Recommendation in Hollywood pre theater
Loteria Grill for great upscale Mexican food or Musso and Frank (I love their Thursday night chicken pot pie special) for old school classics, both on Hollywood Blvd within walking distance.
Musso & Frank Grill
6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Loteria Grill Hollywood
6627 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Here are a few of my quick, budget friendly go to's in the area. Mario's Peruvian is not too far at Melrose and Vine -- plain wrap place, but they do a really good lomo saltado, and excellent fried chicken. On Gower (and Sunset I think) Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, and Gower and Hollywood is Al Wazir, excellent rotisserie chicken (similar to Zankou).
On the slighly more upscale side (although not sure if you cook it yourself, you can consider it upscale..) I also like Koji's at Hollywood and Highland for Shabu Shabu, I actually haven't been there in a while, they have really tasty dipping sauces, and offer a nice plate of meat, veggies and noodles. Fun and delish.
Enjoy the show!
Right across the street, in the W hotel is Delphine. It gets an F for interior design, but the food isn't bad. And it's the closest restaurant unless you want to eat at the sandwich shop next door to the Frolic Room bar.
Also less than a block away, on the corner of Hollywood and Vine is Dillon's, an Irish pub-like sports bar with many beers on tap and very reasonably priced food.
Citizen Smith is within walking distance at Cahuenga and Selma. It's not high gastro, but quite acceptable comfort food. (If you happen to be going on a Monday, all food is half-price.) It's an interesting site, located in what used to be Wally Heider Sound. It won't be crowded--I think their big bar scene is later in the evening--and they're good about getting you out in time for curtain.
1600 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
Dillon's is right on the corner of Hollywood and Vine. You're not going to get much closer. Diverse pub grub menu at reasonable prices. All beers on tap are $3 all the time. If there's a big game on it could be loud and crowded. I've seen a Pantages buffet toward the back of their restaurant that didn't look exciting at all. But I've had several meals there and all were fine. Not foodie great. But you can't beat the price, convenience and beer specials. It's an option in the area.
Dillon's Irish Pub
6263 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Cafe Was in the center with Bed Bath & Beyond is good as is the Hungry Cat. The recently reopened Off-Vine on Leland Way, just east of Vine Street used to be reliable, yet have not tried it since the fire. Boho is a bit further, meaning adjacent to the Cinerama Dome/ArcLight complex.
Big Wangs for wings, etc. or Stout in the same center, both across the street from Citizen Smith at Selma & Cahuenga.
Katsuya on the SW corner of H/Vine for more expensive fare, sushi-style.
All of these could be considered within walking distance of the Pantages, yet many might not agree with Musso & Frank and to a lesser degree Loteria Grill for proximity without having to move the car.
The Hungry Cat
1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
1562 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
6300 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
1521 N. Vine Street, Hollywood, CA 90028