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I need dinner suggestions for a picnic basket. Going to The Hollywood Bowl...

  • j

I need to prepare a picnic basket, consisting of dinner, hors d'oeuvres and wine. I have the basket and the wine covered and wanted suggestions for dinner items mainly. For hors d'oeuvres, I’m going to go to Whole Foods and get 2-3 varieties of cheese and olives along with crackers. Anyone have any good suggestions of dinner items to take that are best eaten cold and things you can simply pick-up and serve? I’ll most likely be going to Whole Foods, Trader Joes and the likes.

My girlfriend and I are going to go See Belle & Sebastian with The Los Angeles Philharmonic Thursday night at The Hollywood Bowl. I wanted to go well prepared. Nothing better then seeing a good concert in the summer @ the bowl along with some good food, good wine and good company.

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  1. Whole Foods has great salads, quiches, prepared vegetables and meats in the deli section. Since you're going there anyways, take a look at those items in the cold case. I especially like the curry chicken, strawberries and spinach salad, mediterranean chicken salad, kale, grilled vegetables, bbq salmon, herb tofu.

    You can also check out Bristol Farms. They prepare excellent boxed to-go food.

    Restaurants also prepare boxed lunches, and depending on where you're coming from, you might want to consider them. I know Maison Akira does a sweet and affordable bento box.

    have fun!

    1. If you're in the Pasadena area, I've heard good things about the pick up 'n go baskets at Julienne's ( www.juliennetogo.com ) or the bento boxes at Maison Akira ( http://www.maisonakira.com/ )

      1. I have had good luck with Gelson's picnic meals. They have a pretty good selction. You can also just get stuff from the deli, salad bar, or suchi section, if you wish. If your local gelson's has a Puck Express, tyou can get a pizza or one of the Express dishes.

        I know that a few of the vendors in the Farmar's market on Fairfax sometimes do something of the sort.

        Also, frankly, you could do far worse than to just pick up some great stuff from Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or the like and pack your own basket.

        AS they say, A summer night, a bottle of wine, some really great cheese, pate, summer sausage, a baguette, crackers, cookies, grapes, berries, and Thou.

        1. Why not stop by your favorite Lebanese place and get some stuff to go? Dolmas, a salad like fattouch, babaganoush, hummus, lots of things will be great cold. Including lamb or chicken kabobs. If you call ahead, they'd probably package it up so it's not as bulky as a bunch of styrofoam clam shell containers. In fact, I'd bring my own tupperware to the restaurant since I hate all that throw-away packaging.

          Maybe we'll see you at B&S!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mrs Fang

            I would, if I didn't eat Lebanese/Middle Eastern food so frequently. When it's all you eat when visiting your folks, it somehow looses the excitement factor. Otherwise, a great suggestion. Maybe we’ll see you there; I'm sure you'll be easy to spot! :-)

          2. I usually do Bristol Farms for the Bowl, but the selection at the South Pasadena one seems to have diminished (was just there yesterday). re the olives at Whole Foods, be sure to get the lucques!

            1 Reply
            1. re: slacker

              Apparently Bristol Farms sold to Albertson's -- my mother used to shop at the SouthPas one all the time and said it has gotten really awful.

            2. My vote would go to Joan's on Third.

              Be sure to go at some off-hour, your guess is as good as mine when that might be. Maybe call & ask the worker bees, they'll know. It's a major, full tilt scene there most of the time. Lots of salads, meats, sandwich, cheeses, dippy things, yummy desserts - you'll be set. Oh btw, it'll cost you. But, don't let that dissuade you.


              Joan’s on Third is located at 8350 West Third Street (between La Cienega Blvd. and Fairfax Ave.) in Los Angeles. We are a few blocks east of the Beverly Center and west of The Grove / The Farmer’s Market. Parking is available in the back.

              Telephone 323.655.2285
              Fax 323.655.1967
              Marketplace Hours
              Monday through Saturday 10am-8pm
              Sunday 11am-6pm

              On the other hand, if you want something a tad more affordable, try Bay Cities in Santa Monica. Perhaps a Godmother sandwich (have them put the dressing in a little container on the side) or one of my special combos - Turkey, Buffalo Mozzarella, Basil, Olive Oil & Balsamic vinegar or Prosciutto, Gruyere & Dijon mustard. Or whatever.

              They have scads of little deli salads with gourmet-ish flourishes. Did you say cheese, yup, they have plenty of that too.

              Maybe a cannoli for dessert? Hmmmmm.


              Bay Cities
              Italian Deli & Bakery
              1517 Lincoln Blvd.,
              Santa Monica, CA 90401
              Fax: 310-395-1575

              Tues-Sat 9-7 Sunday 9-6 CLOSED MONDAYS

              Have fun!!!! ;-D

              1. I'm going tonight too -- wish I had time to pick up something yummy, but I'm in a severe time crunch so I'm afraid it's Ralph's sushi for us. Fortunately, I had a nice bottle of unfiltered sake tucked away which should greatly improve the experience! Have fun...

                1. Some Prosciutto di Parma and mozzarella di bufala along with basil and a good baguette makes for a nice light meal along with a bottle of wine - it's my favorite picnic food.

                  1. There's some great suggestions here. Thank you all!

                    1. haha i'll be at the concert tonight too. was wondering the same thing! whatever i wind up doing, i'm sure it'll involve charcuterie of some sort...

                      1. If you are anywhere near Brentwood, I have the de facto answer: City Bakery. it's a little expensive (maybe a lot?) but...it's creative, fresh, good, and boxed up.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ellabella123

                          read this today, april 2014, and became immediately sad that they are gone... miss them so much!

                        2. Ive done great with a selection of Eurpone (Pasadena) sandwiches and sweets, along with appetizers and drinks from elsewhere.

                          1. We were at doughboys several weeks ago and they have baskets. Haven't tried the baskets yet, but we loved the food, so how could the baskets be bad? All the salads are great... the portobello mushroom salad is what we tried and it was delicious... and of course, you get a desert! I reccomend the red velvet cake.

                            1. Is it out of line on Chowhound to ask that people report back about the show? I wish I'd been there tonight.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                                I don't think it's out of line at all. The show was fantastic! It was something else having The LA Philharmonic backing up S&B. The energy was vibrant and exciting. The crowd was extremely diversified, which is always nice to see. The Shins were also very impressive and good to see live. Overall, both were great shows.

                                We ended-up going to Whole Foods and picking-up all sorts of stuff. We definetly brought along far more then we can eat, which isn't a bad thing, IMO. Although expensive, you could never go wrong with Whole Foods.

                                1. re: Joe

                                  <you could never go wrong with Whole Foods>

                                  Really? I have yet to figure out what the allure is of this place. I go in to purchase probiotics that I love and see swarms of followers WF, who would never shop anywhere else, and I'm scratching my head trying to figure out what is so 'delicious' that they're so hell bent on buying. I find the prepared food(s) mediocre at best and the fish/meat the same. What is it that brings the hoards? Nothing in the store is worth the trip.

                                  1. re: latindancer

                                    I couldn't agree more with you! I have always found their prepared foods to lack any flavor whatsoever. Their produce & meat depts are nice, but waaaaay overpriced. I think the allure may have something to do with its vegan owner, and those who are bent on living that way, (and making others miserable in the process) with their first world problems of trying to dictate to the rest of us what we should eat.

                                    1. re: latindancer

                                      Curious, how did you stumble on this thread? This thread is 6 years old. Always cracks me up, when I see a thread from the dead brought back to life. Thanks for the input regardless.

                                      1. re: Joe

                                        When someone responded on 7/6/12, just below, it comes back up on recent threads in the list when you go to the first page of the LA boards. Since there is no date listed there, on the list, people tend to think it is recent, and start posting comments, like I did below, since I didn't notice the date of the op.

                                        1. re: Joe

                                          How was the show?

                                          LOL -- do you remember who you saw?

                                          1. re: PaulF

                                            I still recall when I saw someone (maybe the same one that started this thread?) named Joe at the Bowl in 1970: http://www.songkick.com/concerts/7518...

                                  2. The "BEST" picnic baskets in L.A. are at the Bistro Garden in Studio City.... they are "divine"
                                    with 4-5 baskets to choose from... just call them before and pick them up and you're on your
                                    way to the park, Bowl, Greek, or anywhere.... go to www.bistrogarden.com you will be so glad
                                    you did....

                                    1. Probably too late to advise, but I loved using Mozza2Go. And don't let people tell you that it doesn't travel well. They are dead wrong.....

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                        Ummm.....REALLY late. This thread is more than five years old. Though the subject is topical...and seasonal. I was surprised about the Bistro Garden recommendation, though. I've always found their food to be really bad. I hadn't been in years, went not too long ago for lunch....and the Cobb salad was awful. It had swiss cheese. Even the wine recommendation was terrible...not what I ordered at all. What do they put in their baskets?

                                        1. re: perk

                                          Too lazy to post the link, but take a look at Bouchon's picnic baskets. Blows every other restaurant out of the water. Food is from Bouchon Bakery. Great menus and fair prices,

                                          1. re: maudies5

                                            I cannot seem to find a link for this on Bouchon's site--would you mind posting it if you have it? Sorry, I looked and looked!

                                            1. re: sablouwho

                                              I believe I received the info as an e-mail from Bouchon. Can't find the email. I did just do a Google search for Bouchon Picnic Baskets. There was some info. The baskets come from the Bouchon Bakery. Good luck.
                                              My DineLA lunch today was fabulous.

                                          2. re: perk

                                            HAHAHAHA!! Dont know why I don't seem to notice the year of the post! But at least I wasn't the only one! But effectively my rec still stands since Mozza2Go does do HB picnics, I believe.

                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                              if we're bumping an old thread----i'll join in.

                                              +1 for mozza2go---the sandwiches travel very well as does the bundino (mmmm bundino)

                                              a short distance away.....i've picked up very tasty prepared food for the bowl from Larchmont Larder (@ Larchmont/Melrose). the sandwiches are very good and they have lots of salads and prepared meals that can be eaten cold/room temp. i've liked both the meatloaf and the short rib sandwich. i suggest calling ahead and they'll have it waiting for you.

                                        2. Food+Lab

                                          7253 Santa Monica Blvd.
                                          West Hollywood, CA 90046

                                          1. I'm glad this thread was resuscitated. I'm going to the Bowl on Tuesday:)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Fru

                                              Please report back in five years....smile......