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

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.

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  1. 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

      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. Nothing can top the Bel Air Hotel.

      1. 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

          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

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

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

            1. Hotel Bel Air
              Chateau Marmont
              Ivy - patio

              Food aside:

              La Boheme

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

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

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

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: carter

                      I agree with the Geoffrey's nod.

                    2. 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

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

                        1. re: wienermobile

                          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.

                        2. re: nosh

                          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

                            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

                              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

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

                              1. re: Thor123

                                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

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

                            2. Nobu
                              The Penthouse

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

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: jessejames

                                    Musso and Franks a gorgeous restaurant? I think not.

                                      1. re: Baron

                                        Agree. Classic, old school, but not gorgeous.

                                        1. re: Thor123

                                          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

                                        Is that where you took Sandra Bullock?

                                      3. Yamashiro and The Restaurant at The Getty.

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

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Yamashiro - Food TRULY notwithstanding...

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            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

                                              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

                                                "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

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

                                            2. 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

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

                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

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

                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                    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. Nobu Malibu, Goeffrey's Malibu

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

                                                  1. 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

                                                      I also love the interior of Tavern

                                                      1. re: maudies5

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

                                                          1. re: foodiemahoodie

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

                                                            1. re: nosh

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

                                                    2. Creekside dining at The Inn of the Seventh Ray?

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: SoCalMuncher

                                                        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

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

                                                            2. re: Tripeler

                                                              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

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

                                                                1. re: Tripeler

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

                                                        1. No mention of Shanghai No. 1 yet??

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

                                                          13 Replies
                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

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

                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

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

                                                                  1. re: Thor123

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

                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

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

                                                                      1. re: Thor123

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

                                                                        1. re: Servorg

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

                                                                            1. re: J.L.

                                                                              saddle peak

                                                                              1. re: J.L.

                                                                                Dude, why did you go there.

                                                                                Hentai is like anime k.p.

                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

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

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

                                                                      1. Il Cielo in Beverly Hills

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

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

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

                                                                                  1. 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. 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

                                                                                        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. I miss the beautiful dining room of L'Orangerie

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. Saddle Peak Lodge in Agora Hills

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