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 (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.

The Exchange | Photo courtesy of Freehand Los Angeles


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.

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.


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


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.

Dining room at République
Photo: République


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.


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.

Aguachile verde at Coni'Seafood | Photo by Bill Esparza


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.