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Weekend Entertaining : For the Bowl Season, Try the Haute Art of Take-Out Picnics

July 04, 1987|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

Playing host at a Hollywood Bowl picnic?

The season starts Tuesday with the gala opening and lasts until Sept. 12. That means you've got plenty of time to plan a picnic that will, in the best Hollywood Bowl tradition, outdo them all.

And if you need help, you're in luck.

More and more top Los Angeles chefs are adding take-out to their menus, and they're offering some of the hottest haute picnic baskets in town. So if you need food to go for any outdoor picnic, or ideas for picnic food you prepare yourself, try these suggestions from some of Los Angeles top-drawer chefs.

Three Menus to Go

Le St. Germain, the doyen of romantic French restaurants in Los Angeles, is offering baskets to go containing three different menus: the first features a terrine of lobster with salad and a hot dish--lamb stew--because owner Paul Bruggemans thinks cool nights warrant a hot dish now and then. The menu finishes with the St. Germain bread pudding with vanilla sauce.

You can pick up this basket on your way to the Bowl for $21 per person. There is also a $26 cold dinner featuring cold stuffed filet of veal served with basmati rice Oriental (made with saffron, raisins and nuts) , plus tart au citron. And for $14 you get chicken salad with filet of chicken served over apples, walnuts and Belgian endive, and a slice of apple tatin. All baskets come with napkins, bread and butter. You supply your own glasses and silver. Le St. Germain is at 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, or call (213) 467-1108.

The City Restaurant and Border Grill chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken have put together menus that will inspire a picnic even if you haven't planned one yet. Among other menus ranging in price from $11.50 to $18.50 per person is this one from City Restaurant: a Thai melon salad (assorted melons with shrimp and peanut sauce); a confit of duck with young greens, goat cheese and toast; plus red yam chips and a chocolate black velvet cake with whipped cream (stored in a salsa cup). This menu is $18.50.

Another City menu offers poached salmon and pilaf as the main course with roast pepper and feta salad and yam chips; and poppy seed cake for dessert. A vegetarian menu features silver noodles with tofu and Indian naan bread with raita, pickles, yam chips and date bars for dessert. A club sandwich with matchstick fries, coleslaw and chocolate chip cookies comprises the $11.50 picnic basket.

From Border Grill, the menus range from $13 to $16. One features green corn tamales, grilled turkey with pepper and red onions, pickled vegetables, watercress and jicama salad and their wonderful bread pudding with cream. Still another contains guacamole, gorditas (Mexican pork or chicken stuffed tortilla puffs), a cactus salad and sweet potato flan. There is also a menu with swordfish ceviche, the house eggs, cheese and jerkey salad, black beans and brownies. The picnic packages are complete with utensils and napkin. Sodas are available by the bottle at $1.50 extra.

To order either City restaurant or Border Grill menus call (213) 938-2155 or stop at City at 180 S. La Brea Blvd., Los Angeles.

Trumps restaurant is offering a selection of appetizers, entrees, salads and desserts from a long, long list to pile in a basket to go, complete with linens, utensils and glasses that you can return or pay for if you become attached. Give them 48 hours notice and they'll put together things like chilled soup, Caesar salad with shrimp, cold grilled fish, veal, lobster or fried chicken, and desserts: fresh fruit, pastries of the day, cookies or bread pudding. Appetizers range from $6 to $12; entrees from $12 to $24 and desserts from $6 to $10. Trumps is at 8764 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. Or call (213) 855-1480.

Cafe Jacoulet at 91 N. Raymond, Pasadena ((818) 796-2233) will put anything from their standard menu in a picnic basket to go, but offer a special picnic basket filled with such entrees as poached salmon with dill sauce, chicken with a sauce of the day, seafood salad, as well as pates, cold salads, fresh fruit plates and appetizers, and, of course desserts. Baskets come with linens and wine glasses, returnable with a $50 deposit. Give them 48 hours notice for pick-up.

Chef Werner Albrecht's Le Montage restaurant in Filmland, 10000 Washington Blvd., Culver City ((213) 280-12013) can put together a picnic basket of hors d'oeuvres, canapes, crudites, dips, cold salad meats and breads plus items from their standard menu in special picnic baskets which are offered in three sizes and priced accordingly. Linens, basket, ice, utensils can be supplied if desired.

On a more casual level, Chick's, at 16656 Ventura Blvd. in Encino is offering two picnic basket sizes, serving three to four persons at $14 or six to eight persons at $20. You get chicken salad, crispy chicks, crunchy coleslaw, and potato salad. An additional $14 deposit provides you with basket complete with picnic necessities. Call (818) 704-6733 for information.

Gourmet Gourmet, 19014 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana ((818) 344-7111) prepares several Hollywood Bowl-style picnics to go ranging in price from $26.95 to $45. The Amadeus Basket includes duck pate with pistachios, cold poached salmon with pasta primavera and six chocolate dipped strawberries. That one is $36.

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