It seems that everyone in Los Angeles is packing a picnic this summer. There is a plethora of picnic friendly places and events popping up all over town. Los Angeles has become a venerable picnic city.
I used to only associate packing a picnic in the summertime with the Hollywood Bowl. Being a native Angeleno, when summer rolls around I have always frequented the Bowl. I love the novelty of packing up delectable treats for my friends and I to slowly savor at our seats while enjoying the performances and the sun setting overhead. This year I am venturing out and packing more picnics, but not just for the Hollywood Bowl.
Yesterday I enjoyed a perfect evening of indulgence at Barnsdall Park. Each Friday during the summer, Silverlake Wine holds a tasting. On this particular Friday, the place was packed. The wine was crisp and refreshing, the picnic perfection, and the sun sparkling off the Hollyhock House enchanting.
For my picnic at Barnsdall Park I made a roasted shrimp and orzo salad, a minty cucumber yogurt dip with crunchy pita chips and a fresh fruit salad. Packed carefully in my tote and spread across our little blanket we enjoyed a brilliant summer evening.
Roasted Shrimp and Orzo (serving for 3):
* recipe modified from Barefoot Contessa
- Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- Olive Oil
- 1/2 pound of orzo pasta
- 1/2 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cups minced scallions
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 cups chopped flat leaf parsley
- 3 persian cucumbers, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- small wedge of fresh feta, diced
For picnics at the Hollywood Bowl I usually turn to Joan’s on Third to do the work for me. The daily selection of fresh deli salads and entrees are always the ideal picnic food. My favorites are the lightly breaded chicken Milanese or the poached salmon topped with toybox tomatoes, garlic, and basil. I usually accompany an entrée with either Israeli couscous with mushrooms and parsley, crunchy sweet Szechwan green beans, or baby beets with goat cheese and walnuts. Any choice from Joan’s many salad offerings is always delicious. Also not to be missed is the selection of cupcakes, cookies, and bars. My favorites are the chocolate coconut cupcake and the strawberry cream puff – a light pillow of sweetness! Joan’s on Third is a one-stop shop for a perfectly packed picnic.
Where to go when you pack a picnic:
- Hollywood Bowl (any night of the week)
- Hollywood Forever Cemetary (saturday night screenings)
- LACMA (friday night jazz)
- Barnsdall Park (friday night Silverlake wine tasting/ fri & sat free Shakespeare in the park)
- Griffith Park (any leisurly daytime)
- Grand Performances, California Plaza Downtown (fri & sat evenings, sun afternoons)
- Pershing Square Downtown (wed-sun evening live music, films, events)
- Descanso Gardens Pasadena (check calendar for dates, evening of symphonies)
- Warner Center Park Woodland Hills (family friendly sat evenings movie screenings and concerts sun evenings)