Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Get Your Phil - Friday and Saturday Night Dinner and Disney Hall Concerts

With all of the new restaurants opening in Downtown Los Angeles along with old favorites, the Los Angeles Philharmonic just launched a new program branded as "Get Your Phil"   - a Friday (or Saturday) night dining and concert ticketing package.   The second opportunity occurs this Friday night at the Border Grill Downtown LA and continues into November with dates at Le Ka Restaurant and Blue Cow Kitchen and Bar with a soon to be posted additional Saturday date of December 7th at Rivera for the Scheherazade concert.  The Get Your Phil program opened last Friday with Chaya Downtown LA in tandem with one of the LA Phil 10th Anniversary concerts (Debussy and Bartok) featuring conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. These dinners include a special ten minute discussion with one of the LA Phil musicians. The $32 Friday/Saturday night dinner program is available to existing LA Phil season ticket holders and to those looking to package up the promotional dinner and purchasing LA Phil concert tickets, which can be easily done online at The promoted evening LA Phil concert tickets at various price ranges (from $67 - $75 for Terrace or Front Terrace seats) are now available for the following dinners and concerts:

Friday, October 25
Border Grill Downtown LA
Salonen and Sibelius*

Friday, November 8
Le Ka Restaurant
Tovey and Shostakovich*

Saturday, November 30
Blue Cow Kitchen and Bar
Bach, Schumann and more
*This evening is also a part of the LA Phil's Casual Fridays program, which includes a post-concert Question and Answer session with the artists and a meet-and-greet with the orchestra.

When pulling up the Get Your Phil webpage, for the Friday/Saturday concert and dining nights, you will have the opportunity to check off two boxes: a purchase box for the dinner and a purchase box for the concert tickets. The $32 for dinner includes tax and tip along with ice tea, coffee or hot tea. Alcohol not included. One can arrive as early as 5 pm at the designated restaurant, giving one a chance for a pre-dinner drink, with dinner orders taken from the wait staff between 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm.  This leaves plenty of time to eat and arrive for the 8 pm Walt Disney Hall concerts.

So for approximately $100 per person, you can attend an LA Phil performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and have a two or sometimes a three course dinner menu for each of the selected participating restaurants that can be found on  the Get Your Phil webpage.  I particularly like the upcoming November 8 menu for Le Ka Restaurant in which the main course is a choice of Wild Striped Bass, half a Jidori chicken, or a Hangar steak.  The opening Chaya night dinner featured a main course choice of  Pinot Noir Braised Angus Short Rib, Grilled Atlantic Salmon, or Baked Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi.   The Chaya short ribs are pictured below. Then there is the upcoming Friday night October 25th menu at celebrity chef driven Border Grill Downtown LA, and maybe one might catch sight of either Mary Sue Milliken or Susan Feniger.
Beef short ribs at chaya
The featured LA Phil speaker on the first night was Bass player David Allen Moore who has now been with the LA Phil for over a dozen years. Getting a chance to try out for the LA Phil doesn't occur very often. For example,it took another 12 years for another bass slot to open up.  David Moore talked about having been a product of the LA Unified School District at Marshall High School, and the rigors of being a member of LA Phil.  People always ask him about the difference between conductor emeritus Esa-Pekka Salonen and the young maestro conductor Gustavo Dudamel.  His reply was a difference of one foot.  David also joked about getting more hugs from Gustavo in his first two weeks, then his entire time with Esa-Pekka. When mentioned to conductor Salonen, he now makes sure to hug David whenever they see each other.  In more seriousness, David mentioned a few items about the evening program, and thanked those in attendance for trying out the Get Your Phil program and interacting with him. He also shared with the dinner audience that the bass he uses with the LA Phil dates back to 1735 having been made by the famous Italian string instrument maker Nicolo Gagliano. A picture of David Moore, minus his performance tux, addressing the Get Your Phil  Chaya dinner audience of around 50.

LA Phil Bassist David Allen Moore Speaking to Get Your Phil patrons at Chaya Downtown LA

A number of the restaurants in Downtown Los Angeles have a free dinner shuttle service to the Disney Hall/Music Center (and also Staples Center for sporting events). Upon arrival at the restaurant, check with the front desk as to the departure times. Thus, you can park once, taking the shuttle in each direction.  Or you can make use of the validated parking, and then move your car to Disney Hall parking.  For those living on the Westside of Los Angeles, and having issues with driving into downtown Los Angeles, especially on a Friday night, consider taking the Expo Line.  For anyone with easy Metro access, taking public transit is a great way into downtown Los Angeles.  After the concert, rather than taking the return shuttle, one can also have a spectacular stroll at night through Grand Park to access the Civic Center Metro station.

What's great about the Get Your Phil dining and concert program is that it gives one a chance to experience a downtown LA restaurant in a format similar to what DineLA does in it's twice a year Restaurant Week. For those who may have been avoiding doing a Friday evening concert with the LA Phil at the Walt Disney Concert Hall along with an upscale dinner at an alternative location other than at Disney Hall or the Music Center, having this fixed price Downtown LA dinner menu option simplifies the process of dining before the Friday night concert.  And if Friday evening doesn\'t work, then try one of the Saturday evening programs. . Go Get Your Phil. The food and classical music are great.

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