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Pre-Dodger/Red Sox Coliseum Food Suggestions?

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100,000 people are descending upon the Coliseum Saturday for the big Dodgers/Red Sox game.

Arriving early seems to be a good plan. But where to eat after we park and we're hanging around waiting for the game?

We're thinking of parking at USC and walking over. Thus we're looking for a place that can be (safely) walked to. My parents (in their 60s) will be attending, so nothing too funky.

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  1. This seems like an excellent occasion to "tailgate" and, if that is something you would consider, then a couple of "bento boxes" from Mako in Beverly Hills would be an ideal way to class up your experience.


    1. Best I'd be able to suggest to you is the 29 st cafe, on 29th/hoover

      I doubt your parents would be down for some Chanos. But if they are, carne asada nachos no beans or mixup burger with egg. Hope they wrote you into their will ;)

        1. re: andytseng

          Walking distance from the Coliseum?

          1. re: Servorg

            Whoops. For some reason Coliseum didn't process in my head. I was thinking Dodgers Stadium. Still worth the trip though! Not walking distance.

            1. re: andytseng

              andy, i'll bet phillippe's is more than two miles hiking from any gate at Dodger Stadium... maybe that's walking for you, not for me, particularly coming back after.

              also, for all of you who wax rhapsodic about phillippe's -- better sandwiches at better value are on the other side of chinatown at eastside deli.

        2. The area around the Coliseum is expansive, and it is difficult for me to consider parking for the game and then walking away from the venue for food and then back to get in, especially with parents. There is a Golden Bird on Vermont south of the Coliseum, and there is a popular Togo's on Vermont west of a USC entrance but north of the Coliseum for pastrami or other subs.

          If you are coming from the west, I'd stop at Dino's, on the N/W corner of Pico at Berendo, a couple blocks west of Vermont. It looks like a burger stand, but is known for huge pastrami sandwiches, good carne asada plates, and fine burgers and dogs. But most everyone there orders the crazy chicken special -- a small half-bird, marinated and flame-grilled, served over fries with cole slaw and tortillas. About $5. The marinade is garlicky, turmeric orange and vinegary. Carry out will limp the fries but will let the chicken coast to better doneness, fantastic.

          If you are coming from Pasadena, stop at the Carnitas Michaocan on North Broadway at 19th, just east of the 110 or right at the intersection as the 5 underpasses Broadway. Excellent carne asada, even better rotisserie-spit al pastor, with their best in L.A. salsa roja.

          From the east, maybe Mike's Hockeyburger on Soto just north of Washington/Olympic or a branch of King Taco. Or from further and more south, Chroni's chilidogs.

          4 Replies
          1. re: nosh

            Nosh.. Friendly Fire here.. Love your posts but on this one I will disagree about Dinos. Mom and Dad may get a Heart attack when they see Dinos and the neighborhood. Unless they are real foodies and up for an adventure I would pass on this on even though I am a big fan of the Pollo Manico at Dinos. FYI thanks for the tip on the other dishes that they serve only had the chicken..

            1. re: Foodandwine

              F&W -- You really think they may be scared of the neighborhood around Dino's, yet they are going to the Coliseum!!! My gosh, that place scares me more even on the inside! Actually, I see your point, but there are hardly any shootings in Dino's 'hood during daylight hours, the drug trade tries to stay much more subtle, and there is a big junior high just one block north. Look, if they are willing to watch the Dodgers run the bases during the preseason, nothing at Dino's is going to worry them, except maybe the bathroom.

              In all seriousness, or at least as close as I can come, there are a lot of sketchy areas in L.A. And sometimes a safe, walkable, Leave It To Beaver type of neighborhood can turn into disputed gang turf in just a block or two. Use common sense, travel in groups, and try to check out unfamiliar areas during daytime -- use common sense. But my goodness, are you going to avoid a Langer's pastrami on rye or the carne asada taco at El Parian due to rumors and fears? If so, the terrorists have won. And even in the worst case scenario, the parents have lived good, long lives anyway.

              1. re: nosh

                Nosh.. Thanks for the laugh.. I for one am not the tame type.. I will go all over to find a good meal.. I just had this vision of Scoot's parents saying " Dear are we eating here?"...

            2. re: nosh

              basically, the summary is that the area within walking distance of USC is a culinary wasteland

              much better food during tailgate season =D

              if you must, viztango and la taquiza are acceptable..

            3. Close to SC across Figueroa by the Radisson is a Sizzler. Sometimes, the dining hall in the SC International Housing area at NE corner of Expo and Vermont has a large brunch on weekends. Check with school for hours this weekend. Not the highest quality but made to order omlettes and salad and sandwich bar make it a different way to explore the college life. There is also a Denny's just north of campus across Jefferson. Also there is a small food court in the University Village also north of campus.

              1. stop by langer's for pastrami sandwiches and do your own tailgate

                1 Reply
                1. re: woofer

                  as an SC student i second langers ... walking distance from the coliseum puts you in a culinary wasteland. but if you really don't want to stop on the way here, i suggest either the 29th street cafe (great atmosphere but the food is mediocre), or you can reverse the situation at la taquiza. you might also try chichen itza -- it's across the 110 but not by far, and gets pretty good reviews on here though i've found that location to be off-and-on. if you have a couple beers at the game, chano's is a wonderful postgame option -- it defines uber-greasy calmex goodness -- but for the love of god don't go there sober. sorry i can't be of more help but foodwise, usc's area leaves a lot to be desired.

                2. I'm finishing up my 4th year at USC. I would say your best dining experience would be at Viztango (Figueroa and 30th St), Pasta Roma (Fig and 28th), or La Taquiza (Fig and 28th). La Taquiza actually has a great mulita!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. Mercado La Paloma - eat at Chichen Itza or the Taqueria next door, or the Oaxacan drink place. You will be happy. The walk will be fine (just under the freeway, across the street from the DMV) and you can wave at the folks dining at Chipotle on your way back.

                    That or tailgating with better food would be my rec. You can tailgate inside USC, which would be nice.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CulverJack

                      I second Mercado La Paloma. It's very close to the parking structure.

                    2. Thanks for all the suggestions. I had a feeling there wouldn't really be anywhere that fit the bill, but wanted to make sure. By the way, I used to hit Chanos back in college, and every once in awhile I'll brave it again. Some of the "on the way" suggestions are nice, but the goal is to pass the time following an early arrival.

                      It's looking like the plan is for the folks to grab some sandwiches at Bay Cities (they live in Santa Monica) on their way to our place in BH. (In the morning, pre-line!) However, the Langer's idea is an excellent one, though I kind of like to enjoy Langer's sitting in those big booths, having a Coke in one of those curvy old glasses. Mako would be nice, but maybe too pricey. (Plus the folks don't eat sushi.) Those Dodger dogs and $10 beers are going to add up later in the evening, so good to save some dough.

                      Either way, we'll park at USC and have a picnic on campus - mid-afternoon sometime to avoid what will certainly be a crazy traffic situation. I wonder what food they'll have inside. Maybe Fenway Franks!...

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: scoot

                        Totally agree that the Bento to go Boxes from Mako are not cheap, but they are well worth the money. They aren't sushi. Even the only so called "sushi" item in the box is really a vegetable roll (see menu below). Hope you all have fun. Sounds like it's going to be a real crowd for the game.

                        Box First Layer:

                        Vegetable sushi rolls
                        Smoked salmon with wasabi crème fraîch
                        Steamed shrimp and red crab with cucumber salad
                        Sake marinated salmon

                        Second Layer:

                        Wagyu beef meatballs
                        Mini New Zealand Lamb Chops
                        Crispy chicken with orange sauce
                        Chili shrimp with steamed broccoli

                        Third Layer:

                        Assortment of desserts and fresh fruit

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Took a Mako Bento Box to the Bowl last summer. It was presented beautifully with a big bow.. However for around $80 ( deposit included whom would bring it back ) out the door for two it is a touch pricey for the quality. As to the food. I personally felt if lacked depth. The first layer was okay descriptions are much better than taste ( smoked salmon was very good ).The second layer the meats were way overcooked and especially the chicken which was a fried nugget and very very dry. The dessert layer was eh The fresh fruit was the best of the deserts however there were these good chocolate treats. Three can easily share 1 Bento. Joans on Third blows this away IMHO in all aspects either their pre made Bowl dinners or pick out at the counter get a big JOANS box and fill it with wine and beverages.. I just do not think that the Bento travels well and there is no afterthought on how the food travels ( Mako hope your reading! ). I was in my Box Seat eating abouth 60 minutes after pick up as well.. Its a pass for me. Servog have you had one or just cut and paste from the website? I am going to the game with my 10 year old son this Saturday. There is a Free Shuttle Bus Service and Free Parking at Dodger Stadium see their website for details reservations are required. I think we are going to Phillipes first or for some Dim Sum..

                          1. re: Foodandwine

                            We did boxes a couple of times before. We actually asked them to prepare the "meat" selections to our liking and they were cooperative. The menu above is from their web site, so those selections may be out of date.