Brandon Phillips just tweeted about his trip to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles after Tuesday ..."/> Brandon Phillips just tweeted about his trip to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles after Tuesday ..."/>

Mapping the Pre-game Meal


Cincinnati Reds star Brandon Phillips just tweeted about his trip to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles after Tuesday night’s 3-2 win over the Dodgers, alluding to the fame and lure of the LA soul fool establishment. This got me thinking, what are the best places to dine in LA, before or after a big game? With the relatively recent addition of LA Live and the revitalization of  Downtown even farther along, eateries and watering holes are a plenty around Staples Center. Dodger Stadium? Not so much. With that said, here are the must-visit bars and restaurants around our local venues.

Staples Center: Riordan’s Tavern (9th and Figueroa)

Owned by the former Los Angeles mayor of the same name, Riordan’s Tavern is an excellent place for a pre-game meal. Decorated with wood paneling and mirrors that hearken back to Irish pubs and speakeasies of the past, the charm is rich and wholesome. Plus, with LA Live attracting much of the pre-game crowd, Riordan’s lacks the over-crowded feel, which is always much appreciated. While the list of beers on tap may be light, traditional British brews like Guinness and Boddingtons are featured, along with popular European choices like Stella Artois. The menu is a little on the green side for the average fan, but their affordable appetizers are great buys. Try their Chicken Nachos. For nine bucks, and a bowl full of greatness, you can’t go wrong. Riordan’s is my favorite place before a Kings game, and it needs way more support than it gets. So go there.

Dodger Stadium: Philippe’s the Original (Alameda and Ord)

Ok, not thinking too far out of the box with this one, but you really can’t get much better than a French-dip. At exactly two miles from the ravine, it’s not exactly walking distance from Dodger Stadium, but it’s certainly on-the-way to or from the game.  It opened in the same year the Cubs won their last world series, and it feels that way as everything inside is classic. The cashiers are dressed as traditional waitresses, and even the prices are throwbacks to past as literally everything on the menu is only a few dollars. Want your sandwich with extra flavor? They’ll even double dip it for you. It’s truly a perfect late-afternoon delight after being scorched in the Top Deck for three hours. Plus, if you play your cards right, you can vent with other Dodger fans or chat it up with some visiting opposition with the cafeteria style seating.

Rose Bowl: Jake’s Cafe & Billiards (Colorado between De Lacey and Fair Oaks)

Nothing is more macho than burgers, beer and Route 66. Therefore, Jake’s is the place before or after a Bruin game at the Rose Bowl. With over 50 years of service, Jake’s is only two blocks from the Parsons Building and Rose Bowl shuttle, so it’s an easy addition to your gameday routine.  The build-your-own craze has been far overplayed, but Jake’s was doing it back when Rick Neuheisel was still throwing passes, not NCAA tournament games. For six bucks, you can build your own burger or order one of their classics for a couple dollars more. Their burger are a major bargain compared to their neighbors, and the atmosphere is homey and inviting, unlike the other bevy of high-end places throughout Old Pasadena. So keep on your retro Gary Beban jersey, and rock out to old surfer tunes before a nighttime affair with San Jose State. It’s the right thing to do.

Those are our picks. What say you? Leave a comment below with your favorite spot before or after a game, or mention us on Twitter at @110Report.