Features

Ilaria’s Picks: LA’s Outdoor Dining Scene

Original feature published on October 18, 2020 and updated on January 29, 2021

Los Angeles restaurants, like with so many cities around the world, have been incredibly resilient these past few months. They have had to show an enormous amount of hustle, and their entrepreneurial spirit really came through in the form of outdoor dining. Let’s face it, LA has it easier than most in this regard, especially going into the winter months. 

Whenever possible to do so safely, I feel it’s important to support small businesses, so I recently took a little tour of Los Angeles’ outdoor dining scene. I hit these up myself over a period of a couple of months to suss out the socially-spaced-out outdoor dining scene. Here is a round-up of my favorites. 

–Ilaria

MARCO POLO TRATTORIA & BAR 

I happened upon this place recently whilst driving by; the inviting, sunny-yellow parasols peeking over the white walls lured me in. The restaurant opened just last year as part of the Silverlake Pool & Inn boutique hotel (from Avi Brosh and the Palisociety team). Coastal Italian cuisine, full cocktail bar (can you say afternoon spritz?), and perfectly secluded-but-airy vibes equal new favorite lunch spot. They also have a daily Aperitivo Hour from 4-6 pm.

MARCO POLO TRATTORIA & BAR
Photo Courtesy of Marco Polo

4141 Santa Monica Blvd / Sunset Junction, Silverlake / 323.486.7176

BESTIA

One of LA’s hardest-to-get tables. I had to book a month in advance. Love being able to walk around the arts district afterward, made me feel like I was in Europe. Was definitely missing the post-dinner Downtown bar hopping though. 

BESTIA
Photo Courtesy of Bestia

2121 E 7th Pl / Downtown / 213.514.5724

FORMOSA

The LA staple did a great job making the rooftop feel as cool and intimate as its legendary interiors. I washed down delicious gourmet Chinese with a Singapore Sling. Don’t let them give you a sidewalk seat; it’s not the same experience.

FORMOSA
Photo Courtesy of Formosa

7156 Santa Monica Blvd / West Hollywood / 323.850.1009

MARVIN

Best ratatouille in town. Love the sidewalk vibes. Very New York.

MARVIN
Photo Courtesy of Marvin

8114 Beverly Blvd / West Hollywood / 323.655.5553

HIPPO

Ask for patio seating, it will help you forget the times far better than the parking lot seating in the back. The small dishes are perfect for sharing.

HIPPO
Photo Courtesy of Hippo

5916 1/2 N Figueroa St / Highland Park / 323.545.3536

ROBERTA’S

Mouthwatering brunch or lunch. Pizza the way you need your pizza to be. Great for checking out the shops afterward as The Platform has a ton of great men’s boutiques.

ROBERTA'S
Photo Courtesy of Roberta’s

8810 Washington Blvd / Culver City / 718.417.1118

THE TRAILS CAFE

Take in one of LA’s prettiest hiking spots, then stop for an outdoor picnic at Trails. Comfort food, sandwiches, and a most perfect slice of pie.

THE TRAILS CAFE
Photo Courtesy of The Trails Cafe

2333 Fern Dell Dr / Griffith Park / 323.871.2102

REPUBLIQUE

The only heartbreak here is that it’s truly one of the most stunning indoor spots in LA. Just drown those memories in a little fine dining and good wine. It’s gonna be OK.

REPUBLIQUE
Photo Courtesy of Republique

624 S La Brea Ave / Miracle Mile / 310.362.6115

PERCH

Some of the best views in LA. Popular for brunch, stunning at night. 

PERCH
Photo Courtesy of Perch

448 S Hill St / Downtown / 213.802.1770

A.O.C.

Intimate and romantic. Hard to beat the food. Great neighborhood to walk off dinner.

AOC
Photo Courtesy of AOC

8700 W 3rd St / West Hollywood / 310.859.9859

MOMED

Momed is short for Modern Mediterranean and that describes both its Middle Eastern cuisine, made from locally-sourced organic ingredients, as well as its aesthetic which manages to feel both clean and eclectic. Order the duck shawarma because why not, and enjoy the cocktails and airy patio.

MOMED
Photo Courtesy of Momed

3245 Casitas Ave / Atwater Village / 323.522.3488

PETTY CASH TAQUERIA

Had a delicious pineapple habanero margarita while taking in the cool crowd on the sidewalk. Just felt like a fun night out, which we could all use. Chips & delicious guac always important.

PETTY CASH TAQUERIA
Photo Courtesy of Petty Cash Taqueria

7360 Beverly Blvd / West Hollywood / 323.933.5300

LA POUBELLE

Forever a local favorite. This is the closest you’ll feel these days to being out at a fun bar.

La Poubelle
Photo Courtesy of La Poubelle

5907 Franklin Ave / Hollywood / 323.465.0807

NORAH

Every single meal at this spot is drool worthy. The cast-iron cornbread and the hummus with wood fired pita will leave you dreaming for days, the pizza is the real deal, and you can’t go wrong with the wagyu. While the indoor space is cavernous, their outdoor patio is dimly-lit and intimate. 

Photo Courtesy of Norah

8279 Santa Monica Blvd / West Hollywood / 310.643.5853

THE ORIGINAL FARMERS MARKET

Perfect for a daytime stroll with the kids, an afternoon date, or just getting fresh organic groceries from local farmers at great prices. The options are endless. Favorites include chicken skewers from Singapore’s Banana Leaf, Nutella crepes from The French Crepe Company, Trejo’s Tacos, ice cream from Bennett’s and donuts from Bob’s. Pies from Du-Par’s get lines around the block.

Photo Courtesy of The Original Farmer’s Market

6333 W. 3rd St. / Fairfax / 323.933.9211

EREWHON

Erewhon is an LA health nut  & hipster institution. Their newest  Silverlake location is open, spacious, and feels like more like a Dean & Deluca than a grocery store. The best part might be the street-side tables where you can people watch with your energizing smoothies and gluten free deli entrees—and just feel damn good about yourself and life.

Photo Courtesy of Erewhon

4121 Santa Monica Blvd / Silverlake / 213.758.7854

MALIBU

JOHN’S GARDEN AT THE MALIBU COUNTRY MART

Get a healthy sandwich or snack, then take a seat at one of the picnic tables or claim your spot on the grass. Great with kids. The mart has great shops and ice cream spots. 

3835 Cross Creek Rd / Malibu / 310.456.5377

MALIBU FARM RESTAURANT & MALIBU FARM PIER CAFE

This place was born for this moment. The cafe is pretty much California heaven for a casual lunch, while the gorgeous restaurant is great for a more formal affair at lunch or dinner.

BALIBU FARM RESTAURANT & MALIBU FARM PIER CAFE
Photo Courtesy of Malibu Farm Restaurant

23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, End Of The Pier / Malibu / 310.456.1112

NEPTUNE’S NET

Burgers, fresh fish, surfers, and motorcyclists. A California locals staple. 

NEPTUNE'S NET
Photo Courtesy of Neptune’s Net

42505 CA-1 / Malibu / 310.457.3095

FAVE CURBSIDE PICKUP

JON & VINNY’S

Far and away one of LA’s favorite spots for pizza and pasta. 

JON & VINNY'S
Photo Courtesy of Jon & Vinny’s

412 N Fairfax Ave / Los Angeles + Multiple locations / 323.334.3369

TACOS TU MADRE

The gourmet tacos are obviously delicious and the little ordering window makes for an easy, quick pick-up. Love that I can run my other Larchmont errands while I’m at it. Great street for strolling the kids or taking the older ones out for ice cream. 

TACOS TU MADRE
Photo Courtesy of Tacos Tu Madre

203 N Larchmont Blvd / Hancock Park + Multiple Locations / 323.499.1143

FAVES TO POSTMATES

OTUS THAI KITCHEN

I order from here at least three times a week. A modern but classic take on Thai dishes done exquisitely. Healthy too—no MSG here. Sometimes I just sit around drooling, thinking about their sticky rice with mango dish. Highly recommend the breakfast as well.

OTUS THAI KITCHEN
Photo Courtesy of Otus Thai Kitchen

1253 N La Brea Ave / West Hollywood / 323.969.8611

800 DEGREES WOODFIRED PIZZA

My go-to pizza delivery. 

800 DEGREES WOODFIRED PIZZA
Photo Courtesy of 800 Degrees Woodfired Pizza

1521 N Vine St / Hollywood + Multiple locations / 323.329.9656

KRISPY RICE

I dream of their Original Spicy Tuna Krispy Rice on a daily basis. Get a go-to combo box.

KRISPY RICE
Photo Courtesy of Krispy Rice

No address, no number / Delivery Only / Krispyricebysbe.com

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