How To Do…The LA Opera

Take in the sights of downtown on your night out at the Music Center


5:30 p.m.

Wallis Super Club

Downtown Eats
Venture south to 7th and Grand, where you’ll find the superlative seafood spot Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa as well as Bottega Louie, with its portobello fries. Or head east to Little Tokyo for ramen at Daikokuya.


6 p.m.

The Wallis

Grand Park
The 12-acre green space hosts a slate of concerts and festivals. Plus the fountain is spectacular at night.


6:30 p.m.

Quiet Room

Master Class
An hour before curtain, the company’s music director, James Conlon, leads a pre– performance talk. Visit the Grand Hall on the second floor of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, where the discussion touches on that night’s composer and any intriguing back story about the production. Hum along as Conlon plays a few bars from the score.


7 p.m.

Sculpture Garden

Whip out the opera glasses. The season typically runs from early autumn through late spring. Lucia di Lammermoor, a doomed romance famous for its blood-soaked wedding aria, opens on March 15.


8:30 p.m.


Take A Break
Intermissions, which can last 25 minutes, allow you to explore the vast hall’s nooks. If you can’t sneak into the private Founders Room, the bar on the plaza is the place to sip a glass of wine.


10:45 p.m.


Kendall’s Brasserie and Bar
Want to mingle with cast members after the show? This is your best bet. Located downstairs at the Music Center, the French bistro has an extensive menu of absinthe cocktails.


12 a.m.


The rooftop bar and restaurant near Pershing Square has a modern view but an atmosphere that conjures 1930s Paris. On weekends the kitchen serves truffle poutine and merguez sliders until 1 a.m.


Photographs courtesy (in order): Perch: Melissa Valladares; Opera Glasses, Clock: Shutterstock

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  • Ann Perenyi

    Not necessary to “sneak” into the Founders’ level for intermission – your patronage is welcome in the pleasant bar there for wine or coffee, etc. Perhaps the writer is thinking of Disney Hall, where the founders gather in a private space. Unless you have spent everything on tickets, why not eat in less scruffy places than Daikokuya, where the condensate of cooking vapors on your clothes may make you a pariah later to neighboring audience members. Kendall’s is fine for the unadventurous, but check Zagat or Jonathan Gold’s writings for downtown dining on the level of your opera experience. There’s good food there these days.

  • Mike Tanner

    Two years later but…. The Founder’s Level is a seating area. The Founders Room is a private room, located on the same floor, but only for major donors to the Music Center and their guests. Members charge to their Founders accounts so the only way to sneak in and get a drink is to grab it off someone’s table.