Outdoor dining and drinking is a rite of passage in the land of eternal sunshine. Options abound around Downtown Los Angeles — rooftop bars to secret garden hideaways — and all are all easy to get to from 1133 Hope. Whether you’re in the mood for weekend brunch, afternoon happy hours or intimate dinners for two, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the best.
This expansive restaurant located inside the Hauser & Wirth gallery complex in the Arts District already has always been open-air and full of creative spirit. Tables flank sculptures, there’s a garden on-site and even chickens. Executive chef Kris Tominaga and his team create Southern-meets-SoCal dishes, like local yellowtail ceviche with benne seeds, baby lettuce salad with coriander-buttermilk vinaigrette, and Peads & Barnett pork chops with peaches. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, reservations are helpful.
907 E. 3rd St.; (323) 849-0480
Rooftops are de rigueur for DTLA hotels these days, and Pilot at the Hoxton doesn’t disappoint. The main dining room has a retracting roof and amazing views of the city, not to mention huge windows and lots of greenery. It’s like a garden in the sky where you can nibble on mezze platters, wood-fired pizzas and sip bottled margaritas or something super refreshing served in a honey bear bottle. Make reservations here. If you want to stay streetside, the all-day diner Sibling Rival has sidewalk seating — and those highly addictive praline pancakes.
1060 S. Broadway; (323) 405-9993
Built in a former church rectory, this modern American space is truly special to DTLA. In addition to the sleek, outdoor lounge and dining room in the courtyard, two more alfresco spaces have been added: the Redbird Garden and the Vibiana Courtyard. Each having its own vibe, you can choose which place you’d like to sit when you make reservations. Chef Neal Fraser’s updated New American dishes — mini chicken pot pie, shishito peppers with crispy quinoa, and taleggio polenta with pork — are now LA classics. Reserve here.
114 E. Second St.; (213) 788-1191
Taking up half the courtyard at City Market South in the Fashion District, it’s like dining in an Italian piazza with a lot of DTLA style. The menu is full of chef Steve Samson’s take on dishes he ate as a kid visiting family in Italy, things like prosciutto on little puffs of fried dough, meatballs with fennel pollen, gorgeous handmade pastas and more. There’s even Superfine pizza form the little slice shop he opened around the corner. Don’t miss the wine and cocktail list. Reservations are helpful.
1124 San Julian Street (between 11th and 12th streets); (213) 749-1099
Funny how just a few feet can take you to another country altogether in LA. Dama shares the courtyard with Rossoblu, only instead of Italy, you’re on an island somewhere sipping daiquiris and nibbling on ceviche, empanadas and other Latin-inspired dishes. It’s colorful, it’s chic, it’s all outdoors and perfect for DTLA’s balmy summer nights.
612 E. 11th St.; (213) 741-0612
The breezy patio at the Arts District spot has always been a welcome respite from the buzzing city that surrounds it. Sit outside surrounded by olive trees or shop the marketplace for items — prepared foods, wine, pantry staples — to go. There’s even a daily happy hour from 3-5pm, just the time for that afternoon glass of rosé and a bowl of warm herb-scented almonds.
580 Mateo St.; (323) 825-5381