We Angelenos lead busy lives, and sometimes, even if the show doesn't start until 10 p.m., there just isn't enough time to grab a bite ahead of time. Unfortunately, too many music venues either don't offer any food options at all, or present them as a greasy, overpriced afterthought.
But not every venue will force you to settle for a $9 slice of stale pizza or a hastily wolfed-down taco from the cart across the street. After years of eating our way across L.A.'s sprawling live-music landscape, we music writers here at L.A. Weekly have identified our city's 10 best venues for grub that won't leave you feeling ripped off and/or slightly nauseous when the house lights come up.
10. The Mint
One of L.A.'s most intimate venues, the Mint is also one of the few joints in town where you can book a table in advance without dropping either $600 for a bottle of vodka or $30 for rubber chicken. Instead, you can hit the venue's one food item (or two drinks) per person limit with a reasonably priced menu of bar-food favorites, including garlic fries ($8), sliders ($13) and mac and cheese ($11). It's all pretty good, too, and even tastier when you consider it's giving you a prime vantage point in a venue where, despite its small size, sightlines from the bar area can be less than ideal. 6010 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-City; (323) 954-9400, themintla.com.
9. The Kibitz Room
Even though it's connected to Canter's Deli and has been around since 1961, the Kibitz Room remains something of a well-kept secret — a cozy dive bar on an otherwise tony stretch of Fairfax with cheap drinks and a calendar of open mics and jam nights that frequently attract some of L.A.'s most talented musicians, singers and comedians. And yes, you can order off the Canter's menu when you're there, so even if Slash is a no-show (he's an occasional surprise guest at the Tuesday night F.O.C.K.R.s jam, but we hear he's kinda busy these days), at least you know there's a pastrami belly bomb in your future. 419 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District; (323) 651-2030, cantersdeli.com/kibitz-room.
8. The Regent Theater
Since opening in late 2014, this former porn theater has become DTLA's most reliable booker of top rock, metal, hip-hop and dance music acts (it's run by Spaceland Presents, the people behind the Echo and Echoplex, so they know what they're doing), as well as a host of cool film screenings, dance parties and even a monthly rock & roll flea market. It's also home to Prufrock Pizzeria, which serves up excellent pizzas, salads and bar bites in a small red-brick-walled restaurant space at the front of the building. Pro tip: Grab a drink before the show at the invitingly librarylike Love Song Bar next door and order off the Prufrock menu there. The salsicci pizza (diavolo sauce, fennel sausage, smoked mozzarella) is even tastier washed down with a Manhattan. 448 S. Main St., downtown; (323) 284-5727, theregenttheater.com.
7. Pappy and Harriet's
This venerable roadhouse is about 120 miles east of Los Angeles, so we're cheating a little by including it. But there's nowhere in L.A. proper where you can eat an 18-ounce rib-eye or a full rack of baby back ribs while sitting just a few feet away from acts like The Kills, The Black Lips and Ty Segall as they rip it up. Because of its unique ambiance and middle-of-nowhere location — a good pit stop between L.A. and Phoenix — touring bands love Pappy's, and it's also a good spot to catch "secret" shows by major artists playing festivals in nearby Indio (Lorde and Paul McCartney have both played there in the past year). If you're going to see a major touring act, it's a good idea to make dinner reservations several weeks in advance. 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; (760) 365-5956, pappyandharriets.com.
6. Teragram Ballroom
Hang a left when you walk into this newish venue on the western edge of downtown and you'll find yourself inside Cafe Teragram, a bar/restaurant that's open for breakfast and lunch (except Mondays) as well as during shows. If you're the type of rock & roll vampire who doesn't roll out of bed until just before showtime, it serves breakfast all day — but the real star of the menu is the burger, made of organic beef and chorizo and served on challah bread. You can bring it into the ballroom for the show, but you might need a bib. 1234 W. Seventh St., Westlake; (213) 689-9100, teragramballroom.com.
5. The Echo and Echoplex
These sister venues in Echo Park don't have their own kitchen, but they offer an even better option: At the bar, you can order up pizza from Two Boots, which is just next door. Wait, what band were you here to see again? 1822 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park (Echoplex located below Sunset at 1154 Glendale Blvd.); (213) 413-8200, theecho.com.
Lots of bars and music venues all over L.A. now rely on food trucks parked out front to keep their patrons fed. Arts District venue Resident takes that concept one step further by making a food truck called KTCHN a permanent part of its offerings. Tucked into a corner of the venue's spacious outdoor patio, KTCHN offers a simple but unique menu of sandwiches, wraps, potatoes and egg dishes, many with a Mediterranean or Southwestern twist, like crispy potatoes topped with chili verde pork, cheddar, pico de gallo and jalapeño aioli. The truck is open from noon till close Monday through Saturday and serves brunch (complete with a "bloody bubbling brunch" bar) on Sundays. 428 S. Hewitt St., Arts District; residentdtla.com.
3. The Baked Potato
This venerable Valley joint — open since 1970, making it L.A.'s oldest jazz club — lives up to its name with a menu that consists entirely of baked spuds. (OK, it offers salads, too, but where's the fun in that?) At up to $18 a potato, the prices will strike you as steep until your football-sized entree arrives, stuffed with toppings that range from fairly conventional (cheese, onions, sauteed mushrooms) to "Why hasn't anyone else thought of this?" (chicken teriyaki, hot dog and sauerkraut, ham and pineapple). You'll consume your starchy vessel while hearing some of the city's best musicians in a venue not much larger than that potato was before you devoured it. 3787 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City; (818) 980-1615, thebakedpotato.com.
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2. The Hi Hat
After debuting to general acclaim in Chinatown, this Tumblr-turned–takeout window quietly opened a second location at L.A.'s best new music venue (according to us), serving old-school burgers to Highland Park denizens from the same window that, on select mornings, dishes out some of the city's best bagels. Burgerlords keeps its offerings simple but delicious: a grass-fed patty (or two), American cheese (if that's your thing), lettuce, tomato, onion and Thousand Islands sauce on a spongy white-bread bun. That's it. No bullshit. (It also serves vegan burgers and fries.) But the best part of all may be the price: In a city that's seen the humble hamburger transformed into some overpriced, artisanal horse-pucky over the past several years, a Burgerlords burger will set you back a mere $5.25, or $6 with cheese. You can order inside during shows until 10 p.m. weeknights or 11 p.m. on weekends. 5043 York Blvd., Highland Park; hihat.la.
1. Hollywood Bowl
OK, so our first choice for the best food and live-music combo in Los Angeles is a bit obvious. It's also undeniable — especially since last season, when the Hollywood Bowl brought in award-winning chef Suzanne Goin and her team from the Lucques Group to run its 17 on-site offerings. Under Goin and executive chef Jeff Rogers, pretty much everything at the Bowl, from the street tacos to the picnic boxes to the fancy stuff, which now includes an A.O.C. wine bar and three-course "supper in your seats" menus for the high rollers in the boxes, is varying degrees of excellent. The prices reflect the quality — a seemingly modest picnic box will set you back $37, and a "seafood extravaganza for two" (pictured at the top of this list) runs $118 — but when you don't have time to pre-assemble your own picnic (which they still allow at non-lease events), it's worth a splurge to make your Bowl experience a little more luxe. 2301 Highland Ave., Hollywood; (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com.