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Arts and Entertainment

Classical Pick of the Week: Pick-a-nic(e) Basket

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Check out Gustav Holst's the Planets this week. Oh wait, I meant John Williams' Star Wars.
What's better than having a picnic while watching the sunset and listening to some music? Drinking your favorite wine/beer (legally) while watching the sunset and listening to some (Classical) music! Yes, you can bring your favorite libations to these outdoor performances (although we can't guarantee how much of it you'll be able to enjoy if you drink too much). The heat wave is supposed to subside today, so go out this week while the gettin' is good! There are many great outdoor venues and many great picnic options to go along with them. Our dream picnic? Cheese fromthe Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, wine from Domaine LA, porchetta panini and burrata pie from Mozza 2 Go, and some petit fours from Valerie Confections. Your wallet won't thank you for this overindulgent behavior, but your date/companion will.

If you don't like making the trek to Hollywood, you don't have to miss out on all the fun. If you're in West LA or the South Bay, the Marina Summer Concerts Classical Thursdays are always an option. There are concerts every other Thursday and this week is all about opera. It's first come first serve, and byo-blankets or picnic chairs.

If you're in Pasadena/Arcadia/East LA/SGV/the Valley adjacent, the Cal Phil has their popular Festival on the Green every two weeks, with a performance at the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden on Saturday nights (in Arcadia). This weekend's performance theme is "John Williams and Friends" with popular movie music (think Star Wars, ET, Schindler's List) and the second half of the concert will juxtapose the music from the Lord of the Rings and the music from Wagner's Ring Cycle. The evening always begins with live jazz and this one will end with a LASER SHOW(!).

Luckily, the Cal Phil provides catering on the spot and you can order up to two weeks in advance for your night out. Bristol Farms has meals that feed 1-8 people and you can even get them in a real wicker basket (woohoo!). Other onsite dining options include Neomeze (modern American/Mediterranean), Robin's Wood Fire BBQ, redwhite + bluezz (wines/small bites), beers from Firestone/Walker, and other drinks from Boar's Java.

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Another option in the area is Southwest Chamber Music's "Summer Festival at the Huntington". Performances are every other Saturday/Sunday, and although you can dine at the Huntington Tea Room (for 55 dollars), you can also bring your picnic box (mentioned several times on the website, if you're worried). This weekend's concert has a Romantic/romantic flair- a string quartet from Revueltas, Ortiz, and Beethoven. They also have a list of nearby restaurants here.

The Hollywood Bowl has Classical concerts every Tuesday and Thursday. This week is all about Mozart, and the Labeque sisters will perform Mozart's exciting two-piano concerto. The Bowl also has their own dining options and plenty of benches and lawns for picnicking.

Zagat has their own list here, but if you want to avoid chains or find something in your area, we've got you covered. If you're East of the 110 or North of the 101, you can get picnic boxes from Maison Akira and Element's Kitchen, or you can DIY at the Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City, Euro Pane Bakery, Auntie Em's, or the Kitchen.

If you're in Beverly Hills/Brentwood adjacent, Mako has bento boxes, Petrossian has your caviar and fish covered, Tavern's Larder has picnic boxes for 25 dollars, and you can always get a few snacks at the Cheese Store of BH.

If you're in the Westside, there are plenty of DIY picnic options: Curious Palate, Bay Cities, Clementine, M Cafe (also on La Brea and Melrose), Huckleberry, Surfas, Andrew's Cheese, and Lemonade, just to name a few.

If you're in the West Hollywood area or want to pick something up on the way to the Bowl, Susan Feniger's Street has picnic boxes available for 25 dollars, and the recently opened Maison Richard and Food+Lab have picnic boxes to go. The Little Next Door,Joan's on 3rd, and Froma are good options if you can avoid the lines. Ammo Cafe was just reviewed by the LA Times and has takeout options, and Locali and M Cafe are good healthy alternatives. Campanile and BLD might not be the first places for you to think of when it comes to picnic boxes, but both of them provide options if you call in advance. The Larchmont area has two good options, the Larchmont Larder and Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese. Are we missing your favorite pre-concert picnic options? Feel free to add them in the comments section.