Posted Apr 15, 2015
6 Great Places to Eat Outdoors in Los Angeles
After a late evening of partying among L.A.’s bustling nightlife scene, there’s nothing quite like enjoying brunch outdoors to recuperate.
The city is abundant with upscale restaurants and casual eateries that offer outdoor seating in the various LA neighborhoods. Grab your sunglasses and a shawl to eat at one of these top al fresco spots in Los Angeles:
Adored among Los Angeles residents for its tasty California-inspired French cuisine, AOC is a prime spot for lunch and dinner. The focus is on small plates with local produce.
The house favorites are the vintner’s and farmer’s plates. The vintner’s plate comes with rillettes, cured meats, cheese, pickles and roasted grapes, while the farmer’s plate is an assortment of winter veggies, muhammara, burrata, and chickpea puree.
Those lucky enough to snag outdoor seating can enjoy the European vibe of the patio. Family-style booths allow for communal seating while smaller tables are ideal for intimate dining. Look around to find country-style windows, foliage lining the walls and a sunny sky peeking through the trees overhead. While here, make sure to sample vinos from the extensive wine list.
Dominick’s gives you the feel of a New York eatery, except with the warm breeze and gorgeous views of L.A. Inside, the restaurant is themed after the Big Apple circa the 1960s, when the Rat Pack was in its heyday. Pass by swanky booths and cool cats sipping martinis as you make your way to the outdoor seating located on the patio.
Grab a seat near the fireplace or at the outdoor bar and take in the beautiful scene: Greenery lines the red brick walls, and the tables have the feel of a traditional Italian diner– plain white tablecloths with dark wood chairs.
The food is as delectable as the environment. Traditional Italian dishes rotate according to the seasonal offerings. You might find whitefish picatta, ricotta fritters, wood-grilled artichoke, or traditional Sicilian rice balls. Keep in mind that Dominick’s is only open for dinner, and you may need reservations on a busy weekend evening.
When you arrive at Malibu Seafood, it may look like anything but a quaint dining spot, depending on where you’re coming from. The place is divided into two parts: a tiny market to the right where the line to purchase fresh fish runs along the block and a counter for ordering food ready to eat.
The food offerings include bay shrimp, clam strips, fries, rice pilaf, fish tacos, and Dungeness crab, and be sure to get some house-made clam chowder and coleslaw.
Once you pick up your order at the window off to the side, you can sit down at at one of the three levels of picnic tables. The outdoor seating area is a vast patio with a magnificent view of the coast. Bright red umbrellas protect diners from the sun, and the picnic tables match to boot.
It can get quite busy, particularly during the lunchtime rush, but it’s usually only a few minutes of waiting for a seat to open up.
Blending Hawaiian and Asian cuisine, A-Frame is the brainchild of Roy Choi, who has been revamping the menu in 2015 to take a more traditional approach. New items on the menu include Spam musubi, huli huli chicken, and loco moco, and brand new chefs are in the kitchen cooking up these masterpieces.
One of the most interesting facts about A-Frame is that it was once an IHOP. Despite its history as a major chain restaurant, the building is architectural beauty. Inside are high wood rafters lining the A-frame ceiling and tree-filled window views complemented by gentle, ambient lighting.
Outdoors, you’ll find a more modern-looking setting with a whole lot of kitsch. Bright yellows and reds make up the frame and furnishings of the patio, and white umbrella-like lights hang overhead, providing shade during the day and lighting at night.
Cafe Pinot has a lot to pat itself on the back for, such as a Wine Spectator Restaurant Award, but it’s perhaps most loved for its outdoor seating. Set among beautiful Jacaranda trees, the patio offers a view of the Central Library, a landmark from the 1920s, as well as the sight of a small park with a charming fountain.
The cuisine here is modern Californian-French, and the menu items are based largely on what’s available at the local farmers market. There’s a daily rotisserie, but you can also order items like baked barramundi, pork belly, crispy veal breast and the popular “Toad in the Hole,” which comes with a duck egg, French ham, pain de mi, spinach, mornay sauce, and piquillo peppers. Be aware that the patio menu can be more expensive than than the indoor menu.
Last but not least is Nobu Malibu, a Japanese restaurant with outdoor seating right up against the edge of the beach perched over the water. As if the view weren’t magnificent enough, the patio contains Japanese trees and shrubs as well as elegant light-wood tables.
Some argue that it’s the best spot to watch the sunset in Los Angeles. With that being said, Nobu Malibu is immensely popular and reservations are typically necessary.
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