Every summer weekend shall be spent outdoors. That goes for evenings, as well.
But driving all over creation trying to find the right patio for sundowning, the right pool for lounging, the right ice cream parlor for fixing a sweet tooth — yeoman’s work, and we’re happy to do it.
We distilled your hunt to five outdoor dining experiences you should add to your calendar now for immediate and repeatable warm-weather enjoyment.
The Summer Night Food Court: Grand Central Market
Grand Central Market will do longer hours starting in June and going through October. Dinner specials. DJs on Fridays. Non-computer-wielding musicians on Saturdays and Sundays. Movies on the patio at Horse Thief BBQ. And shuttles to concerts at the Staples Center and Orpheum Theater. It’s gonna be hot stuff.
The Fancy Pants Foodie Patio: AOC
Chef Susanne Goin won the James Beard award this year for AOC. Her lean and clean cuisine is always seasonal and fresh and never disappoints. And the patio struts hard. Shady olive trees, high plaster walls that separate you from the noise of the street and a water fountain trickling somewhere in the background. It’s on. Go for brunch. Go for dinner. Go quaff some vino.
The Pool You Won’t Actually Swim In: Viviane Restaurant
Going to pools and not swimming in them is one of those distinctly L.A. traditions, and one we totally endorse, especially when it’s the pool at the recently renovated Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills. Their restaurant, Viviane, folds delicious, light ravioli, makes a mean pastrami salmon tartine and has some swanky mid-century cabanas. Ryan Wainwright’s cocktails are perfect for summer. We’ll be having the Pimm’s Cup.
The Rooftop Bar Where You Watch the Sunset and Maybe Do Yoga: Mama Shelter
French hotel import Mama Shelter just opened its rooftop bar and patio, which for now has unobstructed views of the Hollywood Hills. You’re dining on whipped dips (beet and dill yogurt or hummus) and chicken shawarma and sipping mojitos and strawberry whiskey drinks. They have yoga. But they also have strawberry whiskey drinks.
The Parlor That Puts Cotton Candy on Top of Ice Cream: CottonHi
CottonHi is an ice cream parlor in Koreatown that, as promised, puts cotton candy on top of big cups of soft-serve. Then they add toppings like caramel, Cap’n Crunch and cold-brewed coffee, some of which is administered via a medicine dropper. It’s eyes-roll-back-in-the-head good.
This is but one installment of 37 Things a Man's Gotta Do This Summer, our annual compendium of everything worth seeing, doing, eating, drinking and generally making time for in your neck of the woods between now and September