Best Places To Drink Outside
While cold-weather drinking is really more of a necessity (whisky=instant warmth), summertime boozing is a legitimate leisure activity best enjoyed al fresco. Here, the rooftops, backyard gardens, and patios that after a cocktail or three, can make the muggiest of concrete jungles feel like an oasis.
Chateau Marmont8221 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood | 323.656.1010
Originally constructed in the ‘30s as an opulent apartment building (its design takes after the Gothic chateaus of the Loire Valley), the Chateau quickly morphed into a hotel. It has official historic landmark status for a million reasons: It’s played host to everyone in Hollywood (sadly, John Belushi died here), and despite an André Balazs re-do in the ‘90s, it still feels wonderfully old-world. Its popularity has never waned, to the extent that you generally can’t grab a bite or a drink here unless you’re checked-in, or meeting a guest. Images: Nikolas Koenig
Malibu Farm23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu | 310.456.1112
Malibu Farm is our go-to restaurant for impressing out-of-towners, thanks to its sweeping views of the ocean in both directions (and even of Catalina Island on a clear day). You can watch surfers and stand-up paddleboarders on iconic Surfrider Beach, plus the white sangria is perfectly refreshing on a hot day. Enjoying a zucchini pizza on the porch while you watch the sun set is pretty much as California as it gets.
Sunny Spot822 W. Washington Blvd., Venice | 310.448.8884
Food truck celebrity-turned restaurateur Roy Choi is a local hero in LA, and Sunny Spot really feels like a neighborhood joint. The quirky décor matches the Caribbean-inspired menu with orange benches, blue chairs, and stools topped with floral-print vinyl. The comfortably shaded patio can get pretty rowdy on weekends when Venice locals stop by for a boozy brunch.
Preux & Proper840 S. Spring St., Downtown | 213.896.0090
Preux & Proper is yet another newish addition to LA's growing downtown bar and restaurant scene. The New Orleans-inspired spot features an elegant but unstuffy interior: white walls and tile are grounded by dark floors and black leather stools and banquettes, and there are open-air patios on both floors. For an upscale, ladylike dining experience and fresh oysters (proper), sit upstairs. For a more rowdy bar scene and the opportunity to test their 6 separate frozen Daiquiri flavors (preux), stay on the first floor.
TART115 S. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood | 323.556.2608
Nestled in the interior patio of the Farmer's Daughter Hotel, TART's poolside patio feels completely isolated from crowded, stress-inducing The Grove directly across the street. This often-overlooked spot serves up Southern-inspired food including buttermilk-fried chicken and waffles (in the perfect proportion) and a respectable shrimp and grits dish. Their punch bowls, which come in a variety of freakishly potent flavors, are a great deal for bigger groups. While we can't confirm from personal experience, we've heard that brave souls who jump into the pool (clothes on) after brunch get their meal for half off.
E.P. & L.P.603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood | 310.855.9955
The just-opened E.P. & L.P. is excellent proof that you don't need an ocean view to have a magical rooftop experience in Los Angeles. While the downstairs restaurant, which serves Asian-inspired dishes, is certainly deserving of a spot on any "to try" list, any one of the bars (there are three, one inside the restaurant and two on the roof-top deck) is definitely the place to be. Upstairs, the décor feels very L.A., with a wood deck, neon chairs, and ample greenery to round out stunning views of the hills. Drink-wise, expect to find everything from traditional Pimm's cup to spiked boba tea.
The Bungalow101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica | 310.889.8530
When you daydream about moving to California and lounging in a beach house, the image you conjure probably looks something like the Bungalow. Its notable address on the corner of Wilshire and Ocean means that the west side hang-out has a solid view of the Pacific, with the décor to match—the shaded patio is dotted with hammocks, relaxed couches, and white-washed Adirondack chairs gathered around cozy fire pits. They also lay definitive claim to the best margarita in this part of town. Unfortunately, the secret's out about this spot, so the lines can get long on Fridays and Saturdays—we'd only recommend it for a weeknight or Sunday afternoon.