Downtown's Staples Center is easily the busiest sports venue in Los Angeles, with two highly rated basketball teams (well, one is slumping, and surprise, it's the Lakers) and a hockey team using it throughout the year. As both hockey and basketball playoffs are fast approaching, we've updated our guide to dining in and around Staples Center. It's important to eat well, whether you're watching the Clippers or Kings (sadly, the Lakers won't be making to the playoffs.)
Staples Center's Six Standouts
1) WP24: Go big or go home, right? Jack Nicholson does it, and so can you. Wolfgang Puck's 24th floor ode to Chinese food is a great way to start off game night. Not in Staples Center proper, but within walking distance. [On the 24th floor of the adjacent Ritz-Carlton tower]
2) Rivera: Chef John Sedlar's modern Latin cuisine is a classy way to eat before a big game. Reservations are highly recommended. The cocktails are some of the best in town, to boot. [On the corner of Flower and 11th, a few blocks from LA Live]
3) Yard House: Get there early for a seat at the bar. Take advantage of happy hour and try the impressive selection of craft beers. The Baja fish tacos are a good bet, especially in the summertime, and the garlic noodles are pretty addictive. [Located within L.A. Live, adjacent to the Staples Center]
4) El Cholo: This higher-end Mexican chain offers some of the best margaritas within the immediate Staples Center vicinity. The pork nachos guacamole are good, sharable options. [800 W Olympic Blvd]
5) LA Market by Kerry Simon: Kerry Simon's farm-to-table concept at LA Live isn't entirely as lost as it could be. While it's in the center of a tourist trap, it manages to churn out some decent food. The bucatini, flatbreads and mezzo plate are especially good options. [Located within L.A. Live, adjacent to the Staples Center]
6)Faith & Flower: While a little bit of a walk from Staples, this rustic American eatery on the corner of Flower and 9th is making some of the most compelling food in the area. While quicker bites like oxtail agnolotti and wood-fired pizzas would work well before a game, afterwards, something like roasted pork tenderloin or quail could be a nice victory dinner. Don't skip the cocktails either, which are next level. [9th and Flower, two blocks north of Staples Center]
A Quick Meal at Staples Center
· Ludo Bird: Chef Ludo Lefebvre's signature fried chicken. (Section 119, Main Concourse).
· California Pizza Kitchen: Pizzas and salads. (Section 109, Main Concourse).
· Tap Haus: Bratwurst sandwiches, craft beers on tap. (Section 113 & 118, Main Concourse).
· Camacho's Cantina: Mexican. (Section 117, Main Concourse).
· Beyond the Whistle Stop: Turkey and Pastrami Sandwiches. (Section 115, Main Concourse).
· Outtakes: Sushi and Kosher sandwiches. (Section 104, Main Concourse).
· Wetzel's Pretzels: Pretzels. (Section 103, Main Concourse).
· Smokehouse BBQ: Brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken sandwiches. (Section 325, Upper Concourse).