One sure sign of summer in L.A. is the start of the season at Hollywood Bowl. Strains of jazz, classical, motown, rock, and the like just sound better filtered through the open air, with the scenic Hollywood Hills framing the performers on the distinctive arched stage. While there’s food and drink available at the Bowl, don’t miss the chance to bookend the show with a visit to one of these top Los Angeles restaurants and bars.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink Around Hollywood Bowl
1. Musso & Frank Grill
Older than the Bowl itself, this beloved circa 1919 institution embodies old-school Hollywood charm. The menu of lamb chops, lobster Thermidor, and fettuccine Alfredo; the pitch-perfect martini shaken by red-jacketed barmen; and the long line of A-list celebrities who have stopped by create an only-in-L.A. experience that lives up to the standards set by a show at the Bowl.
This combo butcher shop-restaurant from brothers Curtis and Luke Stone can be a fancy, multi-course affair, but it doesn't have to be. For a more casual experience, bypass the dining room for the no-reservations-required bar and patio. You’ll order off a short menu that includes bites like charcuterie and ravioli, as well as a bone-in rib-eye. Cocktails are strictly seasonal, and it’s open until midnight.
Tucked in a strip mall near the 101, this quaint, locals-favorite French bistro charms with a $38 prix-fix menu that’s updated daily and a wine list that’s heavy on natural wines from France. The casual environs – pressed tin ceiling, a shelf of wine, wooden tables and chairs – belies the artistry coming out of chef Jordan Rosas’ open kitchen. With weekend opening time of 5:30 p.m., you can slip in for a full meal and not miss a note of a Bowl performance.
Los Angeles has few 24-hour restaurants. Thankfully there’s this red-hued diner at the Roosevelt Hotel that’s always open and serving a classic menu of burgers, shakes, sandwiches, and salads. There’s coffee, but the more alluring drinks before or after a show at the Bowl are from the wine, beer, and cocktail list.
5. Hungry Cat
David Lentz has been perfecting all manner of seafood with a nod to local ingredients since 2005. Cocktails pull heavily from the garden, and fish dishes abound, with everything from in-house smoked fish to a lobster roll to a giant platter of seafood drawing crowds both inside the modern space and out on the patio. Landlubbers even get their own dish, the towering Pug burger, topped with blue cheese, bacon, avocado, and an optional fried egg.
6. Yamashiro Hollywood
It’s all about the view at this century-old L.A. icon — built to resemble a palace in Japan’s Yamashiro Province — that sits 250 feet above Hollywood Boulevard. The tip-top vistas are from the Pagoda Bar, which overlooks the pool, but you can also take in the skyline from the dining room, while enjoying fancy rolls, sushi, or a seared Wagyu steak served on a Himalayan salt plate.
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7. Lotería Grill
Mexico City native Jimmy Shaw has grown Loteria from a stall in the Original Farmers Market to an L.A. mini-chain. The loft-like Hollywood spot boasts a large interior wrap-around bar and a sliver of a patio that overlooks the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Freshly made tortillas and standout dishes such as pozole, cochinita pibil, and braised beef tongue are draws, as is the sizeable tequila collection.
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8. The Woods
Some of the best things in Los Angeles are hidden in strip malls. So it goes with this dark, forest-themed bar that doesn’t shy away from its name with tree trunk sections for tables and chandeliers made from elk horns illuminating the bar. DJs liven things up on the weekends, and it’s open until 2 a.m. nightly.
9. Good Times at Davey Wayne's
A refrigerator door serves as a time-traveling mechanism at this bar masquerading as a 70s house party. No need to use those vintage Instagram filters here, as all surfaces have that golden glow of a bygone era. Drinks such as the Fat Elvis and Village People nod to the era, and there are boozy Sno-cones and barbecue in the backyard. Don’t worry about finding the secret entrance; there’s usually a line on the weekends that’ll lead you right to it.
10. Smoke's Poutinerie
Whether you’re in a rush pre-show or are in serious need of some alcohol-soaking grub, grab-and-go poutine at this branch of a chain with locations in Canada and the U.S. is the way to go. There are more than 30 types of the Canadian delicacy on the menu, each starting with fresh, hand-cut fries, cheese curds, and gravy. From there, meats and the occasional vegetable can be added to experience that doesn’t shy away from filling.