I love the Hollywood Bowl, but I love it for the wrong reason.
I don’t love it because it’s a beautiful outdoor venue where you (and nearly 18,000 other patrons) can sit under the stars and hear the L.A. Philharmonic or Beck while crickets chirp and you dine on picnic food.
I love it because, thanks to the Hollywood Bowl dining tradition, many takeout places and restaurants in L.A. offer picnic baskets to go, all summer long. For those of us who are honing our cooking-avoidance skills, this is fabulous.
I got on to this last week when we cancelled our plans to go to the Bowl one night. (My daughter was late from work, my husband had a volatile situation at the office, the pre-4th traffic was insane, and it turned out the concert was a celebration of the L.A. Dodgers, a team none of us has an allegiance to.)
We ditched the show, but the good news was that I’d ordered and picked up a picnic for us at Clementine’s, which we ate al fresco on the patio, with our own private stars and crickets and 17,996 fewer people.
From now on, I plan to pretend to go to the Hollywood Bowl on a regular basis. I’ll order a picnic basket, and at pickup time I’ll exchange lively banter with the purveyor about who’s playing the Bowl that night and how bad the traffic’s likely to be, and then I’ll sneak home, mix up a martini, put on my L.A. Phil CD and dinner will be so done!
By the way, the picnic we got from Clementine’s had grilled steak, green bean and pasta salads, chocolate chip cookies and a quart of lemonade, with cutlery and hand wipes, and it was totally delicious. Next week I’m going to try the salmon picnic, while I pretend I’ve got tickets to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. I’m on a roll.
P.S. Here are a few other fascinating facts about the Bowl: it was designed by Lloyd Wright (son of Frank), the Beatles played there in ’64, and this year’s Sound of Music Singalong is September 19th.
See you at Clementine’s.