Where to Eat in L.A. and OC

 Grilled red snapper at Broken Spanish, DTLA

Grilled red snapper at Broken Spanish, DTLA

The restaurants below were chosen based on their close vicinity to the concert venues.  They are either on-site or less than 15 minutes by car.  In Costa Mesa, home of the Pacific Symphony and the OC Philharmonic Society, Darya is fine Persian dining at its best.  Scott's is a casual seafood and chop house with complimentary valet parking for concert patrons.  Din Tai Fun, the posh new dumpling house inside the South Coast Plaza, does not take reservations, so get in line early in your fine concert attire (or just jeans and polo if you are from L.A.)  Last but by no means last, Leatherby's inside the Segerstrom offers an exquisite dining experience for that unforgettable special occasion or date night.  Reservation is essential.

In downtown Los Angeles (DTLA), there is Patina at the Disney Hall and Otium at the Broad Museum.  For the health-conscious, Au Lac in the plaza behind serves high-end vegetarian Vietnamese. Do try the house favorite salt and pepper 'shrimp' at Au Lac.  A short drive away are Bestia (reserve at least two months in advance) and POT -- both on L.A. Times food critic Jonathan Gold's "101 Best Restaurants" list.  Go to Broken Spanish near Staples Center for nouveau-Mexican cuisine that looks as good as it tastes.  I would not recommend eating shabu or Korean BBQ before a show (because your neighbors would hate you), but if you are a late eater like me, go hit up Phoenix Inn and Little Tokyo afterwards, where you can chow down a beef chow fun or slurp up a steamy bowl of Tonkatsu ramen.  

For the summer concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, your dining options are limited if you leave your car at home and take the Bowl Shuttle like most sane people do.  Short of packing a picnic from Whole Foods or Bristol Farm, you can try to get a table at Backyard at the Bowl (formerly Rooftop Grill), or pre-order a gourmet hot meal from the Bowl's new culinary partners Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne.  Sounds nice, no?  And if you want a photo memento of your fine al fresco dining at the Bowl, please note that selfie sticks are banned.


Near Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa

 Beet salad at Leatherby's Café Rouge, Costa Mesa

Beet salad at Leatherby's Café Rouge, Costa Mesa

  •   Leatherby's Café Rouge
  •   Darya Restaurant
  •   Din Tai Fun
  •   Scott's Seafood Grill

Near the Music Center, Downtown L.A.

 Salt and Pepper Shrimp at Au Lac DTLA

Salt and Pepper Shrimp at Au Lac DTLA

  •   Patina
  •   Broken Spanish
  •   Au Lac DTLA
  •   Otium
  •   Bestia
  •   Little Tokyo - Shabu Shabu House
  •   Chinatown - Pok Pok
  •   Chinatown - Phoenix Inn
  •   Koreatown - POT

At the Hollywood Bowl

  •   Pre-ordered gourmet meals delivered to your box seats
  •   Backyard at the Bowl (formerly Rooftop Grill)
  •   Street Food Kiosks