In case you needed another reason to put the Hollywood Bowl at the top of your “must do as often as possible every summer” list, here’s one more: Hancock Park resident Caroline Styne and her partner, James Beard Award-winning chef Suzanne Goin (also a Marlborough alumnae), juggernauts of LA’s fine dining scene, are now offering a fabulous array of fine and casual dining options perfect for the Bowl.
Styne and Goin,whose restaurants include Lucques, a.o.c., Tavern, and the Larder, scored a major LA food coup this year when they won the concessions contract to replace the Joachim Splichal Patina Group dynasty, which was in residence at the Bowl for the last 15 years. Goin and Styne’s creative vision will be carried out by Executive Chef Jeff Rogers over the next 10 years.
“Dining has long been an integral part of an evening at the Hollywood Bowl,” stated Gail Samuel, Executive Director of the LA Phil in a press release announcing the new partnership. “With the combined creativity and excellence of our new team, we have developed exciting new culinary options that will enhance the concert-going experience and contribute to making a night at the Bowl unforgettable.”
Styne grew up in Los Angeles and began her work in the food service industry in 1989 when, at the age of 22, she co-founded Basically Baked Inc., producing and distributing specialty foods to retail accounts nation-wide. By 1994, she was managing restaurants and teamed with celebrated restaurateur Sean MacPherson at Jones, in Hollywood. While there, she was introduced to Suzanne Goin. The meeting was life-changing for both and led to the opening of their flagship restaurant, Lucques, in 1998. With Suzanne’s culinary talent and Caroline’s business acumen, they made a formidable creative team. Their restaurants, Lucques, a.o.c., Tavern and the Larder, have defined Los Angeles culinary tastes since 1998.
Caroline’s hospitality philosophy and keen business acumen has been a major contribution to the growth of The Lucques Group since the opening of their first restaurant. She oversees business affairs at the company’s ten operations in Los Angeles. She has received three personal nominations as Restaurateur of Year and shared another nomination with Goin when Lucques was honored for Best Service by the James Beard Foundation. In 2014, Caroline was one of a distinguished panel of jurors for the James Beard Foundation that served as the judging authority for the year’s Restaurant Design Awards.
Styne and Goin also give back to the community. Along with David Lentz, Goin’s husband and owner of The Hungry Cat, they are co-founders of L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, their fundraiser benefiting research for childhood cancer, which has raised over $3.7 million since its inception in 2010.
When the Buzz asked Styne how she does it with two teenagers and husband Michael Kohn, a leading figure in the art community (his new gallery space on Highland Avenue is pioneering the Highland Arts District), she said, “it’s a challenge to balance it all, and sometimes I find it incredible when it all comes together! In the end, it always gets done. Although I must admit there is a bit of sacrifice of either family or work. It helps to have a supportive family and an incredible staff that one can trust.”
Having been to the Bowl twice in recent weeks, we’ve tried a range of options as well as spoken to patrons who resoundingly love all the new food options.
Highlights of the new Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine choices include:
The Wine Bar by a.o.c – L.A.’s favorite wine bar comes to life at the Bowl featuring artisinal cheese and charcuterie, market-fresh salads, grilled fish and meats. The wine list, curated by Styne, features only wines that are farmed sustainably, organically or biodynamically, and are made by small-production, artisinal winemakers. A selection of craft brew and farmers’ market-driven cocktails made with soju and other wine-based liquors complete the offerings. Menu Highlight: Soft Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Mascarpone and Gremolata
the backyard – Inspired by the gorgeous hills surrounding the Bowl, this newly designed al fresco space has the feel of your coolest friend’s chic backyard. Two large wood-burning grills are the focus of this farmers’ market-driven, family-style restaurant serving shared plates of grilled fish, chops, steaks, grains, greens and an extensive raw bar. Menu Highlight: Wood-Grilled Swordfish with Green Olives and Preserved Lemon
Kitchen 22 – The Bowl’s SoCal roadside burger stand, featuring made-to-order beef and turkey burgers…as well as new favorites such as Grilled Comte Cheese sandwich and Spanish Fried Chicken. Menu Highlight: Big & Juicy, served with cheese, lettuce, pickles, red onion tomato, awesome sauce
Street Food and Snacks – Located throughout the Bowl grounds, these venues feature the diverse multi-cultural foods of Los Angeles: Bahn Mi; Specialty Hot Dogs and Sausages; Street Tacos; BBQ; and the Sweet Shop, featuring cupcakes and s’mores made onsite, as well as Larder Baking Company signature desserts and confections.
Marketplace – Goin and Styne’s casual Larder café-marketplace comes to the Bowl offering grab-and-go salads, hot entrées that include rotisserie chicken, barbecued beef brisket and mac n’ cheese, as well as other picnic-friendly sandwiches, cheese plates and foods prepared with the best local produce and products. Choose from a large selection of hand-picked wines, craft beers, sodas and waters, as well as salty and sweet snacks such as Larder Baking Company cookies and brownies, candy, nuts and crackers. Menu Highlight: Slow-Roasted Salmon with Cucumber Yogurt, Quinoa and Turmeric
Buzz McCoy’s Marketplace – Located on the west side of the Bowl, Buzz McCoy’s Marketplace features freshly made grab-and-go salads, sandwiches and other hot and cold picnic-friendly foods as well as being home to the Sushi Bar—a pristine display kitchen where chefs prepare premium sushi which can be pre-ordered as well as purchased from the Marketplace. Menu Highlight: Labamba Roll – Chili Mango
Food Trucks – In the main plaza and walkways, three retro-styled food trucks bring a sense of nostalgia through their vibrant visual design and selections of Rotisserie Chicken, Wood Fired Pizzas and Fish Tacos.
Supper in Your Seats – Choose from curated three-course dinners or an à la carte menu to be delivered to reserved Box Seats. Supper in Your Seats may be pre-ordered up to 4 p.m. the day before a concert. Three-Course Menu Highlight: The Mulholland Drive: Goat Cheese Toast with American Prosciutto; Roasted Grapes and Saba; Choice of Grilled Shrimp with Yellow Tomato Gazpacho, Avocado and Green Harissa, or Braised Beef Shortrib with Smashed Fingerlings, Local Tomatoes and Basil Pesto; and Caramel Chocolate Brownie with Mascarpone and Crushed Marconas
Lucques at the Circle – Fine dining for subscribers of the Pool Circle with a seasonal made-to-order menu and exceptional wine list styled from the award winning cuisine of Lucques, one of the defining restaurants of Los Angeles. Menu Highlight: Grilled Pork Chop with Cornbread-Chorizo Stuffing and Glazed Bing Cherries