10 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles for Outdoor Dining

Nobu Malibu

Aldo RossiNobu Malibu

Summer living -- and eating -- in Los Angeles is sweet. From sweeping seaside and rooftop views to Spanish-style patios and glamorous Hollywood hangs, Los Angeles offers an amazing selection of restaurants where you can take in the sights on your plate and the natural ones around you at the same time. Turn the page for the city's 10 best outdoor patios.


Jessica KoslowAOC

10. AOC:

Step inside the new iteration of AOC and out its wide-open side doors for a little taste of California Wine Country or maybe the European countryside. The restaurant spills out into the patio, an adjoining room with three walls and no roof. There are two family-style booths set back into tiled walls on each end and cute country-style windows all around. But the best view is up -- at the restaurant's balcony, its foliage creeping along the edges of the roof or just straight above at the expansive sky. Serving both lunch and dinner, Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne's wine bar also, unsurprisingly, boasts an extensive wine list of several pages, which arrives on a clipboard. What to order: clams in sherry and garlic with toast. 8700 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 310-859-9859.

The Roof Garden at The Peninsula Beverly Hills

The Peninsula Beverly HillsThe Roof Garden at The Peninsula Beverly Hills

9. The Roof Garden at The Peninsula Beverly Hills:

The Peninsula in Beverly Hills comes off as a playground for the rich and famous. But, travel through the high tea lounge, up the elevators to the penthouse and past the spa and a relaxing Roof Garden appears with a vacation vibe. The pool is even further up the steps, so the noise from frolicking families can only be heard on a stroll to the edge of the patio for a bird's-eye view of L.A. Every weekend evening through September 1, executive chef David Codney fires up the grill and serves barbecued specialties, including baby back ribs, duck tacos and Australian rock lobster tail. What to order: fish tacos. 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; 310-551-2888.


Jessica KoslowWilshire

8. Wilshire:

From the outside, it's hard to imagine a romantic back patio hidden behind Santa Monica's Wilshire restaurant. Past the dimly lit and lively bar and out the back doors, there's a very popular outdoor area that's still going strong after eight years. It's lodged between a glass and a brick building, New York City-style, with towering trees strung with little bright lights, a fireplace-in-a-box and an outdoor bar. It's romantic and ideal for an anniversary, and families and large groups also eat here, along with noted locals like Oliver Stone and Jason Segal. What to order: fontina and smoked mozzarella mac 'n' cheese with spinach. 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-586-1707.

Malibu Seafood

Jessica KoslowMalibu Seafood

7. Malibu Seafood:

On an average summer afternoon, 20 people wait to order food in a line that travels out of the small hut, down the steps and spills into the parking lot. Malibu Seafood is split into two sides: The right is the tiny fish market, and the left is the counter to order and pay for food. The pick-up window is around the side, and there are three levels of picnic tables, packed with families, couples and friends, which travel up the side of the PCH. Co-owner Jon Christensen says they make the tartar sauce, chowder and coleslaw in-house daily, and the fish is caught every day but Sunday. What to order: fish and chips. 25653 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; 310-456-3430.

The Backyard at The W

Jessica KoslowThe Backyard at The W

6. The Backyard at The W:

Sitting in The Backyard of W Los Angeles - Westwood offers three types of views: cityscape, poolside charm and natural splendor. Designer Thom Filicia (from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) went with a woodsy feel, with lots of green -- trees, grass, and gardens -- even adding a waterfall. It's zen enough for the Lakers' Metta World Peace, who apparently takes meetings here. The tables aren't too close to the pool, but they're close enough to the action when Wet Sundays, a summer pool party, rolls around at 11 a.m. People chill in the private cabanas and listen to a different lineup of DJs each Sunday. Executive chef Dakota Weiss has created her own line of popcorn (caramel, curry, pistachios and bacon), which she just might surprise guests with on a whim. What to order: backyard cheeseburger with white cheddar, fried pickles, pretzel bun and sweet potato fries. 930 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles; 310-208-8765.

Café Pinot

Jessica KoslowCafé Pinot

5. Café Pinot:

For the past few months, the purple Jacaranda trees around L.A. have been magnificent, and they're on full display at Café Pinot. The restaurant, which nabbed a Wine Spectator Restaurant Award -- it's part of Joachim Splichal's Patina Group -- is located beside a mini-park area circling a fountain, next door to downtown's public Central Library. While diners chat and chew, they can stare up at the 1920s landmark library as well as four prominent skyscrapers and a forest of well-manicured, slender trees all pointing at something in the sky. The patio menu is pricey, and so coming soon, chef Sydney Hunter III is introducing bar bites, cheaper eats like sliders, so people can sit and snack outside without ordering a full dinner. What to order: hamachi with kumquat conserva, avocado, micro cilantro, breakfast radish, fried shallots. 700 W. 5th St., Los Angeles; 213-239-6500.

Chateau Marmont

Chateau MarmontChateau Marmont

4. Chateau Marmont:

Believe the hype. Lounging on the vintage furniture arranged around Chateau Marmont's garden terrace will make a person feel like a 1930s-era Hollywood movie star. On any given day, movie producers, break-out young screenwriters and gorgeous starlets are likely dining -- and schmoozing -- at this noted establishment. And, most regular folk want in on the action: the two French girls vacationing in L.A. and eating ice cream, the mother-and-daughter duo asking the waiter a string of questions and the lady sitting alone wearing sunglasses at a table for two. Although the lively Bar Marmont is down the hill, the restaurant's bar has its own spirited following for those who like a little nosh with their late-night cocktails. What to order: spaghetti Bolognese. 8221 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; 323-656-1010.

Cliff's Edge

Jessica KoslowCliff's Edge

3. Cliff's Edge:

Standing on traffic-y, twisty Sunset Blvd., you might not suspect that Cliff's Edge offers a hidden oasis of calm on its back, two-level patio. In the center, a massive Ficus tree holds court, surrounded by oversized, empty clam shells and candelabras, of all things. The tables form a horseshoe around the tree, and the second level of seats looks like a long hut perched above, with bamboo shooting up and a pond in the back. In the far corner, the chefs work behind a window into the kitchen, and toward the front is a little service bar, which transforms into an oyster station every Thursday night, also known as Oyster Night. From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., the little guys are $1. Buckets of champagne, piles of lemons and platters of crushed ice and oysters appear alongside specially created oyster-friendly cocktails. What to order: oysters. 3626 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-666-6116.

Coast at Shutters on the Beach

Jessica KoslowCoast at Shutters on the Beach

2. Coast at Shutters on the Beach:

Meals at Coast aren't just enjoyed by guests of Shutters on the Beach. Plenty of locals have found this treasured spot, which cozies up to the boardwalk. This is a popular place for brunch, especially if you're lucky enough to get any of the three booths hugging the sand. Because the restaurant is slightly sunken, it feels as if you're in a fish bowl or submarine looking out at the joggers and people passing by as if they were interesting marine life. These are the seats to score. Although only Shutters guests can make brunch reservations, general manager Christopher Roman says he and his friendly staff will try their hardest to accommodate requests for the booths. What to order: lemon ricotta pancakes with fresh berries. One Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-458-0030.

Nobu Malibu

Aldo RossiNobu Malibu

1. Nobu Malibu:

The view from Nobu Malibu is magnificent. Tables run along the front balcony of the restaurant, which rises above the sandy beach and lapping waves. Every view is an ocean view -- to the north, south and west -- and every hour is the right hour for a visit. At lunch, the light blue sky rests on the brilliant blue sea. People stand and sit on the edge of the Japanese garden, listening to soulful samba, waiting for the doors to open at noon. Come for dinner and catch one of the world's most beautiful sunsets. What to order: Tai sweet shiso with red snapper and crispy shiitake mushrooms. 22706 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu; 310-317-9140.

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