LA Al Fresco…
Even in the time of COVID, California still has much to offer in the realm of cuisine and culture. From Rodeo Drive to Malibu, the hills of Bel-Air to the heights of DTLA, the options remain endless. Rather than peruse the latest restaurant review or city calendar, we’re providing a simplified guide on the best outdoor dining and sites to see through Los Angeles. Read below and enjoy LA Al Fresco.
Location: Bel Air
Tried and true, you can do no wrong at this beloved gourmet establishment. Overseen by the namesake himself, Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel-Air is a splendid option for any time of day. Tucked into the hills of Bel-Air, the ambiance is as delectable as the cuisine, with a locally sourced menu that never disappoints. Focused on the California lifestyle with Mediterranean influences, notable highlights include WP favorites like the Thai Style Chicken Salad or the refreshing Loup de Mer.
Location: Beverly Hills
Possibly LA’s most beloved Northern Italian spot, Madeo has thankfully adjusted to the new Al Fresco way of dining during this time. While indoor seating is not available, Madeo has made comfortable space for outside patrons on Camden drive. Start off your afternoon or evening with the always popular and exceptionally prepared Prosciutto E Melone or Carpaccio. After that, complete your ‘Serata Italiana’ with savory options like the Spaghetti All’ Aragosta or light and equally enjoyable Branzino Alla Griglia. Bene Appetito!
Even if you are not a vegan, Gracias Madre serves as the perfect summer (or any season) selection for gourmet Mexican cuisine. Artfully crafted and traditionally inspired, this plant-based restaurant in the heart of Melrose will exceed every expectation. Every item on the menu is made from scratch and locally source, culminating in a delicious journey for your taste buds and well-being. The Smoked Sweet Potato Flautas are a perfect blend of sweet, smokey, and spice. While the Tacos Al Pastor put a unique spin on topped tortillas with charred Pineapple and Black Bean. Thirdly and most importantly, don’t forget about their signature cocktails, that put a Gracias Madre spin on notable favorites. Choose between a Sangria and Paloma or specialty drinks like the So Fresa So Clean and Raspado to complement your courses.
With a chic modern ambiance and pan-Latin inspired cuisine, Dama is a DTLA must. Helmed by Chef and partner Antonia Lofaso, the establishment offers a large tropical-inspired outdoor seating area and cocktail menu with delicious Latin American dining options. Above all, set the tone for your evening with their crispy squash flowers stuffed with market cheese or an oxtail taco with manchego and pickled shishitos. Its the perfect way to enjoy LA Al Fresco!
A staple in Malibu, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa ocean side luxury Japanese restaurant maintains its reign as a go-to for outdoor dining by the sea. While sushi is the most prominent choice for the Iron Chef’s establishment, there are quite a few non-seafood options as well. Opting for ocean-fresh? The Yellowtail Sashimi is a wonderful selection offering a delectable mix of jalapeno, black cod, and miso. For a grass-fed choice, the Japanese A5 Wagyu provides two equally savory styles sourced from Kyushu, Japan. If you cannot choose, Chef Nobu’s Omakase menu is a perfect multi-course tasting option. The cocktail and wine menu is extensively crafted to pair based on your palette.
Settled in Pasadena, The Huntington Library and Gardens serve as a beautiful destination. The stunning gardens and museum are within short driving distance for most Angelenos. While the library itself remains closed, The Huntington Gardens remain open for visitors who book entry in advance. With over 120 acres of splendid garden-scapes, it is a perfect outdoor destination to spend your summer afternoons. Moreover, the botanical gardens feature 16 stunning themed garden areas with 15,000 different varieties of plants. Stroll through the Rose Garden and its 1200 varieties. Then venture into the tranquil Japenese garden with its serene landscaping and bridges stretching over cool waters. Being that indoor dining remains closed, guests have the option to choose grab and go items from the 1919 Cafe.