Long and hard I’ve worked to teach my kids about civilized dining, aka refraining from inserting breadsticks into one of the lesser-used facial cavities. Despite this, my boys would still be ejected from a cotillion—not to mention Patina—faster than you can shout, “A blazer isn’t a napkin!” I’ve become good at apologizing and even better at overtipping. But I’ve become equally adept at seeking out restaurants with patios, those respites where expectations are low, floors can be hosed down, and nature’s white noise drowns out the sound of thrown flatware. And when the kids shove aside the veggies, at least I’ve gotten some vitamin D into them. Here are three spots where kids (and adults) eat well:
2806 Clearwater St., Elysian Valley
The hybrid event space and restaurant offers well-manicured grounds for fidgety diners to explore after chomping on David Thorne’s ricotta pancakes.
2005 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock; 776 Vine St., Hollywood
Andre Guerrero’s “slow fast-food” joints have ample dining decks plus burgers, Belgian fries, and craft brews for the ’rents.
Brentwood Country Mart
225 26th St., Brentwood
After coddled eggs at Farm Shop, check out the mechanical rides on the back patio. A scoop from Sweet Rose Creamery can help encourage (OK, bribe) preferred behavior.