Remember the Dodgers? The baseball team we loved but whose stadium we abandoned because of all that nasty Frank McCourt business? Now that Magic Johnson has gone on and saved the Dodgers, we can all head back out to Chavez Ravine on a lazy weekend afternoon to catch a game or two, baseball gloves in hand in the off chance that Andre Ethier's next home run is destined for you in the rafters of the Left Field Pavilion.
And while you probably can't avoid a Dodger Dog, garlic fries and a drink while you're watching the game, you also might want to grab a bite beforehand, at least to meet and make bets on how well Ethier will do. Or, you might want to nosh after the game, to collect on the bets, celebrate a win or angrily re-live the exact moment when the team lost it in the ninth. In either case, here are five spots around Dodgers Stadium where you can go.
5. Sunset Beer:
Sure, have your overpriced beer at the stadium, but save a few of your bucks for the great craft brews at Sunset Beer. Located in a tiny plaza, the shop has a generous collection of bottled beers in its refrigerators, as well as a carefully selected taplist in its tasting room. If you're hungry, there's often a food truck parked outside, or there's bound to be at least one vendor with bacon-wrapped hot dogs somewhere within sniffing distance. 1498 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; (213) 481-2337.
4. The Park:
For a casual sit-down meal, The Park serves up simple, delicious fare just a few blocks from Dodger Stadium. There are specials throughout the week (i.e., $15 prix fixe dinners on Tuesdays), which is convenient for games scheduled on school nights. The Park is small and cozy, so definitely make reservations if your crew takes up six or more seats in the bleachers. 1400 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; (213) 482-9209.
There was a Friday night, not too long ago, when you found yourself at Mexicali's stand in a parking lot at 1st and Beaudry, eating a vampiro and cachetada against the backdrop of the Downtown Los Angeles skyline. Mexicali now stands permanently in its own brick and mortar on Figueroa right above Cesar Chavez; the new place is bright and has everything they served on the concrete, and then some. You can now throw an egg on that vampiro, for example, and there are charred peppers (gueros) that are fantastic. If there are at least four of you, order the nachos. 702 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles; (213) 613-0416.
What better way to pre- or post-game than to have a little tailgating party? Instead of grilling up in the parking lots, head to The Park's Finest in Historic Filipinotown for Filipino-style BBQ. You'll find ribs and pulled pork, as well as an addictive coconut beef and a delicious cornbread bibingka. The restaurant is just starting to get its legs, so, for now, it's only open Thursdays through Sundays. 1267 W. Temple St., Los Angeles; (213) 260-1227.
1. ABC Seafood:
If the last time you went to ABC Seafood was about the same time Frank McCourt was getting the keys to the Dodgers kingdom, it might be time to give the Chinatown restaurant another shot. ABC Seafood is under new management, the kitchen is in the hands of a new chef and the food tastes like new: There's the run-of-the-mill kung pao and Peking duck, plus a few more esoteric dishes — just ask the server what specials happen to be off the menu that night. 708 New High St., Los Angeles; (213) 680-2887.