In most of the United States, sitting down for a restaurant meal under the open sky, perhaps with only a patio umbrella for a bit of shade, is a delight restricted to a few months out of the year. However, Los Angeles residents can enjoy eating in beautiful, sunny weather nearly every day at a multitude of restaurants specializing in outdoor dining.
Many Angelenos opt for classic patios, like the Peninsula Beverly Hills’ Roof Garden, where dinners can enjoy barbeque on a classic rooftop dining room, or the seaside delights of Nobu Malibu, where skillfully prepared seafood is accompanied by ocean spray and plenty of sun. The city boasts a wide variety of patio dining, ranging from the modestly priced fare eaten on picnic tables at Malibu Seafood to the parkland beauty and haute cuisine of Cafe Pinot. Eating at many of the best al fresco dining spots feels like participating in a Who’s Who of LA royalty. The best example is Chateau Marmont, which has a garden patio where cheerful tourists eat side by side with Hollywood’s best and brightest.
For those who want to surround themselves with nature, Trails Cafe in Griffith Park and Top of the Notch on Mount Baldy offer some of the most astounding natural scenery LA County has to offer. Diners can enjoy more tamed scenery at the otherwise unremarkable Chinese Tea House in the Huntington Gardens. While the food often fails to make a huge impact, the Chinese garden itself is outstanding. For fine dining, opt for the Inn of the Seventh Ray in the Santa Monica Mountains. More adventurous diners might choose to sign up for Urban Outdoor Skills’ foraging classes, where al fresco dining goes one step further, and guests pluck their dinners from LA soil itself.