Best of L.A. Culture: Dinner in a MovieEXPAND
Courtesy Melrose Rooftop Theatre

Best of L.A. Culture: Dinner in a Movie

The one-stop, all-inclusive night out experience of dinner and a movie is in every corner of L.A., with everything from food service at your seat to rooftop cocktails under the stars while you watch classics like Thelma and Louise or current Oscar winners like Black Panther. Thankfully, the days of settling for greasy popcorn or packaged nachos and warmed-over hot dogs glued to pasty buns are over. Call an Uber, grab your date and sit back and relax at these venues.

Melrose Rooftop Theater is located one floor up from E.P. & L.P., which features executive chef Louis Tikaram's modern Asian cuisine. The VIP seated experience and dinner is $65 and includes a three-course meal and movie ticket. Guests coming for dinner and a movie will have a beanbag reserved for them under the stars. The rooftop express menu includes sticky spare ribs (pork ribs, five-spice caramel, pickled Serrano chili and roasted rice) or salt-and-pepper tofu to start. Entree choices are yellow curry chicken (or squash) with pickled mustard greens and crisp egg noodles or twice-cooked short rib with ginger and yellow beans. Dessert options are coconut sorbet or a ginger crunchie. If you want to go à la carte and like it hot, try Tikaram's new secret off-menu Szechuan-style fried fish, so spicy he claims it will numb your mouth. Enter via E.P. & L.P. at 603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; melroserooftoptheatre.com.

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The "2 for $28" dinner at Studio Movie Grill
The "2 for $28" dinner at Studio Movie Grill
Studio Movie Grill

The newly opened Studio Movie Grill in Downey has a full-service bar and offers salads, flatbreads, bento boxes and bowls and sliders from the grill in various configurations, such as sriracha chicken and three-cheese. The Megaplex burger offers a protein of your choice (seasoned beef, char-grilled fajita chicken, seasoned turkey or Southwestern black bean burger) and toppings such as applewood bacon, mushrooms, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, lettuce, tomato or sweet red onion; it's a reasonable $13 that includes fries or chips and salsa. The sesame seared ahi tuna bowl comes with edamame, mango, snappy slaw, forbidden rice, crispy wontons and sesame lime dressing. And there's a kids menu for those taking in the latest Lego movie. 8200 Third St., Downey; (562) 622-3999, studiomoviegrill.com/quicktickets/california/downey/2019/3/2.

Premiere plus seating at iPic WestwoodEXPAND
Premiere plus seating at iPic Westwood
Courtesy iPic

Located in the iPic Theater in Westwood, Sherry Yard's Tuck Room Tavern provides an elevated food and cocktail service seat-side as well as table dining and a lounge with a cozy speakeasy feel. In addition to first-run films, the restaurant offers signature house-made breads from Yard's patisserie repertoire, Reuben croquettes, brioche-crusted Maryland crab cakes, Tuck Room Tavern Cobb salad and seared Atlantic salmon. "At iPic, we decided to disrupt the industry and do away with traditional ho-hum movie theater grub," iPic chief operating officer Yard tells L.A. Weekly. "Our unique Dine in the Dark menu delivers a fresh, chef-driven gourmet dining experience inside a luxury theater where comfort and personal service is key. Plus, our restaurants like the Tuck Room Tavern serve as dining destinations unto themselves before or after the movie or just because. People love to see movies and dine out — by combining these two forms of common entertainment we've created an easy night out that's exclusively yours to experience." 10850 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; (310) 307-7004, ipic.com/dining.

Rooftop Cinema Club in HollywoodEXPAND
Rooftop Cinema Club in Hollywood
Courtesy NeueHouse

Rooftop Cinema Club at NeueHouse in Hollywood and Level in downtown L.A. has just released the upcoming lineup for its fifth season, which kicks off with a Music Month at NeueHouse beginning Wednesday, March 20, with fan favorite La La Land. Both rooftop locations will host sing-alongs with screenings of Bohemian Rhapsody and Grease.

Music-related movies being showcased during the month of March include A Star Is Born, The Greatest Showman, Singin' in the Rain, Moulin Rouge, Purple Rain, Dirty Dancing and Enchanted. Food and drink options at Level include rotating food trucks such as Chef Cesar Cuisine, Bánh Mì, Bison Burger and the Berlin. At NeueHouse, guests will have culinary options including mashed avocado, cheese and charcuterie boards, Impossible burgers and signature cocktails. NeueHouse, 6121 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Level, 888 S. Olive St., downtown. Food options vary by date, so check the website for schedule and availability: rooftopcinemaclub.com/los-angeles.

The AMC Dine-in Theatre in Marina del Rey is adults only at 21 and over, offering cocktails, burgers, flatbreads and the ultimate nachos with spicy queso, jalapeños, black beans, pico de gallo, house-made guacamole and lime crema. Leave the kids at home to enjoy an R-rated movie and an A-rated meal for date night. 13455 Maxella Ave., Suite 280, Marina del Rey; amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/los-angeles/amc-dine-in-marina-6.

Hank's is next door to the Bay Theatre by Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas in Palisades Village.EXPAND
Hank's is next door to the Bay Theatre by Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas in Palisades Village.
Michele Stueven

New kid on the block: The brand-new Bay Theatre by Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas in Palisades Village is a throwback to the glamour of the classic moviegoing experience. The Bay features five screening rooms, each with 60 or fewer automated leather recliners, with reserved seating and call buttons for full food and bar service. Designed as a neighborhood joint for before or after the movies, Hank's is next door, with a full bar and a juicy selection of burgers and fried chicken, as well as favorite dishes from the iconic, now-closed local Palisades favorite Mort's Deli, like matzo ball soup. 1035 N. Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades; palisadesvillageca.com/dining/bay-theatre-cinepolis-luxury-cinemas.

Street Food Cinema has released the lineup for its April 27 to Oct. 26 season and it includes classics like The Princess Bride and The Wizard of Oz as well as recent hit Crazy Rich Asians. The eighth outdoor season runs every Saturday in 15 locations throughout Los Angeles and features dozens of food trucks. Expect to see Cravin Crab Cakes, Fettes Schwein German sausages, Flaming Kebab, Goshen Cuisine, the Green Truck, Kalamaki Greek, Thai Mex Cocina, Afters Ice Cream and Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, among others. streetfoodcinema.com.

And finally, the ArcLight Cafe in Hollywood is always a reliable option for a quick dinner before catching the latest hot flick, offering cheeseburgers, popcorn chicken, some decent salads and even dessert. But the main draw is the bar, which crafts very tasty cocktails — often there are promos and signature drinks tied to the latest blockbuster — that you can take into the theater for a fully themed experience. 6360 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; arclightcinemas.com/en/locations/los-angeles/hollywood.


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