Opening night at the Hollywood Bowl is around the corner, and guests this year have something extra to get excited about. James Beard Award–winning chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) have reimagined the Bowl’s food and beverage program, in partnership with Sodexo Leisure. The Lucques Group replaces the Patina Group, which had run the food program at the Bowl for a decade.
For Goin, the opportunity feels like a sort of homecoming. She grew up less than three miles from the Bowl, and concerts here have been a regular part of her summer since she was a child. Her familiarity with the beloved venue doesn’t make the move a simple one, though. Both Goin and Styne admit that feeding thousands of people in the 95-year-old hillside venue is a tremendous challenge. They deconstructed the project to make it feel more manageable. The result: three sit-down restaurants with 120-plus seats each, along with marketplaces and concession stands, which Goin imagines as “mini restaurants.” The experienced staff is in place, including executive chefs Jeff Rogers and Anastacio Rodriguez.
Concertgoers might dine at the Wine Bar by A.O.C., where artisanal cheese and charcuterie plates, salads and grilled fish and meats can be paired with a glass of wine from Styne’s list of organic, small-production winemakers. The Backyard, an alfresco dining spot driven by farmers market produce, features two wood-burning grills and a menu full of meats, grains and veggies, plus a raw bar. For made-to-order burgers, including a Spanish fried-chicken sandwich, head to Kitchen 22. Pool Circle subscribers are privy to exclusive fine-dining establishment Lucques on the Circle.
Concession stand menus include báhn mì and barbecue. Pizzas, available in the Plaza, are made with dough blended at Larder Baking Company. And you'll also find al pastor–style tacos, served on warm tortillas with cilantro, onion and salsa. Additionally, two marketplaces will sell grab-and-go meals, quick bites (sushi included) and bottles of hand-picked wine at all price points.
Produce used at each and every eatery comes from the same local farmers who supply other Lucques Group restaurants. Goin says that means Coast Organics heirloom tomatoes, Coleman Farms greens and herbs, Tomai’s corn and squash and more.
If you’re a serious music fan who refuses to miss a moment of the show waiting in line for food, picnic-style dinners dubbed “Supper at Your Seats” can be ordered as late as the night before a show. The Hollywood Vegan ($34) is among the options, composed of grilled summer vegetables with chimichurri, farro with cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, and chickpea puree with toasted crostini, plus olives, almonds and farmers market fruit.
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“The picnic aspect of the Bowl is very special, so we designed picnic boxes and the Marketplace to that end,” Goin said. “People can come empty-handed and be totally set up with a glorious meal to enjoy on the grounds or in a box seat. It was fun to think of the different options guests might be looking for and to work to satisfy as many of them as possible.”
Hollywood Bowl, 2301 Highland Ave., Hollywood; hollywoodbowl.com.