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Hollywood Bowl...eat there? or bring your own?

Just wondering how the food is at the Bowl? Has anyone ever eaten there at any of the places offered? Worth paying the price not to lug your own? or should a picnic be packed?


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  1. Bring your own and LOTS of wine! You can't bring anything into the bigger concerts that are there-- they are separate "lease" events.

    1. Bring your own. And bring wine. And dessert to share with less fortunate people in your immediate vicinity.

      1. As others have said, BYO. You can go to the Hollywood Bowl's website for some guidelines. As Lmo1823 has pointed out, determining whether your event is leased or not will be important. At least a few threads are on these boards - they're worth reading over for more ideas. Get there early, seek out a decent spot, and have a great time!

        1. Unless you're in a box, by all means bring your own. We bring wine, several different cheeses, a couple of pates, olives, bread and other savory goodies, and then offer our guests their choice from the box service menus. That stuff is over priced, but the rotisserie chicken is a relative bargain at $19. I've never had a meal at any of the other places so can't comment but their hot dogs are pretty good. They're 1/4 pounders and I'm told that they're Hebrew National. Be sure to bring a small bottle of mustard (if you use it) because they only have those little squeeze packets. They have no onions either. If you picnic outside the Bowl, picnic area #3 is very pleasant with nice views and a nice breeze.

          2 Replies
          1. re: TomSwift

            >>If you picnic outside the Bowl, picnic area #3 is very pleasant with nice views and a nice breeze.<<

            Great advice. And of course those in the know have all the best spots staked out. If you want a good spot, try to be at least in the front-third of the crowd waiting for entry into the grounds, and walk as fast as you can to get to those spots. Some folks are pretty insane when it comes to getting to these spots first...

            1. re: bulavinaka

              Insane is charitable. The key word is EARLY. The earlier you arrive and park the better chances you'll have. If you have parking inside the Bowl (as opposed to the Odin lot or across Highland) you can stop by area #3 and drop off your stuff and then park. This saves a lot of lugging.

          2. There was some pretty good vendors there, Patina group had a stall last time I was there, but bringing your own picnic is pretty fun. You can get places to pack ones for you. Not sure what area you are coming from but places like Joan's on Third, M Cafe, or Susina have to-go options. Susina has a picnic box for the bowl, you just have to call a day or so in advance 323-934-7900.

            Bring your own wine or beer - that's expensive there.

            1. Food at the Bowl is overpriced and not good -- even the Patina food. And, long lines for the stuff.

              Bring your own.

              1. Bring your own! Even if you are in a box, the service timing is iffy. And the food, to echo most everyone else, overpriced ,not that good and prepared hours earlier. You can do better at any price point. And go early, wherever you choose to eat, kicking back and watching the crowd is part of the joy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: lrhr

                  Totally agree about the people watching. And you're right about the timing. We like to nibble on the stuff we bring from 6 to 7, and have them serve the food at 7. At least 2-3 times a season they'll bring out the starters about 6:20 or so and then they have to take them back. We don't find the food offensive, but bear in mind that they're preparing food for a LOT of box seats so it's basically the product of a catering kitchen and not Joachim tending the stoves. But it is convenient.

                2. Definitely bring your own. A few years ago we had a group of friends and everyone brought something. We had wine, vietnamese sandwiches, fruit, cheese, and yummy miniature desserts. Make it your own and you'll have a blast. Last time we just ate beforehand at our seats. That was a few years ago, not sure about the guidelines these days.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: groover808

                    We did almost this exact menu. It worked great, and cheap too.

                  2. I think you can bring whatever you want, liquor-wise. Last year while everyone was sipping wine out of glasses, my gf & I were pouring vodka into cans of Hansen's soda. I for one, enjoy slumming it in nice places. :)

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Low Blood Sugar

                      You can bring whatever beverage you want. The people in front of us make a big show of mixing pitchers of Grey Goose martinis (stirred not shaken).

                      1. re: TomSwift

                        Oh yeah, our party did wine out of solo cups :) Mm, don't forget those olives for martini's!

                        1. re: wilafur

                          Thanks for all the responses! We ended up going to Whole Foods to pick up a few things to bring with us. It was wonderful but I definitely want to try doing a Dessert Only PIcnic or picking up a picnic box/bento box next time. :) Actually, we were really glad we brought our own since our bus arrived late. :)

                          1. re: mermy

                            IMHO, Mako is the bento box fix for the Bowl. Click on the link and look for "Mako Bento Boxes To Go":


                      2. My wife and I like to bring our own food. If the picnic areas are full, we'll just eat at our seats. When we're finished, the cooler can be slid under our seats.