When you get to Dodger Stadium and need to eat, you might not be thinking past a Dodger Dog. This year, though, your options have increased with the opening of Tommy Lasorda's Trattoria and Think Blue BBQ. There will also be different Home Town Hotdogs for every game. Each one is made with toppings specific to the city of the opposing team, so when the Dodgers play the Tigers, you can get a chili, mustard and onion Detroit Coney Dog to pair with your Dodger Dog.
Knowing what's worth treating yourself to before you get to the game is a good idea, so you won't miss much of the action while looking for a bite to eat.
Tommy Lasorda's Trattoria is located behind the Pavilion and toward left field. Lasorda, the legendary former manager and current special adviser to the chairman, has lent his name - and some of his family recipes - to one of the two concession stands in the new plaza area. The man, who was on hand late last week to help chat up the fare, truly loves Italian food and consulted on every aspect of the menu. "They asked to put my name on the restaurant. I said sure, but the food better be good!"
The menu includes a thick-crusted, chewy, somewhat large slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza for $8 - it's well worth seeking out. Other options include Mr. Lasorda's mother's meatballs, which are served as a sandwich or with al dente penne and cheese for $7. After you get your food, head to the new Bullpen Overlook Bar for the expanded view of the players warming up.
The other new spot behind the Pavilion, closer to right field, is Think Blue BBQ. The signature item is a $8.95 barbecue brisket sandwich, topped with pickles and onions on a soft white bun. The beef is smoked at the stadium. The elote, aka corn on the cob with lime, mayo, Parmesan and barbecue spice rub, isn't as spicy as we would like, but it is for sure kid-friendly, being mild and served on a stick. The other entree options are a Louisiana Hot Sausage sandwich for $8.95 or a grilled turkey leg.
There are also two noteworthy new items that can be found at Field, Loge and Reserve levels. The almost self-explanatory Major League Nachos Helmet is your basic novelty hat filled with 64 ounces of chips, nacho cheese, refried beans, pico de gallo, carne asada, etc. If that doesn't hit home, look for the new $7.50 L.A. Extreme Bacon Wrapped Dog. It's a grilled, all-beef hot dog, with maple smoked bacon, peppers and onions, and can be found at all of the Extreme Loaded Hot Dog Stands.
The new food concessions are managed by Levy Restaurants out of Chicago, who also do the food at Staples Center. Their executive chef for the Dodgers, native Angeleno Jason Tingley, has been working with them for four years, after stints as a pastry chef at Patina and the Water Grill downtown.
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There are now Healthy Marketplace carts scattered around the stadium, too, giving you the opportunity to chase down that Extreme Loaded Frito Pie Dog with a salad or some sushi for less than $12. There are also lots of changes to the VIP Suite and Club dining menus, including "local ingredient-driven chef menus" with produce from Melissa's World Variety Produce and fish from Santa Monica Seafood. (Menus in the suites change with every game.)
If all of that is is a bit overwhelming, you can always get bench seats in the All-You-Can-Eat Right Field Pavilion, where you can get endless nachos, Dodger Dogs, peanuts and popcorn.