duck confit enchiladas at Broken Spanish | Instagram by @brokenspanishla

STAPLES CENTER: BROKEN SPANISH



Located at the spectacular L.A. LIVE entertainment complex in Downtown L.A., STAPLES Center is the home of the NBA's Lakers and Clippers, the NHL’s Kings, WNBA Sparks, and hosts world-class performances year round. A wide range of dining options are available at L.A. LIVE, as well as Wolfgang Puck’s modern Asian restaurant WP24, located on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles.

Chef Ray Garcia’s take on contemporary Mexican cuisine, Broken Spanish is located a short walk from STAPLES Center in a sleek, colorful space that is at once modern and homey. Start with the exceptional heirloom corn tortillas, which can be ordered with refried lentils or whipped carnitas fat. Appetizers include camote (sweet potato, pig tail, trompa, chile de arbol, verjus), chochoyotes (masa dumpling, potato, green garlic, pasilla) and duck confit enchiladas with green olive, pistachio and beet salsa roja. Mains feature achiote roasted organic chicken, whole red snapper, lamb shoulder carnitas, and carne asada (ribeye, Maui onion, fingerling potato, salsa molcajete). Save room for desserts like the arroz con leche with saffron rice pudding, passionfruit, coconut and anise hyssop.

Grilled Duroc Pork Chop at Best Girl | Instagram by @acedtla

THE THEATRE AT ACE HOTEL: BEST GIRL



The Theatre at Ace Hotel opened as the United Artists Theatre, the flagship for United Artists, the film studio founded by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith. Located adjacent to the Ace Hotel in Downtown L.A., the stunning 1,600-seat movie palace features wall murals of the nascent movie industry and a dazzling ceiling dome with hundreds of crystal pendants. Retrofitted with state of the art sound and lighting, The Theatre hosts a wide range of concerts, performances, and movie screenings.

In October 2017, Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence, Connie & Ted's) opened Best Girl at the Ace. Located at street level in the former LA Chapter restaurant space, Best Girl is touted as "a neighborhood bistro serving a menu inspired by the vibrant city of Los Angeles." Chef Adam Walker is helming the kitchen, while pastries and desserts are offered by Cimarusti's wife, Crisi Echiverri. Dinner highlights include grilled Duroc pork chop, tubettoni with spicy pork ragu (pork shank, calabrian chili, locatelli romano), jidori brick chicken, and a Creekstone porterhouse for two.

The Exchange | Photo courtesy of Freehand Los Angeles

THE THEATRE AT ACE HOTEL: EXCHANGE RESTAURANT



Located at the Freehand hotel a few blocks from the Ace, The Exchange pays homage to the 12-story vintage blade sign (the largest in L.A.) that beckons travelers and locals alike. The all-day restaurant is led by the team behind Bar Lab (27 Restaurant at Freehand Miami) and Angeleno chef Alex Chang, best known in L.A. for his Paladar dinner series. Featuring a stunning interior by designers Roman & Williams, The Exchange explores the global flavors of the L.A. melting pot through an Israeli lens. For dinner, the outstanding hummus is a must-try appetizer. The Salatim Platter featuring three of chef's daily selections, pickles, olives and housemade bread is a great shared starter. Mains include grilled lamb kebab with stuffed poblano chili, kale, feta, potato and pistachio; Pargiyot (grilled chicken) with shawarma spice, carrot mole and yogurt; and a Daily Catch - grilled fish with black olive and seaweed chermoula, fennel pollen and citrus.

The Teragram Burger | Photo courtesy of Cafe Teragram, Facebook

TERAGRAM BALLROOM: CAFE TERAGRAM



Originally opened as the Playhouse Theatre around 1913, the Teragram Ballroom in Westlake reopened in May 2015 after a $2-million renovation and has become one of L.A.'s top mid-size venues for big-name rock and indie bands. The 600-capacity venue is co-owned by Michael Swier, who founded legendary New York music clubs the Bowery Ballroom and the Mercury Lounge.

The on-site Cafe Teragram is open Tuesday through Sunday at 9am, serving modern takes on coffee shop classics along with a full bar. The abbreviated show menu features The Teragram Burger - hand-ground organic beef and chorizo burger is topped with melted cheddar, local lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, smeared with sriracha aioli, and served on a freshly baked challah bun. Other options include the grilled cheese, sriracha BLT, street tacos (carne asada or chicken) and grilled potatoes.

TERAGRAM BALLROOM: PLAN CHECK



Now with four locations, Plan Check Kitchen + Bar is a popular destination for its modern American comfort food served in a small plate format, along with unique cocktails, premium whiskeys and craft beers. Plan Check first garnered attention as the home of Ketchup Leather, which is featured in the namesake PCB Burger along with Americanized dashi cheese, schmaltz onions, mixed pickles served on a crunch bun. Located on Wilshire a short five-minute walk from Teragram Ballroom, the Downtown L.A. Plan Check offers a great all-day Happy Hour till 7pm, perfect for pre-concert bites and drinks, including $5 sliders and chorizo Sloppy Joes, crispy El Diablo Tacos ($2), 1/4 slab Korean BBQ ribs ($8), $5 drafts, and $6 Slow & Low Old Fashioned.

Photo courtesy of Joan's On Third

HOLLYWOOD BOWL: Picnics & The Lucques Group



The landmark Hollywood Bowl has been one of L.A.’s top summer concert destinations for generations. The Bowl is the summer home of the LA Phil and has hosted performances by music legends and modern superstars, as well as perennial favorites like the two-day Playboy Jazz Festival, the Sound of Music Sing-Along and the July 4th Fireworks Spectacular. Picnicking at the Hollywood Bowl is one of Southern California’s great summer traditions and a must for any L.A. bucket list. As long as it’s not a “lease event” (non-LA Phil produced event), guests can bring their own food and drink, including alcohol. Local eateries such as Joan's on Third, the Oaks Gourmet Market, Little Next Door, Tender Greens and Petrossian offer pre-made, upscale picnic baskets that you can enjoy at one of the Bowl’s 15 official picnic spots or at your seat.

In August 2015, the LA Phil announced a ten-year culinary partnership with The Lucques Group, which provides exclusive food and restaurant services throughout the Bowl. Concertgoers can expect the same level of high-end seasonal menus and exceptional wine pairings served by Chef Suzanne Goin and Wine Director Caroline Styne’s L.A. restaurants (Lucques, a.o.c., Tavern, The Larder), from picnic boxes to Marketplaces and Street Food stands to the The Wine Bar by a.o.c. and the backyard, Goin's al fresco farmers' market-driven restaurant.

Photo courtesy of La Poubelle

FORD THEATRES: LA POUBELLE



Nestled in a picturesque setting in the Hollywood Hills, the recently renovated Ford Theatres has been one of L.A.'s favorite outdoor music venues for generations. From July to October, the Ford hosts an eclectic calendar of multicultural events that represent music and dance styles that span the diverse communities of Los Angeles County.

Located on Franklin Avenue just minutes from the Ford, La Poubelle has been a local favorite for French bistro cuisine since 1969. Get seated in the candlelit dining room or grab a sidewalk table and start the evening with bubbles and oysters or escargots. Classic entrées include Coq au Vin, Moules à la Provençale, and Burgundy wine-braised short ribs. For post-concert bites, the Late Night Menu (served 11pm-12:30am) includes oysters, a Greek Plate (hummus, seasonal crudité, Niçoise olives, cornichons, pita) and a French Sloppy Joe with beef ragout, garlic bread and frites.

Photo courtesy of The 101 Coffee Shop

FORD THEATRES: 101 COFFEE SHOP



Open till 3am daily, The 101 Coffee Shop at the Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills Hotel is perfect for a late bite after a concert at Ford Theatres. Previously known as the Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop, the Googie-style restaurant appeared in the indie hit Swingers and more recently in HBO's Entourage. Chef Brandon Boudet and business partner Warner Ebbink took over the diner in 2001, updating the menu and restoring the retro '60s vibe with dark wood-grained Formica, "cottage cheese" ceiling, tan booths, decorative rocks, and hanging globe lanterns. Popular menu items include buttermilk pancakes, burgers, and meatloaf. This is Hollywood, so you’ll also find blackened tofu and fried carrot salad with burrata, baby kale, and avocado vinaigrette.

The Wiltern: Cassell's



Originally built in 1931, The Wiltern is located near Koreatown at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue, directly across from the Wilshire/Western station of the Metro Rail Purple Line. The Wiltern and the adjacent 12-story Pellissier Building are considered among the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the country, and have been named to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

Before checking out an alternative or indie act at The Wiltern, there’s a United Nations of dining options available in nearby Koreatown. Besides the myriad of Korean barbecue spots, there’s also the James Beard Award-winning Guelaguetza, Roy Choi’s POT and Commissary at The Line Hotel, and two restaurants located at the landmark Hotel Normandie, Gary Menes’ ambitious Le Comptoir and Cassell’s Hamburgers. Chef Christian Page, who previously won burger fans’ hearts at Short Order, pays homage to Al Cassell’s beloved hamburger joint - originally opened on Wilshire in 1948 - with premium beef that’s ground daily with the original grinder, pattied with the original press, and cooked on Cassell’s famous original crossfire broiler. The rebooted Cassell’s adds a classic 1950s breakfast menu, coffee bar, house-made sodas and a full bar. Desserts include seasonal pies from Page’s wife, Chef Elia Aboumrad.

République, ODYS + PENELOPE - EL REY THEATRE



First opened as a movie house in 1936, the El Rey Theatre was designed by Clifford A. Balch, known for designing more than twenty Art Deco movie houses around Southern California. After nearly 50 years as a first run movie theater, the Art Deco gem was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1991, converted to a live music venue in 1994, and continues to book an exciting mix of acclaimed musicians and rising stars.

Two stellar pre-concert dining options are located on La Brea just minutes from the El Rey. Located a half-mile from the El Rey, République is a multifaceted restaurant and bakery fronted by chef Walter Manzke and pastry powerhouse Margarita Manzke. Housed in a building that Charlie Chaplin built in 1928, the light-filled République features an overflowing display of Margarita’s wonderful baked goods every morning, along with Walter’s French-inspired fare during breakfast, lunch, dinner and a bustling weekend brunch. The early evening is ideal for enjoying wine, oysters and charcuterie in the front bar.

A few blocks north of République is Odys + Penelope, opened in January 2015 by another culinary power couple, Quinn and Karen Hatfield. With an emphasis on locally sourced and sustainable meats, seafood and seasonal vegetables, the heart of Odys + Penelope are the open grill, wood-fired smoker and Brazilian churrasco (barbecue). Don’t miss the nightly selections “From the Brasero” - shared plates such as applewood smoked short ribs with Quinn’s Western Sweet Sauce, dry aged churrasco Sirloin cap, and bacon-wrapped chicken thighs with lemon date sauce.

MESSHALL - GREEK THEATRE



The historic Greek Theatre is one of L.A.’s premier outdoor music venues, named North America’s Best Small Outdoor Venue for the 11th consecutive year by Pollstar Magazine in 2015. Opened in 1929, the 5,900-seat venue offers an intimate concert setting, with state-of-the-art acoustics and excellent sight lines, surrounded by trees in a picturesque setting within Griffith Park.

Located in Los Feliz just minutes from the Greek, MessHall Kitchen showcases Executive Chef Shane Pritchett’s modern take on regional American comfort food in a sleek setting that was once the site of one of the legendary Brown Derby restaurants. Pritchett, who previously helmed the kitchen at Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Restaurant in New Orleans, offers hearty “chow” for brunch, lunch and dinner such as fried chicken and waffle, NOLA-style shrimp and grits, smoked beef brisket and baby back ribs. The bar program focuses on classics, including small batch new American spirits and craft beers.

FUNDAMENTAL LA - ROYCE HALL



Built in 1929 as one of UCLA’s first campus structures, the landmark Royce Hall is renowned for its classical setting and a wide-ranging, eclectic seasonal lineup of artists that ranges from legendary jazz and blues performers to young hip hop stars.

Located on Westwood Boulevard a couple of miles south of Westwood Village, Fundamental LA is a local favorite known for seasonal California fare that includes counter service-style sandwiches and salads at lunch. Fundamental is helmed by Nick Erven, who was previously at Saint Martha in Koreatown and took the reins in January 2016. For dinner, Erven offers a refined yet approachable menu that includes shrimp 'a la plancha' with lardons, popcorn grits, chili butter, soft egg; sauteed mushroom toast with bone marrow butter, sunny side egg, herbs; brisket with pho gravy and fried rice; and salmon with beet gnocchi, mushroom and bone marrow vinaigrette. Sommelier/GM Alicia Kemper curates a wine list with natural and organic producers that includes bottles, wines by the glass, tasting flights, and notes on the winemakers.

Aguachile verde at Coni'Seafood | Photo by Bill Esparza

CONI’SEAFOOD - THE FORUM



For many years, The Forum in Inglewood was regarded as one of L.A.'s greatest sports and events venues, the home of the "Showtime" Lakers, the Great Gretzky, the "Miracle on Manchester" and countless music concerts. In January 2014, The Forum celebrated its Grand Reopening with a six-night stand by the Eagles, and since then the renovated venue continues to book a wide range of top music acts and special events.

A casual pre-concert option is the Inglewood location of Orleans & York Deli, where you can fuel up on New Orleans-style po’boys and muffalettas or New York-style heros. Seafood fans can’t miss Coni’Seafood, where owner Connie Cossio gives Chef Sergio Penuelas an oceanic-themed showcase for his Pacific Coast-style mariscos. The tacos de marlin are a must - a trio of tacos with smoked marlin, onion, tomato and fiery habanero salsa, that’s finished on the grill. Another essential dish is the Nayarit-style aguachile verde - large, sweet head-on shrimp are bathed in lime juice and jalapeno salsa. The famous pescado zarandeado features a whole snook that’s butterflied, seasoned with salt and “house sauce” and grilled, then presented on a metal tray with caramelized onions and warm tortillas so you can enjoy the ultimate DIY fish tacos.