If there’s one thing we’re happy to get back to, it’s sipping a cocktail or glass of rosé from one of DTLA’s best perches (Perch included!). Rooftops have become synonymous with L.A. day and nightlife, places to snack with a few friends, enjoy the sun or stars, plus amazing views of the skyline and beyond.
Downtown has its fair share of great places on high — sometimes really, really high — and now that we’re in reopening phases all over town, it’s time to revisit some of the best. Including a few new ones! Keep in mind that things are still shifting, so be sure to check the websites for hours and reservation info.
The Arts District newcomer hails from Mexico City, but it feels more like Palm Springs circa 1950s. That’s to say, it feels like a vacation no matter what. The almost entire outdoor spaces faces west, with a lush urban oasis decor. Think: desert pastels, terracotta tiles, rich cedar wood accents, lots of greenery. We’re loving the guacamole, ceviche, fresh salads, tacos, and especially the blackberry-hibiscus swizzle that goes with everything.
While 71Above, one of the tallest restaurants in DTLA with amazing views in every direction, has been closed (it’s all indoors), the owner was finally able to open a casual all-outdoor concept on the 69th floor of the US Bank Tower building. This high-flying dining is not for the faint of heart: It’s the same floor where the glass slide once existed, where you basically floated off the side of the building for two short seconds. The menu skews towards grazing: mezze like hummus, muhammara, fattoush salads, plus cocktails and wine. Reservations are mandatory.
Designated as the “tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere,” this elevated lounge doesn’t disappoint. Sip cocktails from the 73rd story of an expansive and open-air bar above the InterContinental hotel, with sweeping views of Downtown and beyond. Sunset views, towering over some of the city’s tallest skyscrapers, pink cocktails, lots of bubbly — it has it all.
Like an oasis in the heart of DTLA, this tropical-inspired poolside bar at the Freehand Hotel is the best place for a plate of fish tacos and a fruity slushy cocktail named for Willy Wonka. It’s as if the beach has been lifted and transported to the neighborhood. Reservations are helpful.
The rooftop bar and restaurant atop the Hoxton doesn’t disappoint. On one side of the pool, the main dining room has a retracting roof and amazing views of the city, not to mention huge windows and lots of greenery. On the other, it’s like a garden in the sky where you can nibble on mezze platters, wood-fired pizzas and sip spicy margaritas or something fun and fruity served in a honey bear bottle.
Southern and soul food classics done with an LA twist (by a fine dining-trained chef, no less). The cheery Downtown cafe has everything from fried chicken and waffles to brown rice grain bowls for breakfast and brunch. The spacious rooftop patio offers the perfect spot for a socially distanced meal, or order ahead for curbside pickup or delivery.
Packed since day one, the rooftop lounge at the Fashion District hotel is perfect for drinks from early to late. The crowd is as hipster as at any Ace, with music to match. Watch the sun set as the “Jesus Saves” sign blazes up at night. In one direction, it’s the Los Angeles sprawl in all its glory; in the other, you’ll see mountains behind tall skyscrapers and other skyline buildings. Cocktails include twists on tropical favorites like mai tais, a walloping old fashioned on tap, and plenty of wine by the bottle or glass.
This French-themed boîte overlooking Pershing Square and Downtown LA is a lovely spot for snacks, dinner or brunch. With well-spaced tables on both the 15th and 16th floors, there’s room to spread out and enjoy the perfect city views. And with fire pits for cozy nights, covered tables during sunny days, plus indoor seating, there are plenty of options.
Set high above the Financial District, this long-standing sushi and robata bar has great views of the city from the 21st floor patio. There’s a variety of nigiri, sashimi and cut rolls, featuring all the usual suspects like yellowtails, toro, scallop and salmon. The rolls are more inventive, like the lobster roll in soy paper, or the Takami roll with spicy albacore and cucumber topped with peppered tuna and jalapeno yuzu. Open for dining on the patio as well as delivery and takeout.
Featured image courtesy Spire 73/Intercontinental Hotel Los Angeles Downtown