LA Confidential Magazine: Al Fresco Views

You can't talk about dining in LA without discussing alfresco options. That's just the climate out here talking, and you can't find a restaurant without at least a table or two outside for diners to enjoy the (sort of) fresh air.

Then again, some people want their food with a view, so there are plenty of options for lovers of beauty, whether it be the downtown skyline or the Pacific waves. To find out some of my top choices for eating outside or with a great view in Los Angeles, click on the link, or take a look at the text of my stories below.


(Dining) Room With A View

If you think a view is superior to fresh air (and let’s be honest, LA is not known for its air quality), the Downtown skyline views at Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant (811 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; and the new WP24 by Wolfgang Puck (900 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles; at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles are great, but the vistas up and down the coast at Hotel Erwin’s High Rooftop Lounge (1697 Pacific Ave., Venice; make sunset a world-class event.

The Great Outdoors

One of the best things about living in LA is being able to eat alfresco all year round. The lush garden at Alcove Cafe & Bakery (1929 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles; is perfect for brunch, the tree-shaded courtyard at Rockwell Vt. (Behind 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles; is a sexy sylvan scene and the atrium at Palihouse’s The Hall Courtyard Brasserie (8465 Holloway Dr., West Hollywood; feels like a taverna in the south of France—as does the back patio at Dominick’s (8715 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood; The front terrace at Cecconi’s (8764 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; is good for people watching, and CafĂ© Pinot’s (700 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles; terrace makes for delightful Downtown dining, but it’s the backyard at Gjelina (1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; on Abbot Kinney, with its fire pits and convivial volume level, that is one of the most genial experiences in town. Westsiders want waves though, so for a view of the Pacific, grab a casual lunch right on the beach at Bob Morris’ Paradise Cove Beach Cafe (28128 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; paradise or soak in the surf on the deck at Geoffrey’s Malibu (27400 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; geoffreys Listen to the waves crash beneath your table on the deck of the Malibu Beach Inn (22878 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; malibubeach or sup more formally at The Lobster (1602 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica;, where there’s a million-dollar view of the Santa Monica Pier and its iconic Ferris wheel.