Restaurants With Great Private Rooms
Restaurant recommendations are a common request here at goop, and the ask is often for spots with great private rooms where you could host a really special event like a birthday party, an anniversary, a rehearsal dinner, or even a wedding. Our picks all have a few things in common: The food is great, the backdrop justifies the celebration, and the excellent service means you can sit back and enjoy yourself, too.
Hotel Bel-Air701 Stone Canyon Rd., Beverly Hills | 310.472.1211
With a guest list that has included Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Prince Charles, and Richard Nixon (he wrote his memoirs here), it's not that surprising that after a comprehensive remodel in 2011, people were upset that Hotel Bel-Air wasn't exactly the same. But we still love it: We just don't go there expecting to see the original. The lobby, in particular, is so chic, and the Wolfgang Puck restaurant is a great pick for an event.
Spago176 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills | 310.385.0880
Since 1982, Spago has managed to hold its spot as one of the busiest and most celebrated LA restaurants. Sure, there's a ton of air-kissing and people-watching, but the seasonally-focused food succeeds thanks to fresh produce, meat, and fish that's done simply and well (the beet layer salad is always a highlight). It's the kind of place that's justified by a special occasion, and there are plenty of private room options for large parties.
chi SPACCA6610 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood | 323.297.1133
This wonderfully tiny, six-table spot is the latest addition to the Mozza family—with a homepage distinguished by a giant cleaver, Chi Spacca offers innumerable versions of pork and beef chops, which should definitely be shared (many are 42 to 50 ounces). Like any great steak house, even of the Italian variety, all that carne comes with a bountiful menu of delectable sides: The mashed potatoes are insane, as are the squash blossoms and grilled cauliflower. And, as this is California and all, you can trust that there's a simple grilled fish on the menu, along with a hearty kale salad. It's possible to rent the entire space for events.
Providence5955 Melrose Ave., Hollywood | 323.460.4170
With two Michelin stars at its back, Michael Cimarusti’s Providence easily ranks as one of L.A.’s best. The prix-fixe menu revolves around Cimarusti’s deep love for the sea, and the provenance of the fish on the menu is clearly-defined: There’s down-home “chowda,” lobsters from Maine, coho salmon from the Olympic peninsula, and a smattering of exotics, like ikura, uni, and razor clams. Meanwhile, the quietly-fancy space feels like it could double as the dining room of an opulent ocean liner. They have two private rooms for events.
Chinois on Main2709 Main St., Santa Monica | 310.392.9025
This place has been around since the '80s, but in the intervening years, it's lost none of its appeal. As a pioneer in the Asian-fusion space (one of Wolfgang Puck's first restaurants), Chinois—which marries French and Chinese cuisine—totally revolutionized the L.A. food scene. Now, the food feels wonderfully familiar in a space that looks straight out of Ruthless People. The curried oysters, duck pancakes, and spicy miso black cod are classics. A trip here always brings a real sense of nostalgia, as this was one of the first foodie destinations in California. The excellent service and family-style servings make it perfect for a group (and there's a private room to accommodate, too).
Michael’s1147 Third St., Santa Monica | 310.451.0843
More than 25 years after opening, this place—like its counterpart in NYC—is still going strong, retaining that old-school Santa Monica feel. With new chef Miles Thompson’s revamped menu, Meredith Hayman’s fresh cocktails, and a breathtaking redesign of their lush back patio, we’ve recently come to regard it as our very classy new evening drinking destination. The candle-lit back patio is a magical spot for hosting an event.
Connie and Ted’s8171 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood | 323.848.2722
Connie & Ted's is undeniably one of the best options in L.A. for a great New England-style seafood meal. The menu is vast and great all around, but you can't go wrong with the daily fresh catch, prepared simply and skillfully—that or the fish and chips, which is buttery, flaky, and not the least bit greasy. Same goes for the overflowing fried oyster sandwich, which you'll be all too happy to eat with a fork and knife. Their family-style dinners, served to up to 16 guests on the private patio, are perfect for any low-key special occasion.
Cecconi’s8764 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood | 310.432.2000
This is the quintessential LA hangout where the fun people-watching comes with a side of craft cocktails and decent Italian food. The Butterfly Room (named after its centerpiece, a heart-shaped painting by Damien Hirst) is roomier than most private dining areas (it can accommodate up to forty guests) and has a private entrance.
Nobu Malibu22706 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu | 310.317.9140
There are now 32 outposts of Nobu—and they draw a devoted tourist-y crowd—but the Malibu location, positioned on a bluff overlooking the ocean, is worth braving the crowds. The backdrop offers the kind of sweeping views that people are happy to have for something big and festive like a rehearsal dinner, plus the food is reliably good.
Cadet2518 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica | 310.828.3300
Situated on a somewhat random chunk of Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, Cadet has gone largely undiscovered, which is particularly beneficial come weekend brunch: When most other places on the West Side have lines out the door and wait times that creep into dinner hour, you're likely to get a table right away and a French-inflected meal that easily outshines its neighbors, courtesy of Chef Kris Tominaga. In the back, you'll find a cozy, roof-less courtyard with a lounge area and a comfortable communal table situation that's well-suited for baby and bridal showers in daytime and loud-ish birthday parties or chill work gatherings at night.
Scopa Italian Roots2905 Washington Blvd., Venice | 310.821.1100
The first thing to know about Scopa is that it’s massive. In addition to a sea of cafe tables there are shared banquettes, communal tables, and a stretch bar which is home to an extensive spirit offering (there’s a healthy wine list as well). They even have a private room upstairs, with a peek-a-boo window overlooking the main dining room. We suggest starting with one of the expertly curated Italian cold cut and cheeses plates before diving into the more substantial pastas and mains. The menu is packed with classic Italian dishes (lasagne, whole branzino) which Chef Antonia Lofaso (of Top Chef fame) executes flawlessly. This is also one of the few non-Italian bakery spots in town where you can get a decent cannoli. Plus, unlike many L.A. eateries, this one serves food until midnight on most evenings.
Tasting Kitchen1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice | 310.392.6644
You’d never guess that The Tasting Kitchen sits on one of Venice’s busiest thoroughfares: It’s partly because of the fortress-like entrance, and partly because the loft-y, two-floor space revolves around a small grove of transporting olive trees. The food—modern Italian by Portland transplant Casey Lane—is excellent, made even better by the comfortable, leather wrapped Eames chairs, welcoming bar area, and always kind and attentive service. While it's one of the city's major culinary destinations—and gets really booked—if you walk in at 6, you can generally always get a table, and there are two big communal tables in the bar. If you have at least 20 people, you can book their elegant private space upstairs.
Mélisse1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica | 310.395.0881
Luxe ingredients like lobster and caviar, made with a nod to traditional French technique, earned Melisse two Michelin stars. A tasting menu is basically mandatory at a place like this—if you're adventurous go for Chef Josiah Citrin's Carte Blanche menu. It's a great place for a white tablecloth-style event in one of their private rooms, too.
Osteria Mozza6602 Melrose Ave., Hollywood | 323.297.0100
For the true Italophile, pull out all the stops and order the seven-course pasta tasting menu at the more dressed-up of the two Mozza dining rooms. If you choose, you can accompany each course with their suggested wine. Their wine room is an ideal location for a small private event, but it's also possible to arrange a full buyout.
Patina141 S. Grand Ave., Downtown | 213.972.3331
Frank Gehry acolytes come from across the globe to see his curvaceous masterpiece, Disney Hall—so why not make a meal of it. The buttoned-up Patina is the crown jewel in Joachim Splichal’s empire of eateries at cultural institutions. Over the years, Patina has earned its fair share of Michelin stars, and now with young up-and-comer Paul Lee at the helm, the artfully prepared French fare has been modernized. Its central location downtown makes it a great option for private events, as well.
Cassia1314 7th St., Santa Monica | 310.393.6699
Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb are basically the First Family of West L.A.’s food scene. There’s Rustic Canyon, which started it all, and Huckleberry Café, and Milo & Olive, and Sweet Rose Creamery, and now, Cassia, which they opened in partnership with another great culinary couple, Bryant Ng (R.I.P. Spice Table) and Kim Luu-Ng. With three stretch bars, a stunning Art Deco dining room, and buckets of natural light, it’s by far one of the biggest and most beautiful spaces in Santa Monica, and the Southeast Asian-inflected food is some of the best we’ve ever tasted. The airy space, not to mention the convenient location, make it a no-brainer for small parties and events as well—call ahead to reserve the separate private dining room which can comfortable seat up to 20 people .
Bouchon235 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills | 310.271.9910
Thomas Keller's Bouchon is universally adored, both for the food (non-stuffy authentic French cuisine including great moules frites) and the central location in Beverly Hills overlooking a garden. The high-ceiling, tiled floors, and gilded details of the dining room have a sort of transformative effect, which is particularly fitting for special occasions. Same goes for the private room options: There's Escoffier Room which can seat 20, the Champagne Salon for more intimate gatherings, and the option of renting out the entire space.