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10 Great Places To Dine Alone in L.A.

Alone at The Biltmore Hotel
Alone at The Biltmore Hotel

"A is for dining alone," M.F.K. Fisher wrote in An Alphabet for Gourmets, "...and so am I, if a choice must be made between most people I know and myself." We feel ya, Fisher.

Like Fisher, we would much rather dine alone, or not at all, if the alternative is being forced to indulge some twat droning on and on about their so-called life, or to endure that awkward moment when all diners' shared interests have been thoroughly hashed and it's not even dessert yet.

Poor Fisher found 1949 Los Angeles a bit hostile to the idea of a woman eating alone in a restaurant. While some restaurants today still aren't quite optimal for singles -- dishes served family-style, for example, or tables so uncomfortably big that you feel like Edith Ann -- Fisher nonetheless would have been in a good company of misanthropes, introverts, alone-but-not-lonelies who eat alone, and eat well, in the city. In no particular order, here are our favorite spots to dine alone. Comfortably. Happily. Shamelessly.

Brunch at The Bazaar
Brunch at The Bazaar

10. The Bazaar

Don't bring a book with you to the Bazaar. Now, you have a perfect excuse to let your eyes wander and watch an NBA star try to eat foam off a tiny spoon. Yes, we know that the true Angeleno does not gawk at celebrities. But. If there is an exception to this rule, it's at The Bazaar, where even the name of the restaurant hints that everything inside is intended to be ogled. Any of the bars are comfortable, and if it's early enough, don't feel self-conscious about sitting at your own table. Surely there's too much going on for anyone to pay much attention to you watching them. 465 S. La Cienega Blvd.; Los Angeles; (310) 246-5555.

Olives at Lucques
Olives at Lucques

9. Lucques

Sitting at the bar at Lucques has its perks: not only do you get to watch fantastic seasonal cocktails made from scratch, but you have access to the restaurant's full menu as well as a bar-only one that offers relatively simpler fare like spaghetti carbonara and a grilled cheese sandwich with roasted shallots. If you don't feel like chatting up the bartender, there's enough lighting here so you can read a book along with your meal. 8474 Melrose Ave. West Hollywood; (323) 655-6277.

Le Comptoir
Le Comptoir
Anne Fishbein

8. Le Comptoir

Say for once you actually do feel like hanging out with people - just not the ones you already know. At Le Comptoir at Tiara Cafe, Chef Gary Menes focuses on the best of the season's ingredients and showcases it all in a five-course pre-fixe menu. Twelve seats in this pop-up are at the counter, so the entire night will feel like an informal, cozy din(n)er party with great conversation and even better food. You can make a reservation or walk in after 9:30. 127 E. 9th St. Los Angeles; (424) 571-3536.

Seared Diver Scallop at Providence
Seared Diver Scallop at Providence

7. Providence

Surely the culinary equivalent of buying yourself velvet slippers, cashmere socks, velvet pants, and a cashmere turtleneck on Treat Yourself Day is treating yourself to a meal at Providence. Grab a seat at the bar during dinner hours or get a table all for yourself during the restaurant's Friday-only lunch hours. Wherever you sit, the staff walks that fine line between attentiveness and overbearing. Treat. Yo. Self. 5955 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles; (323) 460-4170.

Sotto's pizza
Sotto's pizza
Ryan Tanaka/Sotto

6. Sotto

The atmosphere at Sotto is boisterous, loud, and relentlessly welcoming no matter how many people you are with (or without). Per usual, the best seat for just you is probably at the bar, where you can order pizzas, pastas, and an excellent porcetto sandwich from the full menu. As an added bonus, you are in the perfect place to watch excellent cocktails mixed, shaken, and stirred. 9575 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles; (310) 277-0210.

 

Gjelina's mussels
Gjelina's mussels

5. Gjelina

If you're feeling introverted and would like a fine meal without the anxiety of having to talk to anyone, sit at Gjelina's beautiful bar. If you're feeling a bit more extroverted, make the communal table trend work for you and ask for a seat amongst the sea of handsome locals. Swap rustic food and age-old stories with these strangers, and maybe, just maybe, the misanthropic you will make a new friend. 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; (310) 450-1429.

Scallops, leek, potato and black truffle at Ludobites 8
Scallops, leek, potato and black truffle at Ludobites 8

4. LudoBites 8

Threw your hat into the ring but failed to score a golden ticket to Chef Ludo Lefebvre's eighth iteration of his LudoBites pop-up? Drool, if you must, over photos of Ludo's most recent creations and feed your social media-induced fear of missing out by reading Ludo lotto winners live-tweet their meal. But then dry your tears, pick up your hat and go down to Lemon Moon anyway. There you'll find six bar seats open specifically for walk-ins. There's some bounty left in the jackpot after all. 12200 W. Olympic Blvd. Beverly Hills; (310) 442-9191.

Chashu ramen at Tsujita
Chashu ramen at Tsujita

3. Tsujita

In general, most ramen joints are excellent places to eat by yourself, but going alone is particularly advantageous for perpetually crowded places like Tsujita. You might still have to wait, but you won't be twiddling your thumbs nearly as long as you would be if it was you plus one. Note that Tsujita's famed "artisan noodles" are only served during lunch, so if you're hankering for ramen at dinnertime, go to Daikokuya alone for a fast pass to a counter seat. Tsujita, 2057 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 231-7373. Daikokuya, 327 E. First St. Los Angeles; (213) 626-1680.

Chicken katsu at Fat Spoon
Chicken katsu at Fat Spoon

2. Fat Spoon

In the off chance that your wait at Daikokuya is longer than expected, or if you'd rather have tonkatsu instead, go next door to Fat Spoon. The counter at the back easily seats one, and most tables are lined against a wall, so tables for one are particularly comfortable. All the dishes on the menu, from the curries to the ramekin-sized vegetable sides, are perfectly portioned for just one person, and the prices reflect as much. 329 E. 1st St. Los Angeles; (213) 621-7890.

 

Amaro Bar at Osteria Mozza
Amaro Bar at Osteria Mozza

1. Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza

Opening a mozzarella bar, Nancy Silverton says in the Introduction to The Mozza Cookbook "suited me perfectly" because she "always liked working behind a counter, where I can interact with guests while I'm preparing food." It makes sense, then, that seats at the bars at both Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza probably are the best seats in the house. At the Osteria, you can watch Silverton do her magic with cheese behind the Mozzarella Bar, or have the three-course menu available only at the Amaro Bar. At the more casual Pizzeria, the best bar seat is the one in front of the brick oven, where you can watch the pizzas topped and baked while you have the bar-only daytime and late-night special of pizza, dessert, and a glass of wine for just $20. 6602 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; (323) 297-0100.

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miles
Pizzeria Mozza

641 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

323-297-0101

www.pizzeriamozza.com

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