Though summer officially ended on September 22, temperatures in Southern California will continue to hover above a steamy 80 degrees for the next few weeks. Stay cool without breaking a sweat by lingering over lunch at a poolside restaurant. Whether you’re conducting business or lunching with the ladies, here are our picks for the breeziest places to drink and dine near a glistening body of cool water.
The Conservatory Grill at The Montage
Every day and all day, this poolside grill serves fish tacos overflowing with cabbage slaw, chopped salads full of blue cheese and crunchy walnuts, and fine French white wines. But on Sundays, Executive Chef Gabriel Ask pulls out a casual dinner menu that goes very well with the rooftop pool’s sunset views. Crab Louie lettuce wraps offer the best of both worlds: rich, sweet crab and crispy, healthy greens.
The Backyard at the W Westwood
Within arms reach of the pool at this Cali-cool property, dine on sunchoke bisque, grilled chicken paillard with smoked paprika, and drunken mussels. It’s a little bit like the South of France, but closer. There’s a mimosa-heavy brunch menu on weekends too.
Fig Santa Monica
Not more than 100 feet from the beach, Fig inside Santa Monica’s Fairmont Miramar Hotel feels like an oasis, especially if you manage to snag one of the hotel’s outdoor tables near the koi pond. Chef Ray Garcia pays attention to seasonality and his most favorite farmers from the nearby Santa Monica Farmers Market. Sip a craft cocktail and catch up with old friends over pork belly tacos or little gem lettuces.
The Roof on Wilshire
Mid-Wilshire isn’t known for its bar scene, and that means this hideaway atop the Hotel Wilshire is far off the beaten path (read: no crowds). This is the place to sip a glass of white wine (the cocktails aren’t among the city’s best) and admire the views of the Hollywood Hills. Luckily, chef Eric Greenspan consulted on the menu which means crazy concoctions like pancake lasagna.