7465 Melrose Ave., Beverly Grove
Walk through Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese—as in behind the counter and past the kitchen—to find this hideaway, where Beyoncé has been known to nibble beneath twinkle lights. Eric Greenspan feeds Bey, as well as the rest of us, simple rustic California fare: crudités, roasted broccolini, and mix-and-match pots of shellfish in broth. Goblets brim with refreshing muddled fruit-and-booze creations.
8700 W. 3rd St., Beverly Grove
We aren’t ranking our favorite patios, but if we were, Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s stylish environs would easily take the cake (and it would be the spiced orange one with citrus and pistachio aillade). Ivy creeps up the walls, and petite balconies evoke the courtyard of a French country estate. Great wines inspire a seasonal menu that’s as breezy as the fragrant wafts drifting from the kitchen.
8265 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Grove
We suggest entering Terrine from the back, where a pair of double doors opens dramatically to reveal the tree-shaded patio, which (no offense to the Parisian
interior) is the place you want to eat. Chef Kris Morningstar goes Gallic with jars of silky truffled chicken liver, trout meunière, and on Tuesdays, smoky cassoulet. Frosty glasses of Provençal rosé mimic the hue of the L.A. sky at sunset.
1929 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz
A winding brick path weaves its way around this converted 1916 bungalow. Antique bistro tables support gargantuan spinach salads and, at brunch, potato pancakes piled high with smoked salmon and poached eggs. Alcove’s Big Bar doles out craft cocktails in the same serene setting.
8422 W. 3rd St., Beverly Grove
The Aussies know how to eat outdoors, and a Down Unda transplant is behind this stunner. One wall is dripping with green succulents; another vanishes completely to let in the buzz of street life. The avo toast here predates the craze, and chicken schnitzel arrives crisp and scattered with dill. Happy hour at golden hour takes place nightly.
114 E. 2nd St., downtown
When the sun is out (it usually is), the roof retracts to expose the former cathedral of the L.A. Arch-diocese turned destination restaurant to the elements. Lunchtime is an Instagrammer’s dream, casting each morsel of Neal Fraser’s barbecued tofu and rabbit sausage cavatelli in an ethereal light. Things dim romantically come nightfall, and the food remains divine.
8905 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood
Take a deep yogic breath of fresh air before diving fork first into plates of vegan Mexican food from the same team behind the health-focused Café Gratitude.
Eschewing animal products doesn’t mean denying oneself the joy of enchiladas and a killer tequila concoction. Be mindful of your joy by the outdoor fireplace on the enormous brick patio.
9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills
Marilyn Monroe once lazed in the swimming pool’s azure glow at what’s now the Avalon Hotel. We doubt she did so while eating a shellfish boudin blanc, however. Last year’s makeover by Kelly Wearstler amplifies the already-vintage vibe. Channel your inner Don or Joan with a gimlet or swizzle beside the restaurant’s kidney-shaped centerpiece.
3626 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
The only thing that separates this terraced, Moroccan pillow-lined wonderland from Sunset Boulevard is the concrete structure that makes up its indoor dining room. In the courtyard a massive tree presides over Gavin Humes’s ambitious cuisine, like salt-roasted beet tartare and crispy octopus with green romesco.
100 Terranea Wy., Rancho Palos Verdes
Try to look up from your plate of John Dory with hand-cut nasturtium pasta to take in Terranea Resort’s sweeping ocean views. Much of the produce is grown on-site, and even the salt is harvested from the waters below. The tablecloths may be white, but the scenery is dressing enough.