The Dodgers have looked really good in recent seasons. But they look really good this COVID-shortened (non-)season, which began Thursday night. In addition to having a three-time Cy Young Award winner (Clayton Kershaw, back pending) and one of baseball’s best young pitchers (Walker Buehler) on the mound, and the reigning NL MVP (Cody Bellinger) in the outfield, they also traded for another MVP outfielder, Mookie Betts, then re-signed him to an ultra-lucrative contract (worth approximately 38 million Dodger Dogs). Not surprisingly, they’re the odds-on favorite to win the World Series, assuming the World Series gets played.
So, yeah, there are a lot of reasons to watch them - just not in person, because let’s be real: No one’s going to be attending any sporting events in LA this year. So here are five places to pick up ballpark food this weekend, and make it feel more like you’re cheering on the boys in blue from Chavez Ravine, and not your lumpy couch.
FOR HOT DOGS
We can’t really recommend any restaurant hot dogs with a straight face - they’re hot dogs, you can get them at any gas station and be happy. Besides, nothing compares to a Dodger Dog anyway. But we will recommend subbing in some sausages from Wurstküche, the excellent sausage-and-beer hall with locations in DTLA and Venice. The duck and bacon with jalapeño packs a ton of flavor into every bite, especially when you top it with caramelized onions and grilled peppers. We also like the traditional bockwurst, made with veal and pork - it’s simple, sweet, and great with some sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard on top. Order online for pick-up or delivery.
Unlike the legitimately great hot dogs they serve at Dodger Stadium, ballpark nachos really only taste good because you’re eating them out of a batter’s helmet while watching Walker Buehler go seven strong. So since you’re watching from home, upgrade to Bar Amá nachos. This Tex-Mex spot in Downtown LA sells $14 nacho kits, featuring fresh corn chips, killer queso, guacamole, salsa, queso fresco, cilantro, and spicy escabeche. We promise you can live without the canned jalapeños and fake cheese until whenever you’re back in a sports arena. You can get these same nachos to-go at Amácita in Culver City, by the way. Order online for pick-up or delivery.
Your trip to the ballpark would never be complete without some beer. Hopefully a lot of it. But instead of spending $19 on a Bud Light, you’re going to order from Highland Park Brewery - which might be LA’s best brewery, and also happens to have a view of Dodger Stadium from their Chinatown tasting room and shop. They’ve got an incredible line-up of beers right now, including the citra hop-heavy TechniFlavor (which is available in cans for the first time), Irresponsible (a hazy triple IPA), and the double-dry hopped hazy DIPA, Pillows. Pick up a “Beers” Dodgers hat from them, while you’re there. Order online for pick-up or delivery.
LA has its fair share of great places to order wings, but the best is OB Bear, the pub in Koreatown that (in normal times) is an incredibly fun place to watch baseball (their name even comes from a professional Korean ballclub). The wings are tremendous, and come in just two varieties: Original and Spicy. Neither choice is wrong, but we usually get them spicy, because the heat balances out the salty, crispy chicken perfectly. Get a leek pancake, too, while you’re at it. Order online.
FOR FELLOW FANS
There’s nothing at El Cochinito, the Cuban spot in Silver Lake, that you’ll find at many baseball stadiums - except for absolutely rabid baseball fans. So it’s the ideal place to pick up food and talk sports while you wait for your Cubano, ropa vieja, and piña colada. They even sell Dodgers/El Cochinito merchandise, and sometimes have game day specials like jalapeño-nacho cheese dogs and garlic fries - call (323) 668-0737 to order.