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Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Dining Options

We are attending a few summer concerts this summer at the VWA in Irvine and looking for a few dining options. We are subscribers to the Hollywood Bowl but this will be our first time to VWA for a pops concert. Is there anything in OC that might be comparable to either Joans on 3rd, or Jullienne in terms of prepared dinner boxes ? With the recent closing of Bristol Farms in MV and the frogs breathe cheese store in Orange, any one stop shops where I can create my own picnic basket ? I've heard good things about Lucca Cafe in Irvine but looking for some other options. I know we will have both box seating or regular seats for a few shows, but where are the preferred picnicing areas ? Any other tips to make this a
Hollywood Bowl like experience ? Thanks so much !

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Lucca Restaurant
1636 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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  1. The closest thing to Bristol Farms is either the Gelson's in Irvine on Main Street and Jeffrey, or the Whole Foods in Tustin.

    If you want a more DIY picnic assortment, I'd suggest something unusual and unique to Orange County. Check out the truly international food selection at Wholesome Choice. It's Persian owned, but many countries' foods are there for your picnic basket. They have an especially good selection of smoked fish (vacuum packed in the cases near the meat section), if you're into that. Be sure to get some sangak bread hot from the oven by the front door.

    If you're trying the prepared hot foods section, I'd steer you toward the Persian counter. It's the best choice in that section.

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    Wholesome Choice
    18040 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

    3 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      Prof, Main doesn't intersect Jeffrey. Are you referring to the Gelson's near Alton and Jeffrey?

      Art

      1. re: ArtShapiro

        You are correct. It's Alton and Jeffrey for Gelson's.

        1. re: Professor Salt

          Thanks Professor ! I've heard good things about Wholesome Choice from my Persian friends as well as so I may have to try it out. I love Persian food esp the kabobs and butter rice but it may put me in a deep sleep during the concert, lol.
          Thanks for the rec !

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          Wholesome Choice
          18040 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

    2. I would double check about the rules for bringing food into the venue. I don't recall being allowed to bring anything in when I have gone to concerts there. A lot of people tailgate in the parking lot. As for seating, it is set up more like the Greek than the Bowl, except there is a lawn area in the back with open seating. I have never seen box seats there like you have at the Bowl. If you do have lawn seats, bring a blanket to claim your territory.

      If you can bring in food (there is a large area inside the gates suitable for picnics, if the event/venue allows it), Whole Foods in Tustin at the District would be a decent stopping point. It a few minutes off the freeway between the 5 and 405 on Jamboree. The store is huge with lots of prepared food, much more than the normal stores. Sam Woo in Irvine has a good take out counter attached to the Sam Woo BBQ, and it is an easy stop off the 5 on Culver. You might be able to order a box dinner from Zov's in Tustin. If you do, make sure you get some desserts from the bakery.

      As Salt mentioned, there are a lot of Ethnic choices to be had in OC, though it would bemore of a take-out dinner than a prepared box dinner a'la Julienne. There are lots of great places for tacos in Santa Ana, Vietnamese in Garden Grove, and Indian in Tustin or Irvine.

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      Zov's Bakery
      17440 E. 17th Street, Tustin, CA 92780

      Sam Woo Restaurant
      15333 Culver Dr Ste 720, Irvine, CA 92604

      Whole Foods Market
      2847 Park Ave, Tustin, CA

      4 Replies
      1. re: ocshooter

        At all the Buffet concerts I've gone to there over the years you weren't allowed to bring in anything, even bottled water (of course that didn't count all the margaritas we brought in "internally" - but that' another story)...

        1. re: Servorg

          LOL, they are many times we had to bring in wine "internally" to leased events at the Hollywood Bowl....but security was never that tough and sometimes all it took was tupperwear.....

        2. re: ocshooter

          Since this is part of the summer concert series with the Pacific Symphony, I was informed that all food and alcohol are allowed. I believe its the leased events for concerts where they do not allow outside food/alcohol to be brought in. My last visit was when the venue was still Irvine Amphitheatre back in the 80s so my memory of the seating areas are a little vague. For this particular show, we don't have a box so we will probably find a spot to settle, just not sure where yet.
          Thanks for the great ideas ! I didn't know Zovs offerer a boxed dinner menu but its definitely a place to pick up desserts...I've only frequented the Tustin location. Its been awhile since I've eaten at Sam Woo's but love the food and Vietnamese sandwiches might be in play too. Thanks again OCS !

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          Sam Woo Restaurant
          15333 Culver Dr Ste 720, Irvine, CA 92604

          1. re: vonger44

            If you like Vietnamese sandwiches, Zon's in Tustin is a good spot very close to the 5 and Redhill. It is a little more expensive than Garden Grove, and not probably not quite as good, but I get mine with double meat for about $5 and it will probably be a lot closer to the freeway than most of the GG places.

        3. Live Nation (the venue management company) is pretty picky on what you can bring as stated before. After all, on most concerts, they make back all their money on discounted tickets on food and beverage sales.
          There's a great sandwich place on the 405 on the way to Verizon called Harry's Deli.
          They make amazing fresh sandwiches and you can order some to-go.

          http://www.yelp.com/biz/harrys-deli-i...

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          Harry's Deli
          17881 Sky Park Cir, Irvine, CA 92862

          1. You've got some good suggestions.

            A few notes: Harry's Deli is an excellent choice, but they do close at 4 p.m. If you go earlier in the day, tell them that you're holding the sandwich for a concert later and they'll make whatever arrangements (sauce in tubs, whatever) for you. Same with the Vietnamese sandwiches: ask for the vegetables on the side (they will probably come in a small baggie).

            You should also consider Sichuan food; while holding things hot might be a problem, every real Sichuan restaurant has a tempting buffet of cold appetizers, from spiced edamame to fu qi fei pian (cold sliced beef with a dusting of Sichuan peppercorn), from sesame oil-marinated cucumbers to ma la (spicy and numbing) pig's ears. Get a couple of orders of dan dan mian (noodles with a little chopped meat and chile oil), which is good hot or cold. I haven't worked my way through the offerings at Spicy City, which is 5-adjacent on Culver, but I have eaten everything off the buffet at Chong Qing Mei Wei, which is just off the 5 at Jeffrey (in the same plaza with the 99 Ranch that you pass headed south on the 5).

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            99 Ranch
            17713 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA

            Harry's Deli
            17881 Sky Park Cir, Irvine, CA 92862

            3 Replies
            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              2nd Harry's Deli. They make everything fresh; even the mayo is handmade.

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              Harry's Deli
              17881 Sky Park Cir, Irvine, CA 92862

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                Where is Chong Qing Mei Wei in the plaza? I occasionally do Sam Woo BBQ Express, and a Sichuan alternative would be awesome.

                1. re: ocshooter

                  As you enter the shopping center on the northwest corner of Jeffrey & Walnut, it's in the back right corner of the shopping center.

              2. Also, if you are open to Japanese, Fukada is a good near-by choice. They also have a sister restaurant called Fukada2Go that does lunch boxes, I believe.

                http://fukada2go.com/ (The online menu isn't too helpful but I have seen their menu in person at Fukada and I remember it having a lot more selection

                )

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                Fukada Restaurant
                8683 Irvine Center Dr, Irvine, CA 92618

                Fukada2Go
                Scholarship, Irvine, CA 92612