INGLEWOOD, Calif. — For the first time, SoFi Stadium opened up its concession stands, allowing members of the media a chance to sample the brand-new LA Eats culinary program and its various menu items.
Curated in a partnership between the stadium, the LA Rams, Chargers and James Beard Award-winning chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, SoFi Stadium has sought to reimagine the stadium culinary experience. As one of the first people to try any of the menu items on hand, I can definitely say it did not disappoint.
The program is based on four core concepts named after iconic Los Angeles neighborhoods —Sawtelle, Fairfax, Olvera Street and San Vicente —each stand featuring food just as vibrant as Los Angeles itself.
While I am no expert food critic, I did take on the tough task of sampling almost every item on the menu and am bringing you a one-liner on what you can look forward to trying.
Fairfax — Burgers and Deli
* The Cheeseburger Sub: A giant rectangle of a burger, cheese pickles, ketchup and mustard piled on a buttery potato bun.
This one is like a Shake Shack burger but bigger, the shape making it easier to eat from the comfort of your stadium seat and the bun a perfect vehicle for all of your favorite burger condiments. (Final Rating: 7/10)
Olvera Street — Tacos
*Chicken Tinga Nachos: The perfect mix of marinated chicken tinga, salsa, black olives, tomatoes, sour cream and pickled jalepenos on a bed of warm queso and tortilla chips.
Wow. Don't you hate when you order nachos at a stadium, and once you finish all the toppings, all that is left is a bed of plain chips? Not the case here at SoFi stadium, where the nachos are layered for a better experience all the way to the last bite. (Final Rating: 9.5/10)
*Barbacoa Burrito: Beef, rice and beans all rolled into one.
Read the description, and it sounds like your average burrito, right? Wrong. In an effort to redo and rethink the way we eat typical stadium food, there are chips inside for added crunch, and the barbacoa is seasoned to perfection. It's a solid burrito all around. (Final Rating: 7.5/10).
Read the description and it sounds like your average burrito, right? Wrong. In an effort to redo and rethink the way we eat typical stadium food, there are chips inside for added crunch and the barbacoa is seasoned to perfection. Solid burrito all around. (Final Rating: 7.5/10)
Sawtelle — Chicken
*Crispy Chicken Sandwich: Chicken strips on a potato bun, topped with cabbage, cucumber, and carrot slaw and sweet soy sauce with sriracha mayo.
My favorite item on the menu, no questions asked. I could eat this sandwich every day. The chicken is perfectly crunchy, and the slaw and sauce combo is the best mix of sweet and spicy. (Final Rating: 10/10)
*Tsunami Tots: Crispy tater tots topped with eel sauce, kepie mayonnaise, sriracha aioli and furikake.
If sushi and stadium fries had a baby, this dish would be it. The tots are covered in what seems like a random mix of toppings that somehow come together to create the perfect spicy sauce from top to bottom. (Final Rating: 9.5/10)
San Vicente — Pizza
*Stromboli Dog: A city link hot dog wrapped in salami and provolone, stuffed into a bun.
Yum. The Stromboli dog tastes like a really good hot dog wrapped in garlic knots that you can then dip into a hearty marinara sauce. It's also really easy to eat because everything is wrapped up in one. (Final Rating: 8/10)
*Pepperoni Pizza: Focaccia bread topped with tomato sauce, thick-cut pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.
Like an upgraded stadium slice, this personal-size pizza is elevated stadium food that reminds me of Prince Street pizza. The crust could be a little crisper for my taste, but overall solid pizza. (Final Rating: 7/10)