If you are going out to hear Placido Domingo sing at the Los Angeles Opera, you need to eat a meal worthy of the famous tenor you are going to to see.
Ciao Trattoria is just a few blocks from the Opera. A nice stroll, (even in high heels) if the weather is not too cold. Their warm garlic bread rolls are amazingly addictive, so try to save some room for their delicious food. The cuisine is classic Italian, with appetizers like carpaccio (either beef tenderloin or salmon), endive salad with sweet gorgonzola cheese and toasted walnuts in a Dijon mustard red wine vinegar dressing; pastas like lobster meat filled ravioli with mushrooms and fresh spinach in a creamy tomato sauce, topped with grilled seasoned shrimp, or saffron risotto with asparagus, bay scallops and sweet rock shrimp; their main courses include seared and roasted halibut filet on a bed of steamed vegetables with lemon and oregano oil, and filet mignon in a creamy mushroom and Marsala wine sauce. I love the service here; everyone is friendly and conscious of timing for Opera or theater goers who must get to the show on time. This is a neighborhood trattoria (if your neighborhood is downtown Los Angeles) that makes you smile with delight making you wish it was in your backyard.
Are you in the mood for French food, a little closer to the Opera? Kendall's is directly under the Opera and they are set up to accommodate Opera guests whether you chose to come before or after the performance. They serve classic French bistro food, from oysters to organic (this is Los Angeles) escargots, leading to sea bass with braised leeks and dandelion greens, serrano ham, with a tequila pepper emulsion, or a slow braised short rib with yukon potato puree with baby vegetables and a red wine sauce. Personally I would go for their wonderful seafood platters which offer Maine Lobster, oysters, mussels and shrimp to share with your date; it's always more fun and sensual to eat with your fingers. This is a place to enjoy your meal leisurely, so make sure you allow at least 2 hours to dine before the opening curtain or you could miss your performance (or just come after the show for a late night bite and drink).
Want to be even closer and eat quickly? Then the choice is Cafe Pinot outside the entrance to the Opera. The menu is a scaled down version of Patina at the nearby Walt Disney Center, but the ambiance can't be beat on balmy nights under the stars. The menu is a bit French, a bit Californian, a bit Asian, so if you can't decide what you want (or your date disagrees with you on what to eat), this is the place to go. You can choose from a paella with shellfish and chorizo, or a spice rubbed squab with lobster tail, or the Waygu (24 hour) braised short rib; they even have vegetarian choices, like the ricotta gnocchi with roasted tomatoes, vegetables, a lemon confit and roasted mushroom jus. This is upscale fast food in a beautiful setting.
Before or after the Opera, treat your stomach with a meal that will make you want to sing with joy.