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Name Your Picks for L.A.'s Most Gorgeous Restaurants

J.L. Jul 10, 2013 11:12 AM

Food notwithstanding.

Just stunning locale, design & interiors.

The inspiration for this thread came from my trip to Nobu Malibu... Absolutely beautiful at sunset.

As for the food? Well, let's just say I made an immediate reservation at the private room in the Matsuhisa flagship on La Cienega right afterwards.

Any candidates in your book? Again, food is not the main consideration.

  1. s
    schrutefarms Jul 10, 2013 11:26 AM

    Patios are very important to me-especially in summer. So one of my picks would be Cliffs Edge-I've had brunch and dinner on the patio and it's lovely. I also had NYE dinner there, and they tent it with heat lamps, and no one was the slightest bit chilly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: schrutefarms
      aching Jul 10, 2013 03:23 PM

      I agree about patios - so if food doesn't matter, one of my top choices would be The Little Door. That may be partly nostalgia from many, many glasses of wine there in the early noughties, but I still think it's one of the loveliest spots in LA.

    2. Baron Jul 10, 2013 11:32 AM

      Nothing can top the Bel Air Hotel.

      1. wienermobile Jul 10, 2013 11:33 AM

        100% agree with Nobu Malibu. Ocean, Sunset, Patio and Design. Nothing else comes close.

        I do love the rustic charm of Saddle Peak Lodge.
        RockSugar in Century City for it's Hollywood over the top set design feel,
        and can I add the Blue Bayou and it's fake fireflies at Disneyland?

        2 Replies
        1. re: wienermobile
          steve h. Jul 10, 2013 12:45 PM

          Good call on Saddle Peak Lodge. Dining by the fireplace is pretty special as is the drive there and return - two separate routes.

          The restaurant at the Getty Center has high ceilings, excellent table spacing and floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides. The views are quite good.

          1. re: wienermobile
            Discerning1 Aug 28, 2013 11:49 AM

            Thanks for reminding me about the RockSugar decor. Definitely over-the-top in a good way.

          2. m
            mc michael Jul 10, 2013 11:34 AM

            Haven't been to the Hotel Bel-Air since Puck took over, but I am assuming it would qualify.

            1. t
              Thor123 Jul 10, 2013 11:37 AM

              Hotel Bel Air
              Chateau Marmont
              Ivy - patio

              Food aside:

              La Boheme

              1. i
                ilysla Jul 10, 2013 11:54 AM

                I thought the atrium at Campanile was beautiful.... Food wasn't bad, but it was a bit over-priced, IMO.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ilysla
                  J.L. Jul 10, 2013 02:39 PM

                  RIP Campanile...

                2. Porthos Jul 10, 2013 12:55 PM

                  Have never been but WP24 has to be a contender right?

                  1. c
                    carter Jul 10, 2013 01:49 PM

                    Lucques definitely comes to mind.
                    Can't imagine Geoffrey's in Malibu wouldn't qualify.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: carter
                      WildSwede Aug 28, 2013 12:01 PM

                      I agree with the Geoffrey's nod.

                    2. n
                      nosh Jul 10, 2013 02:08 PM

                      Does Moonshadows have the most dramatic oceanside view of waves crashing on rocks under the restaurant? Chart House?

                      Hard to beat the Penthouse above the Huntley Hotel for expansive views.

                      Downtown with ornate colored-glass decor -- Cicada?

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: nosh
                        wienermobile Jul 10, 2013 02:11 PM

                        I definitely agree with Cicada. A time travel trip to 1930's Los Angeles.

                        1. re: wienermobile
                          john gonzales Jul 10, 2013 03:01 PM

                          Cicada has to be one of the most filmed restaurants in history. It's in SOOO many shows and films. They must make more from filming than operating as a restaurant.

                          1. re: john gonzales
                            J.L. Jul 10, 2013 05:43 PM

                            Blade Runner!

                        2. re: nosh
                          Servorg Jul 10, 2013 02:25 PM

                          Geoffrey's http://www.geoffreysmalibu.com/ if you like the beach cliff setting and watching the sun sink behind the Pacific from that perspective...which I do.

                          1. re: Servorg
                            john gonzales Jul 10, 2013 02:54 PM

                            Did you ever sit in the table they called the Crow's Nest? It was up a long staircase about 20 feet above the patio all by itself. For some reason, maybe safety, I think they stopped using it but it might have been the coolest table anywhere.

                            Moonshadows is the best surfside spot but probably a one-timer as the food and service are pretty suspect.
                            Cicada and Hotel Bel-Air still have beautiful rooms, and Saddle Peak is a good choice too, as is the clean look and view at Penthouse. I like the Saam room at Bazaar. WP24 has the cool cosmopolitan vibe, and while the food is overpriced and not great, everyone should dine at the fancy Queen Mary place once.

                            1. re: Servorg
                              bulavinaka Jul 10, 2013 03:05 PM

                              Agreed. On a warm afternoon/evening, it's about as close as being on a tropical vacation as one can get in LA.

                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                Servorg Jul 10, 2013 03:09 PM

                                I've always thought of it like being in the South of France, without having to fly...

                            2. re: nosh
                              Thor123 Jul 10, 2013 02:41 PM

                              Cicada is a very nice room.

                              1. re: Thor123
                                ilysla Jul 11, 2013 11:10 AM

                                How is the food there? I've always wanted to go, based on the photos of the restaurant, but I'd like to have some tasty food, as well....

                                1. re: ilysla
                                  Thor123 Jul 11, 2013 11:13 AM

                                  I was there for a private party recently and the food was ok. Not great, but ok. Room was great looking.

                            3. d
                              Dirtywextraolives Jul 10, 2013 02:56 PM

                              The Penthouse

                              1. j
                                Juji Jul 10, 2013 03:01 PM

                                I really like the setting of the restaurant at the Sunset Marquis. And the patio at Michael's is pretty too, as is the one at Culina. Can't argue with the Penthouse either.

                                1. j
                                  jessejames Jul 10, 2013 03:56 PM

                                  musso and franks is very cool -- 2 neat old rooms.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: jessejames
                                    Baron Jul 10, 2013 03:59 PM

                                    Musso and Franks a gorgeous restaurant? I think not.

                                    1. re: Baron
                                      jessejames Jul 11, 2013 09:20 AM

                                      I think yes.

                                      1. re: Baron
                                        Thor123 Jul 11, 2013 09:25 AM

                                        Agree. Classic, old school, but not gorgeous.

                                        1. re: Thor123
                                          jessejames Jul 11, 2013 09:39 AM

                                          all the wood work and trim, the bar in the middle of the room...then the other art deco stuff in other room -- it's a matter of taste...some folks like fig and olive style/not my thing.

                                      2. re: jessejames
                                        mc michael Jul 10, 2013 04:01 PM

                                        Is that where you took Sandra Bullock?

                                      3. ipsedixit Jul 10, 2013 03:57 PM

                                        Yamashiro and The Restaurant at The Getty.

                                        Both at sunset when the Santa Anas are blowing and blowing.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          J.L. Jul 10, 2013 05:44 PM

                                          Yamashiro - Food TRULY notwithstanding...

                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                            ScrappyCoco Aug 28, 2013 03:30 PM

                                            I agree with you on Yamashiro. The food has been hit or miss over the years but you can't beat the ambience.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              Steve Aug 29, 2013 06:11 PM

                                              Yamashiro has a nice entryway, but the rest is perfunctory, and I was there at sunset... eh. I'd rather be looking up at the mountains.

                                              1. re: Steve
                                                Servorg Aug 29, 2013 06:29 PM

                                                "I'd rather be looking up at the mountains."

                                                Just remember, you were standing in the midst of the "White Mountain" when you were at Yamashiro...(g)

                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  Tripeler Aug 29, 2013 07:03 PM

                                                  More likely the "Castle Mountain" as it is likely 山城

                                                  1. re: Tripeler
                                                    J.L. Aug 29, 2013 07:21 PM

                                                    Or Mountain Castle...

                                            2. f
                                              foodiemahoodie Jul 10, 2013 11:34 PM

                                              Ortolan was the sexiest restaurant in L.A. Unfortunately now closed

                                              The Penthouse at The Huntley still feels glamours.

                                              Katsuya and Bazaar show that Philippe Starck is still relevant.

                                              Mozza Osteria is elegant.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                                Dirtywextraolives Jul 11, 2013 11:05 AM

                                                Loved, loved loved Ortolan...... It was definitely the sexiest restaurant in LA.....

                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                                  Servorg Jul 11, 2013 11:08 AM

                                                  In the case of Ortolan that age old adage that sex sells fell short for a change...

                                                  1. re: Servorg
                                                    foodiemahoodie Jul 11, 2013 02:23 PM

                                                    Never heard that! Like it!

                                                    Ortolan - wish the food was as good as the interior - in which case it would have gotten *** from Michelin. Contemporary, hip, elegant...and pure sex. Supermodel with an Ivy League diploma and a sense of humor.

                                              2. w
                                                whiner Jul 11, 2013 03:09 AM

                                                Nobu Malibu, Goeffrey's Malibu

                                                1. b
                                                  brandygirl Jul 11, 2013 10:05 AM

                                                  I think it's been decades since I've been, but BISTRO GARDEN in Studio City was beautiful when was there.

                                                  1. Savour Jul 11, 2013 11:59 AM

                                                    I always love love the interior design of Tavern in Brentwood - that dark bar, and then the gorgeous, light space.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Savour
                                                      maudies5 Jul 11, 2013 12:45 PM

                                                      I also love the interior of Tavern

                                                      1. re: maudies5
                                                        aching Jul 11, 2013 02:12 PM

                                                        I third that. And the new AOC location is gorgeous too.

                                                        1. re: aching
                                                          foodiemahoodie Jul 11, 2013 02:26 PM

                                                          Fourth on that!

                                                          1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                                            nosh Jul 11, 2013 11:31 PM

                                                            Don't you realize that when you're in Tavern, you are in a former Hamburger Hamlet?! With some skylights,,,

                                                            1. re: nosh
                                                              john gonzales Jul 12, 2013 09:57 AM

                                                              Yeah and way back the area that is the main dining room was actually the dance floor.

                                                    2. s
                                                      SoCalMuncher Jul 12, 2013 06:53 AM

                                                      Creekside dining at The Inn of the Seventh Ray?

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: SoCalMuncher
                                                        Jet Aug 29, 2013 06:45 PM

                                                        Yes, finally!!! I have always LOVED the patio at Inn of the Seventh Ray! It makes me feel like I'm back in my spiritual home of Northern California. It is like being on a deck overlooking the mossy, craggy wilderness! When I dine at Cafe' Midi, I pretend that for a short time I'm in a Cafe' near the Champs Elysees. The salads are substantial & delicious, too. I really enjoy the buffet at Bombay Palace in Beverly Hills, and the dining room has high ceilings and gorgeous décor. I also like going with friends for a decadent treat at Vosges in Beverly Hills where the décor is like being in the casbah. For me, elegant décor is not enough in itself; I want to feel like while I'm enjoying the food, I'm transported somewhere exotic or refreshing (nature). -JET

                                                        1. re: Jet
                                                          Tripeler Aug 29, 2013 07:04 PM

                                                          Djeet Jet?

                                                          1. re: Tripeler
                                                            Jet Aug 29, 2013 07:12 PM

                                                            I'm sorry, what is "Djeet"?

                                                            1. re: Jet
                                                              Dirtywextraolives Aug 29, 2013 07:33 PM

                                                              Oh wow, you've never heard djeet jet? As in did you eat yet? Sorry, a little trailer trash humor....

                                                            2. re: Tripeler
                                                              Jet Aug 29, 2013 11:23 PM

                                                              I agree, you should not put suggestive "jokes" on this site. And I don't appreciate being the butt of your "trailor trash humor".

                                                              1. re: Jet
                                                                Tripeler Aug 30, 2013 12:56 AM

                                                                Sincere apologies. I am surprised there are two recommendations for that post, including yours.

                                                                1. re: Tripeler
                                                                  Jet Aug 30, 2013 08:31 AM

                                                                  Believe me, I errantly pressed the comment. I was not intending to promote it, and apology accepted. -JET

                                                        2. ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 07:47 AM

                                                          No mention of Shanghai No. 1 yet??

                                                          Liberace is turning over and over and over in his grave.

                                                          13 Replies
                                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                                            Servorg Jul 12, 2013 07:49 AM

                                                            That reminds me of some of the upper market Persian restaurants that go for the Louis XIV rococo "late baroque" look...

                                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                                              Porthos Jul 12, 2013 07:57 AM

                                                              Strong contender for most amusing or gaudy. No small feat for LA!

                                                              1. re: Porthos
                                                                ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 08:02 AM

                                                                Chi Lin might win for "gaudy".

                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                  Thor123 Jul 12, 2013 11:04 AM

                                                                  Mr. Chow meets James Bond!

                                                                  1. re: Thor123
                                                                    ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 11:08 AM

                                                                    I understand their seafood is stellar, esp. the octopussy.

                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                      Thor123 Jul 12, 2013 11:11 AM

                                                                      Need to be careful not to slurp! Or maybe not?

                                                                      1. re: Thor123
                                                                        Servorg Jul 12, 2013 11:21 AM

                                                                        Is that a tentacle in your swim trunks, Mr. Bond? Or are you just happy to see me?

                                                                        1. re: Servorg
                                                                          lapizzamaven Jul 12, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                                          very funny exchange, Hounds! is that a tentacle....love it

                                                                          1. re: Servorg
                                                                            J.L. Jul 12, 2013 04:33 PM


                                                                            1. re: J.L.
                                                                              rickym13 Jul 12, 2013 04:42 PM

                                                                              saddle peak

                                                                              1. re: J.L.
                                                                                ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 09:38 PM

                                                                                Dude, why did you go there.

                                                                                Hentai is like anime k.p.

                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                  J.L. Jul 12, 2013 09:43 PM

                                                                                  Apologies - I may have taken one too many tabearukis to Japan, I suppose... :-)

                                                                      2. re: ipsedixit
                                                                        mc michael Jul 12, 2013 09:51 PM

                                                                        Sounds like Linsanity.

                                                                  2. a
                                                                    ANSH90210 Aug 28, 2013 11:36 AM


                                                                    1. a
                                                                      aso1000 Aug 28, 2013 12:02 PM

                                                                      I love the dining room looking out at the ocean at the Casa del Mar.

                                                                      1. b
                                                                        BBAKER19 Aug 28, 2013 12:02 PM

                                                                        Il Cielo in Beverly Hills

                                                                        1. s
                                                                          smgradman Aug 28, 2013 04:19 PM

                                                                          The Lobster, overlooking Santa Monica Pier. Another place with a great Malibu beach view is Dukes. Agree with streamside at Inn of the 7th Ray and WP24 downtown.

                                                                          1. l
                                                                            luminosa Aug 28, 2013 07:22 PM

                                                                            Hands down: the terrace at The Loft at the Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach, overlooking the sea. Okay, not exactly L.A....forgive me for that...but absolutely SPECTACULAR!! We lunched there and were the only ones at that time and it is hard to find better beachside dining in Cali

                                                                            1. ipsedixit Aug 28, 2013 07:27 PM

                                                                              Trump National Golf Course Restaurant, esp. al fresco dining.

                                                                              1. p
                                                                                porcinedream Aug 28, 2013 10:47 PM

                                                                                Perch downtown offers a rare urban view. The elevators are a little sketchy getting there, but a great happy hour or brunch locale.

                                                                                1. f
                                                                                  Fikismom Aug 29, 2013 12:23 AM

                                                                                  I love, love Eveleigh's design and vibe, and am also a fan of the outdoor space at Hinoki and the Bird.

                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                    Madpinto Aug 29, 2013 08:41 AM

                                                                                    I agree with Cliff's Edge. One of the fantastic perks of living in LA is the ability to eat outside but not if cars are blowing smog in my face. CE's patio transports you out of the traffic with all the charm of a secret garden. Plus the new chef has really improved the menu.

                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                      manku Aug 29, 2013 12:38 PM

                                                                                      Hit Bay Cities (or Huckleberry, Clementine...choose your poison)...drive up the coast to Leo Carillo Beach.


                                                                                      But to answer the actual question, I think Craft is pretty nice...at least it looks like they spent $$$ on decor, as opposed to so many restaurants here in LA.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: manku
                                                                                        schrutefarms Aug 29, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                                                        Yes! Second Bay Cities and finding a pretty spot, you will get the best of both worlds! And if you could sneak around a bottle of Prosecco, then you've really got it all!

                                                                                      2. l
                                                                                        la2tokyo Aug 29, 2013 11:36 PM

                                                                                        I miss the beautiful dining room of L'Orangerie

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: la2tokyo
                                                                                          J.L. Aug 30, 2013 12:20 AM


                                                                                        2. d
                                                                                          dbchow818 Aug 30, 2013 12:35 AM

                                                                                          Saddle Peak Lodge in Agora Hills

                                                                                          1. Ashibi Aug 30, 2013 12:42 PM

                                                                                            Food notwithstanding, I thought The Terrace at Sunset Tower Hotel was nice. But I recall one time I was more interested in people watching.

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