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Jun 12, 2010 11:27 AM

Hollywood Bowl eat and drink

Heading over to the Hollywood Bowl for the first time to see Sting with the Royal Philharmonic on Tuesday. What are some picnic/food items that you have taken to the bowl in the past? Have you made your own items to take? I know Bristol Farms has good selections for picnics, and I have heard that there are some places that will pack up a basket for you? Also, It is a leased event. What alcohol is available at the bowl? I heard the selection at the bowl is not so good and quite pricey. Is it possible to sneak alcohol in? (I don't mind paying for good quality items, but if the Bowl charges $25 for a glass of bad wine, I need to come up with another option.)

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  1. We do Godmother's from Bay Cities in Santa Monica.
    This is a lease event so no alcohol is allowed. And everything is checked.

    Not Permissible in the Theatre during Lease Events:
    Glass (including drinking glasses) and aluminum cans regardless of content.
    Kegs, pony kegs and party balls.

    The following are allowable in the Bowl:
    Picnic baskets and coolers no larger than 15" by 20" long by 15" high.
    Factory sealed non-alcoholic plastic bottles, one liter in size or less.
    Re-useable containers (such as Tupperware or sipper bottles) holding food or non-alcoholic beverages.

    Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
    1517 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

      1. We went a few weeks ago and had a great picnic-type meal on the grounds. Albeit, it was on the curb along side the driveway by the Bowl's museum area, but still nice (get there as early as you can - at least a couple hours before show time if you want a decent spot to eat).

        You can eat and drink just about anything in any way you want as long as its on the Bowl grounds outside the actual Bowl itself. Keep it simple, as you will have to either haul your stuff inside (and this is where the various limits, restrictions, etc. kick in) or bring it back to your car if you can't or don't want to dispose of it.

        Although they are supposed to check everything that everybody carries in, it is sporadic depending on a lot of variables. We didn't get checked - as we approached the inspection table, I opened my backpack, pulled out my empty bottle and tossed it in the recycle bin. The guard was good with that and let us pass. If you use your imagination and are willing to risk tossing whatever "contraband" you're trying to sneak in, it's probably worth the try.

        The booze is usually pretty generic stuff. Some unheard of winery in cab or chard for $30/bottle. These get poured into a big clear plastic cup that is the same as the large beverage cups at the concession stands - wink-wink - and you get a couple of plastic wine goblets. Heinekin and Coor's Light for I think $7 and $6/cup.

        We picked up a few salads and desserts from Lemonade (Thanks for the tip, Dommy!), and a couple of sandwiches from Mendocino Farms. Everything was disposable or recyclable, so the only things we brought into the actual Bowl were my backpack and my wife's purse. We used generic recyclable plastic cups for the wine, but have since picked up a nice product called, "Govino" that we'll use in the future. I tried like mad to find these to no avail before we went that night. I finally found them at Wine House in West LA but I know Elvino in Venice carries them as well.

        I mention these because the one thing that we wanted to bring were proper wine glasses of some sort, but they aren't allowed in The Bowl for the leased events. The other plastic stuff is brittle, unstable, lousy shapes, and often have a slight plastic smell. These Govino cups are as close to the real thing without being glass.

        1. Best bet is to eat and drink at the walled in picnic ground on highland ave.
          Very nice grounds, clean bathrooms you can get your food and drink on and then dispose of the trash in one of many trash cans. carry in some sweets for desert.
          You can try the water bottle filled with vodka but make sure the seal is very tight.

          1. It does seem like the WS crowd loves their Bristol Farms picnic basket but - sheesh - isn't that taking the sole remaining element of fun (crazy menu planning) out of the already degraded fun factor of a lease event? Or am I weird to consider that the fun part?

            If you want to enjoy wine with your meal than the picnic grounds are the way to go. But you're going to have to go very early to snag a spot.

            As a non-box holding pleb I got tricks for weeks. Firstly; Rules One through Three: finger food finger food finger food. Even cheese (while a mainstay) can be kind of annoying what with the knives and the spreading and so on. Some of my favorites include swinging by the local banh mi spot and stocking up on a variety of sandwiches - cut them in half (or thirds) before you go and it's a great way to have a cheap variety of tastiness. I also am a big fan of grabbing a bucket of chicken (won't tell you the secret spot because I don't want a line before shows) but Popeye's on Hollywood is local and passably good. The chicken can be a bit greasy so I only recommend if it's going with heavy drinking (ie. not a lease event) A baguette and some braunschwager or country pate is a good choice for sandwich-like food that can be assembled en situ. Finish with a selection of fruit (and cheese maybe).

            As far as getting something past security you might want to consider whisky in a flask. They are unlikely to search your person. Wine would be problematic and if your even a slight oenophile then you will be disgusted with the in-house options.