The sun is shining and there is hardly any reason to be inside. Summer is one of the busiest seasons for major metropolis cities, and Los Angeles is no exception. Business men and women vacation here, models and actors are out and about in as little clothes as the law allows, and herds of tourists gallivant through the city as if they own it. When it comes to dining in the summertime, restaurants tend to fill from outside, in, with all these visitors and locals clamoring for a chance to lunch with the legendary So Cal summer sun, and oh… those summer nights. Here are some of our favorite spots for that “it’s what’s outside that also counts” attitude.
Sharing the same location as EP (an Asian inspired eatery) on the glamorous La Cienega Blvd. and Melrose, this spot sports a beautiful rooftop view of the Hollywood basin. Serving Asian inspired street food straight from downstairs and craft cocktails, it's the perfect spot to nosh and drink. Waited past the summer to visit? No problem, they have a firepit to keep you warm on those chilly nights. If you're looking for something more private, there is Frankie's, a secluded section of LP serving their finest craft cocktails and normally reserved for special drinking occasions. Whether you're looking for a quick drink and snack, or a cool spot for your next event, this spot has it all.
With locations across the country (and two more opening up this year!) this chain has stood the test of time. Located on Wilshire Blvd., it's a hop skip and a jump away from Rodeo Drive. An upscale location, where stylish attire is required, and a jacket/dress and heels is suggested. You can surf, turf, dessert, or drink the night away in class at this exquisite location. Enjoy the luxurious patio for lunch or dinner, a perfect spot all summer long!
Conveniently located just north of Downtown LA, and just east of Hollywood, you can enjoy the LA scene without all the traffic. This is a great all around place, with weekly specials, weekend brunch, and even a happy hour! You can stop by any day, anytime. Sporting a great oyster and raw bar, stocked with great seafood (check out their Tuesday special, $1 oysters!). The weekend brunch sports coffee from Portland and a hip menu with names like C-3 bomber and house made delights. With a comfy, kick back kind of name, you can come as you are to enjoy fine dining at cafe pricing.
This is the tree house that you wanted your dad to make. Right along the sunset strip lives a rustic, worn wood, nature centric eatery. Past the main dining room and main bar there is a patio area that puts you in the middle of the canopies of the surrounding brush. The retractable roof makes you truly part of nature as you take nibbles at your lamb meatballs, and sip on some of your favorite crafted cocktails.
Native Knowledge: Kiowa Bryan is one of the most kick ass female bartenders in LA, and she is at the helm of The Eveleigh program.
A huge ancient tree spreads its leaf green wings of branches over the two level patio of Cliff’s Edge. This Ficus twist and turns and stretches over diners as they enjoy some flavor filled California fare by the incredible Chef Vartan Abgaryan. The outside dining space is a mesh of parisian class with polynesian flare, a perfect candlelit atmosphere to enjoy the $1 oysters outside on a beautiful Thursday evening.
Off of 3rd Street there is a non descript wooden door camouflaged by a sea of small vines, bushes and branches. Beyond the entrance is endless flickers of candlelight that cover every inch of the restaurant, with the night sky as the only ceiling. Each dish is a timeless preparation of French cuisine with perfectly roasted fish, sauces flavored to perfection, and classic inspirations in the art of plating. The grilled marinated “loup de mar” with the saffron espelette sauce is great to feed to your “boo” on a romantic summer night.
The stone floor above you and the perfectly manicured tree canopy make the patio at Terrine an earth toned backdrop for the culinary artistry that chef/owner Kris Morningstar is creating there. Kris is no stranger to outdoor dining, and capitalizing on such a magnificent garden has brought much acclaim to this new “California meets French” Bistro. Have one of their rosey pink and bubbly creations on a warm summer’s eve, the Rosa Spritz, alongside one of their roasted octopus dish, a winning combination.
Perched on a rooftop overlooking the city is a quaint but friendly spot. Nestled on the 16th floor is the outdoor patio of Perch, complete with fire pits and live music. This French inspired bistro is perfect to enjoy the downtown LA skyline with craft cocktails and good friends. With over 25 wines by the glass, craft beers, or rare Cognacs and French Cordials, you can visit this place every day (or night) and try something completely different. With standalone meals or sharable items, it's a great location to bring friends and have warm conversations outdoors on these warm summer nights.
A great surf and turf restaurant overlooking the Malibu coastline! Inspired by Iron Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the restaurant opened in October 1999, but moved to the current location off of Pacific Coast Highway. Complete with a sushi bar, this upscale location recommends reservations (they can take reservations up to a month in advance). With a massive breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drink menu, this is an amazing spot to plan a nice meal any time of day, any day of the year. Sporting exquisite wines and craft cocktails, there is something for everybody here. With the heart of an Iron Chef, the soul of Malibu, and a view of the ocean, Nobu is a must try for any foodie looking for exquisite open air dining.