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Dining under the stars

Can some one please give me a good reccomendation on an open air restaurant with good food. Any type of cusine will do. I have been to Twin Palms before. Great atmosphere but average food. Any where in L.A. county. Don't mind driving if the food and experience is worth it!

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  1. Orso, on 3rd in Beverly Hills. Italian.

    1. Valentino's patio, Santa Monica. Terrific homemade pasta, extensive wine list, great ambience.

        1. I've always liked the patio at Pane e Vino.

          1. Cafe Santorini (Pasadena) only on the upstairs terrace...I'll only eat there when the weather s good, as indoors is chaotic.

            1. "No Place Like Home" on Hillhurst. The service is notoriously bad, even though we had good service when we went. The food isn’t the best ever but is well seasoned and the prices are very reasonable.

              Eating there is like eating on the deck of a tree house minus the Rainforest Café type vibe. The whole dining area is outdoors. When I think about it, trees prevent you from seeing stars.

              1 Reply
              1. I second both Pane e Vino and Orso.

                I also highly recommend Asia de Cuba. It has fantastic food, a great view of LA, and great service. My favorites: their daily Mediadia pressed Cuban sandwich at lunch, Hoisin duck tacos, lobster mashed potatoes, plantain fried rice with avocado. For dinner, all the entrees and sides are done in huge portions for sharing. Breakfast and lunch are just regular portions per person. Be sure to request outside seating when making the reservation - it's very popular.

                  1. Try The Little Door on 3rd Street. Very charming and cozy. It's a little hidden but well worth the visit.

                    1. Someone remind me, what is that great place in Pasadena with a brick patio?

                      If you're in Culver City, there's a lovely little sidewalk cafe w/great food. (Oh, the halibut. And the chocolate souffle. *Sigh.*) It's Bistro de l'Hermitage... on Culver, I believe, downtown.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Cinnamon

                        Are you talking about the Holly Street Bar & Grill? I think there are probably quite a few brick patios in Pasadena.

                        1. re: Cinnamon

                          Cafe Santorini has a patio, where the buildings around it are basically brick. Santorini is located near the Laemmle One Pasadena movie theatre.

                        2. I'm really surprised nobody has recommended the Hollywood Bowl. Bring a picnic, and it's terribly romantic.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: mojoeater

                            Good point. Now that's truly dining under the stars. I enjoyed that once at a jazz concert there.

                            1. re: mojoeater

                              For me, this one wins hands down. Anything works here: pizza & beer; tapas & wine; or get a box seat & be served. Just be sure to bring a blanket (if sitting on the benches) or jacket to keep warm once the sun goes down (we usu bring in some hot tea too).

                              1. re: OCAnn

                                Definitely the best rec! Just make sure the performance you go to is not a "lease event." Most lease events (typically the big name pop acts) do not allow you to bring in your own food and drink.

                            2. I love the patio at Lucques.

                              1. Inn of the Seventh Ray at dusk ... make sure to sit near the creek to enjoy the frogs & crickets.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                  Inn of the Seventh Ray is very pretty, but the food is nothing to write home about.

                                  1. re: hrhboo

                                    The OTP asked for "Good" food... I think 7th Ray certainly delivers that... is it ground breaking, earth shattering, memorable food? No but remember this is L.A... there aren't many places that produce much better food than 7th Ray... within the upscale category.

                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                      It may have been "good" years ago, but is now barely average. I disagree with your statement that not many places in LA produce better food than Inn of The Seventh Ray. Actually, that statement is pretty laughable.

                                2. Saladang Song, Pasadena (patio's much more pleasant than the noisy dining room), and Mike & Ann's, Briganti and Firefly Bistro in South Pasadena. I can vouch personally for only Saladang Song, but the others have gotten mostly favorable reviews here. El Portal in the arcade in Pasadena also has decent (Mexican) food, some say outstanding, and in good weather there's patio seating. They also open all the windows, so it all feels pretty much like outside - very nice. They do tend to have mariachis, but not everyone finds that to be a minus...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                    All these Pasadena Reccs but I don't see the Raymond. Its on Fair Oaks just over the bridge near the power plant. Great outdoor seating in a garden setting. Great food.

                                  2. Do you actually want to see stars? Or just have exposure to the outdoor breezes?

                                    Twin Palms is completely covered by a canvas tent, so no stars there. Nor will you see the sky from Firefly or Brigante in South Pas, or from the balcony at Cafe Santorini in Old Town Pasadena. All are covered.

                                    The best brick patio in Old Town was always the one behind the old Market City Cafe. They are long gone, of course, replaced by some Asian Fusion restaurant I've never tried. (It doesn't look good, unfortunately. College student hang-out now.)

                                    I'll put in another vote for Lucques or Spago. Both perfectly good, dependable food, excellent service and decent wine lists. So what if they aren't "wild" and creative? If you just want a romantic dinner with your honey on a warm summer's eve, she won't be disappointed at either place.

                                    For the view alone (food is good, but just average too), there's the cafe at the Long Beach Museum of Art. It's right on the water and my LB friends love to go there for brunch. The cafe is called Claire's and it's only open until 5 p.m. on weekends (3 p.m. on weekdays), so you won't get to see a sunset unless you eat there in Dec/Jan..

                                    For the record, my favorite place for dining under the stars is not "dining" at all. It's noshing on bar snacks with drinks at the bar on the rooftop of the downtown Standard Hotel. No, the food's not great. But it's just fries or cheese sandwiches. If you want a real meal after that, there are plenty of places to eat downtown or Little Tokyo. You just can't beat that sky and skyline view though!

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Reeter1

                                      re above...see their photo, but my experience with Cafe Santorini has always been sans cover. http://www.cafesantorini.com/

                                      1. re: Reeter1

                                        I seem to recall that Cafe Santorini's outside patio has fully retractable canvas type awnings that they draw back during nice weather at night.

                                        1. re: tony michaels

                                          I recently went to Santorini. I saw more brick than sky, because there are so many buildings around there. They have outdoor dining on the patio, and there is a retractable plastic awning. When I went, the awning was open. I don't know if I would say it's the best place to see the stars in the sky, but the food was pretty good, and I enjoyed it.

                                        2. re: Reeter1

                                          Yes, exceptionally gorgeous view, cool scene and DJ music at the Standard Downtown rooftop bar -- try to get there before 7pm to escape $20 cover charge (unless things have changed since I was there last...) So nice to watch the sun set and the city lights come alive.

                                        3. Michael's and the Buffalo Club, both in Santa Monica, have lovely patios.

                                          Also, the patio at Wilshire.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: whatsfordinner

                                            food is decent and little over price but great view : geoffrey's in malibu

                                          2. i recommend il cielo and i echo the patio at pane e vino.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: jaydee

                                              wow...il cielo..haven't been there in over 10 years. how is the food there?

                                              1. re: rickym13

                                                when i go, i get the ribeye - which was done to my liking. i think it's nothing to go COMPLETELY ape s#it over food-wise, but the food is fairly decent italian fare (again, better to be had in the city). i also think the outdoor patio is quieter than pane e vino and more romantic in my opinion.

                                            2. I like the patio at Akaw, next to Jiraffe in Santa Monica. It is asian fushion, pretty much like every other fushion restaurant in L.A. The food is consistant and tasty. The patio on the 2nd floor is worth a visit.

                                              1. Cafe Pinot, Geoffrey's and The Getty are all possibilities. I've not eaten in its current incarnation as the Sunset Tower but the Terrace Restaurant (by the pool) at what was formerly the St. James, formerly the Argyle, etc. was once the scene of a memorable meal with both stars and city lights when Ken Frank was running the restaurant.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: mc michael

                                                  Is The Getty's restaurant actually outdoors? (For some reason, I thought it had a great view, but was still situated indoors...)

                                                  1. re: Liquid Sky

                                                    Perhaps mc m means The Getty (classic) -- the one in Malibu? There's an outdoor cafe there. Not sure of evening hours, if any.

                                                    Like you, I don't recall the Getty Centre (on the hill) having outdoor dining.

                                                2. If you are swimming in filthy luchre, try Hotel Bel-Air.

                                                  If you like steaks and seafood in an old school divey beach feeling bar and restaurant, try the Galley on Main Street in Santa Monica.

                                                  If you are looking for a smoking friendly scenester style place with a funky fire pit, Beechwood on Washington in MDR/Venice definately has true outdoor dining.

                                                  And if you were specifically looking for a "British" style pub in Hollywood, the Cat and the Fiddle would do the trick.


                                                  Oh, I almost forgot....if you really dig West Valley uber-hip, dance clubby, steakhouse, martini bars where you can rock out to Okenfold while eating under the stars, try Chapter 8 in Agoura Hills.