Compared to other areas of the United States, the City of Angels only experiences one season, and that is summer. There is hardly such a thing as a bad day in terms of the weather here. Locals are fortunate to enjoy these prime outdoor conditions year-round, and visitors quickly learn that spending time outside is a standard in this city.
In addition to exploring the open-air shopping centers and viewing public art on display around town, travelers can also bask in the sun when going out to eat. During summer, the best places to dine are the restaurants where the patio views are as impressive as the plates of food. From cafes located on the pier in Malibu to upscale dining rooms directly across the street from the tranquil Beverly Canon Gardens, there are plenty of options for alfresco dining. Here, concierges at local hotels recommended their favorite outdoor dining spots—each place will have you hoping that summer never ends.
The District by Hannah An
A recent addition to the current lineup of restaurants along West Third Street is The District by Hannah An. The two-story space, which opened in February, has a hybrid style. Elements of colonial Vietnamese design are a nod to the owner’s family heritage—she’s the daughter of House of An’s matriarch, Helene An—and rustic accents hint at her American upbringing. Outdoor seating is available, with a sidewalk-facing patio that includes tabletop fire pits and Douglas fir posts that frame street views. Inside, the first floor features industrial-inspired decor while the upstairs is much more lavish. When it comes to the menu, traditional dishes range from “bo luc lac” (filet mignon cubes sauteed with onion, garlic, tomato, basil and broccoli) to a wok-fried half or whole lobster served with handmade noodles. (8722 W. Third St., West Hollywood; 310-278-2345; thedistrictbyha.com)
“Nestled in between an array of galleries and interior design studios on Melrose Avenue sits Gracias Madre, which hosts one of the best alfresco dining experiences in the area. The outdoor space is a sanctuary by day and a place to see and be seen by night. But with all the talk about the outdoor space, the fare at Gracias Madre cannot go without mention. Everything from tacos and enchiladas con mole to traditional Spanish flan, the entire menu boasts flavorful and organic ingredients—one will soon forget the entire menu is meat- and dairy-free.” (8905 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; 323-978-2170; graciasmadreweho.com) —Lori Trimble, chef concierge at SLS Beverly Hills
Culina, Modern Italian
“I would recommend Culina, Modern Italian, which has one of the most spacious patios in Los Angeles, surrounded by succulents, lemon trees and a fire-water feature. Culina also features [a] live-action crudo bar, house-made pasta and a range of delicious entrees.” Located at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, the casual yet elegant space transports diners to a Mediterranean garden that might make you forget you’re in Beverly Hills. The patio is also the ideal spot to enjoy crudo hour—an Italian spin on happy hour. (300 S. Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills; 310-860-4000; culinarestaurant.com) —Kristina Martindale, chef concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
“Lucques by James Beard Award-winning chef Suzanne Goin opened in 1998 and has been a staple for fine dining in Los Angeles since day one. Focused on using only the freshest ingredients presented with innovative preparation and perfectly executed aesthetic, eating at Lucques offers a meal you will not soon forget.” (8474 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; 323-655-6277; lucques.com) —James Little, chef concierge at The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Cast & Plow
“My first choice would be [The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey] restaurant Cast & Plow, which has an amazing patio overlooking the marina. Our chefs strive to use as many local producers as possible. I highly recommend the organic salmon.” The farm-to-table restaurant is open for breakfast (6:30 to 11 a.m.), lunch (11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), dinner (6 to 10 p.m.) and also boasts a late-night menu (10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.) for guests to savor the healthy bites for all meals. (4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey; 310-574-4333; ritzcarlton.com) —Michelle Gilley, chef concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey
“Cliff’s Edge [has an] amazing patio off the beaten track in Silver Lake. The restaurant offers a changing menu that focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients with simple preparation techniques that let the flavors shine. Most locals and visitors never make it as far east as Silver Lake, which makes this restaurant a secret gem especially with the amazing patio.” (3626 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; 323-666-6116; cliffsedgecafe.com) —James Little, chef concierge at The Peninsula Beverly Hills
“The patio at A.O.C. is one of my favorite outdoor dining spots in the city. It is an open, airy space surrounded by walls for privacy, but harboring two huge trees that create a canopy over the tables. You can never go wrong with a Suzanne Goin restaurant, and her take on tapas-style small plates of Mediterranean-influenced, California-French cuisine is not to be missed. The brunch on Sundays is phenomenal and sitting on the patio is the icing on the cake.” (8700 W. Third St., West Hollywood; 310-859-9859; aocwinebar.com) —James Little, chef concierge at The Peninsula Beverly Hills
“[A] great option would be the Malibu Farm restaurant located on the Malibu Pier, perfect for before or after visiting The Getty Villa.” The cafe’s three aspects—fresh, organic and local—are evident on the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. While reservations are not accepted for breakfast and lunch, guests are encouraged to make one if they are hoping to snag a seaside seat for dinner on Wednesdays through Sundays. (23000 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; 310-456-1112; malibu-farm.com) —Michelle Gilley, chef concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey
—Written by Kirsti Correa