From soaring rooftops to leafy patios, here is where you will want to dine and drink across the city this summer and well into fall.
Alice, 1 Kitchen by Chris Crary, and Juniper Tree at 1 Hotel West Hollywood
The 1 Hotel West Hollywood on Sunset is finally open with not one but two great restaurants and a new lobby bar. Bravo’s Top Chef Chris Crary takes over the main ground floor eatery with 1 Kitchen by Chris Crary, where he rolls out addictive chicken Bolognese and Panzanella salads. Juniper Tree is the destination cocktail bar swathed in soothing neutral tones and plenty of rustic woods which looks more West Malibu than West Hollywood (don’t worry Harriet’s bar is still on the roof with killer cocktails and views.) Next door at Alice, The h.wood Group and Built, Inc. designed space showcases a marketplace in front and an indoor-outdoor dining venue in the back. It’s perfect for breakfast with a croque monsieur, lunch with a Slab brisket sandwich (and saves you waiting in line on Beverly Blvd.) or chopped salad but do pop in for dinner and try the crab legs and Porterhouse for a sexy new surf-n-turf.
KASS Wine Bar & Restaurant
We are so happy that Executive Chef Christophe Émé has returned to the dining scene after an 8-year hiatus from Ortolan on West Third Street. The Michelin -starred French chef is back in his refined element but with a lighter casual touch. Yes, there is a delicate whipped egg served in the shell topped with caviar but there is also a beet salad with black lentils, farrow risotto with morel mushrooms, and a heartier braised oxtail with bone marrow and Burgundy truffles. They also have a wine bar with an excellent list and solid by the glass options predominately from the Loire Valley. Do not be intimidated by the past pedigree, KASS ticks all the boxes and is a great spot for an intimate weekday bite over cheese and charcuterie, weekend romantic date night or a multi-course meal with friends and family.
Eleven City Diner
Our favorite new breakfast and lunch spot plays all the classic deli favorites but with a slight twist. Reuben sandwiches have both pastrami and corned beef and latkes are served old school or new school style with parmesan cheese. The food is hearty and comforting from Matzo ball soup to fluffy French toast with bananas, but we would come here anyway just for the cool retro décor painstakingly designed by owner Bradley Rubin (don’t miss the ladies room wallpaper.) Eleven City Diner also makes their own decadent chocolate cake and root beer but the froze slushie (with rose) make this place perfect for a summer pit stop.
Sometimes you just need to escape to a hidden cocktail bar behind your local brewery. Tucked behind 6th & La Brea, Brandon’s (named for one of the brewers) is that cozy, intimate bar for a tryst that you’ve been looking for. The libations are by Bar Manager Angela Ryskiewicz that include a light and refreshing gin cocktail with Jardesca or an amaro flight that goes down easy with the mid-century modern vibe and custom vinyl soundtracks. Opening hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 8pm to late.
My Little Dumpling
The old Gusto space is now a sweet little dumpling spot. We highly recommend the pork soup dumplings and ChinChin style Chinese chicken salad for a ‘soup and salad’ lunch. (The upscale restaurant was actually opened by Robert and Anthony Mandler – the family behind the ChinChin empire.) The crunchy fried buttermilk chicken with apricot sauce and tuna tartar eggrolls are also two great reasons to come back again and again.
As our favorite example of the indoor-outdoor hospitality wave that has recently engulfed the LA dining scene, The Klein Agency has created a museum quality patio restaurant and bar with leather banquettes and lounge chairs, and owner-chef Eric Bost has created a build-your-own tasting menu worthy of all the stars in the Michelin guide.
L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele Los Angeles
This famed Naples Pizzeria reached world recognition after the Eat, Pray, Love scene with Julia Roberts.
Now open in the old Café d’Artists space, owner and designer Francesco Zimone is taking full advantage of the wonderful patio with plenty of bench seating and an open pizza oven kitchen. The front also features another patio, fireplace and a bar. We plan to spend a lot of time here over the summer.
As the private club options in LA grows, the h Club in the old Redbury Hotel space takes the amenities to another level – starting with 11 different cafes, bars and restaurants spanning over 5 floors, all overseen by beloved LA Chef Kris Morningstar. The crowning jewel is Jarman’s on the rooftop with an outdoor screening room, lounge, bar and indoor dining options with magnificent views of Hollywood. Order whole grilled branzino with flowering broccoli and tahini sauce, twice baked potato with Boursin cheese and finish with fried ice-cream which is worth the annual fee alone.
The Hammer Museum in Westwood now covets one of the best open-air dining rooms and patios in town. Thanks to a quirky mid-century design by Fettle of London, and food by Chef Lisa Giffen including fried artichokes, seabass and any of the rustic boards laden with veggies or cheese-charcuterie. This is also a great option for an after-dinner drink at the sumptuous bar or brunch on the weekends.
Alameda Supper Club
The final piece to the Tartine Manufactory puzzle in the Row DTLA complex has arrived just in time for long, lingering alfresco meals. Whether you perch at the back bar and patio or the private dining room of the Alameda Supper Club, expect a magical evening. Genius cocktails helmed by Julian Cox, Nick Meyer and CJ Catalano, include the Celine Dijon with tequila reposado, pineapple mostarda, and Lillet Blanc. At your table, make sure to order standout oysters, salads and pastas thanks to a dream team of Chef Chris Bianco with influences from Tartine’s Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt, and the English and Mediterranean influences of Thomas Keller vet, Chef de Cuisine, Lee Foden-Clarke. And, there is always that award-winning bread to take home.
Even when the long-awaited Simone closed suddenly, we never gave up on the bar and neither should you! The cocktails are sensational by Bar Creative Director Iain McPherson’s, and now they have new talent in the kitchen, Chef Beberman of Gramercy Tavern fame, whipping up elevated bar fare that should keep the kitchen at Duello going strong. Either way, you can linger on the front patio with a mole negro churro and a scorpion that is a mix of three rums and absinthe with a maximum order of three.
We’d eat on this rustic patio every night if we could. Chef Ashley Abodeely formerly of the Nomad brings crab claws, ribeye, kale Caesar and Japanese sweet potato with yogurt dressing all in a historic firehouse hotel building in the Arts District by Dustin Lancaster (Bar Covell). Drink too much rose at dinner so you can sleep over and have Counter Culture coffee and baked goods by Chef Rose Lawrence in the morning.