Hi, I would like to welcome you to my new blog, The $1 Chef. My epicurean goal is to create and find great $1 meal deals for you. For my first post as The $1 Chef, I would like to take you out for Friday $1 Night at Hollywood Park Racetrack. For a gambling experience, The $1 Chef is more "Ocean's 11" Frank Sinatra than glitzy Celine Dion, and Hollywood Park is Rat Pack cool -- celebrating 70 years this season. The $1 Chef discovered $1 night at this South L.A. racetrack after moving to the Baldwin Hills area several years ago.
Parking is free with a $7 admission, and another $3 for a Club Pass gets you in for live music after the last race -- typically, old "New Wave" groups like the Smithereens, English Beat and last night's season closer, Berlin, led by stripper styled, cougar-in-the-making Terri Nunn.
To reach the racetrack, located near the L.A Airport, exit the 405 freeway and take Century Blvd. east about a mile. Just last night, The $1 Chef cruised in with an open sunroof, enjoying the warm, balmy evening while watching silvery big birds, in formation overhead, drift in for a landing at LAX.
Upon arrival, The Chef recommends getting your $1 beers first, as you will need a couple waiting in long lines for $1 hotdogs. The racetrack vibe helps disguise lukewarm wieners in stale buns, while off to the side, you'll find small packets of relish and large jars of Dijon, ketchup and regular mustard. Go park yourself in the bottom level as close to the action as you can get.
After a few beers, you'll be having a great time watching the jockeyed horses rumble down the fairway every half hour and the hotdogs will taste great! Sadly, tonight's the last night of the season to see horse racing. Be sure to come visit the Hollywood Park racetrack next spring on a Friday night, and look for the The $1 Chef betting a $1 Exacta.
UPDATE: Hot dog and beer deals are no more, but there is a large selection of cheap eats offered by a courtyard full of food trucks. Live music is still happening for $10 before 8:30pm -- so that is still a great deal. Some of the groovy outdoor shows I've seen lately include: Joan Jett, Jesus and the Mary Chain, Devo, English Beat and Michael Franti.
Hollywood Park Racetrack Video
Play it here. Video runs 1 minute 15 seconds.