My LA to Z: Gustavo Dudamel

When he is not conducting at the Hollywood Bowl or Walt Disney Concert Hall, Gustavo Dudamel is dancing with his wife at The Conga Room or shopping at Amoeba Music.
1062, July 30, 2010

Photograph by Riccardo Musacchio 

Gustavo Dudamel made quite the entrance—and lots of headlines—when the star conductor from Venezuela arrived in L.A. to direct the Los Angeles Philharmonic last year. Since then, he’s settled into life in the Hollywood Hills. 


La Serenata de Garibaldi

It’s in Boyle Heights, specializing in Mexican seafood and live music. I often go for lunch there after rehearsal.

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The Conga Room

For live music, aside from Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, I like go to The Conga Room, especially to see Los Amigos Invisibles when they are there. I like to go somewhere to hear a great band and to dance!

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Patina Restaurant

I go to Patina Restaurant next door to Walt Disney Concert Hall, particularly after a show as I am always very hungry and it’s close by. There’s great fish there, which is perfect late at night, and a great wine list.

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Amoeba Music

It’s the most amazing record store that I love to browse in. You can find almost anything you want. It’s open really late so I can pop in after a great movie at Arclight next door.

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The Hollywood Bowl

I made my US debut there in 2005 and then, last year when I arrived in Los Angeles, I was welcomed at the Bowl with Bienvenido Gustavo, a concert that introduced me to the musical world of L.A. Before closing the concert conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic, I conducted the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) in an arrangement of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”  It was our first public appearance together and was a very, very special moment for me. 

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Fogo de Chao

I would take family or friends for dinner at the Brazilian BBQ restaurant after a concert at Walt Disney Hall or a visit to the Cinerama Dome.

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The Bazaar

The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel is one of my favorites. It has a great tapas menu, a mixture of modern and traditional.

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EXPO Center

I plan to spend time at the EXPO Center in South L.A. on Saturday mornings. This is where the kids from the YOLA program rehearse. I have worked there with them since 2009 before I had even moved to L.A. or started as the music director of the LAPhil. I love working with these kids. I’m hoping to be able to visit the MacArthur Park area of L.A. when we expand this project there this fall.

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Images courtesy of (in order): (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8)