They say when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Today, on the bar and restaurant scene, when life gives you a pandemic, turn your parking lots into patios. Complying with the new California state mandate of outdoor dining only, many of Los Angeles’ most beloved spots are being creative by transforming their surrounding unused space into safe, socially distanced dining destinations.
Check out 10 parking lot patio spots upping their dining al fresco game in L.A. now.
Bar Restaurant, which opened up earlier this has transformed into Bar Restaurant Valet Parking. Restaurateur/designer Jeff Ellermeyer and General Manager Pierluc Dallaire have created a new outdoor space that adheres to all safety guidelines. Taking advantage of one of Silver Lake’s largest restaurant parking lots, they extended the patio to include additional tables six feet apart and trees surrounding each. Chef Douglas Rankin’s menu features Bar Restaurant favorites including the Mussels with dijon emulsion, Japanese milk bread, curly fries, Dry Aged Bone-In NY strip, and Lamb Tartare plus new dishes include Heirloom tomatoes, feta, watermelon leche de Tigre and Soft Shell Crab. The French(ish) spot also boasts a mile-long wine list and whips up some très chic cocktails.
The Beverly Grove Italian spot has been a neighborhood staple for 10 years. While the owner, Michael Simhai, has made west Hollywood his second home since he arrived from New York, he hasn’t forgotten about his NY roots. Due to the travel restrictions resulting from COVID-19, it has been incredibly difficult for him to travel back to his hometown to visit with friends and family. Michael has missed his hometown so much and for this reason, he has decided to bring a slice of the Big Apple to his community in West Hollywood. He’s talked to so many customers who are also missing their homes and he hopes this mural cures their homesickness too.
He enlisted a local artist to paint different murals on each wall of the patio that incorporate the New York Skyline, old Hollywood movies, actors and classic city-style scenes. Furthermore, he is making sure that anybody who visits feels just as safe as they would in their own homes. He has taken measures like remodeling the bathrooms to be touchless (no contact with the sink or soap) and the front doors will automatically open to avoid touching or grabbing handles. He has even gone as far as to create a menu out of material that can be wiped down easily with sanitizer and a UV light to sanitize pens that have been used by staff and customers.
On those safe menus, outdoor dinner dinners will find amazing pizzas, pastas and classic like chicken parm, as well as a mile long wine list and killer cocktails.
We feel nothing but Love-Love since we heard that The h.wood Group’s country club theme sports lounge and restaurant is back with a new outdoor patio on the side alley and back parking lot. 40 Love added approximately 15 tables, socially distanced apart and kept with the country club theme with floral decor, charming umbrellas and skylights. And with some sports slowly starting up again, they are installing new TVs and a new sound system. Besides the new area, there are also brand new food, cocktails, beer and wine. Favorites dishes include the Western Bacon Cheeseburger, Wagyu Hot Dog, Impossible Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Burrito and Buttermilk Chicken Tenders while the Degrassy cocktail made with Virginia Black Whiskey, Cynar, lemongrass, angostura bitters and lemon and the Afternoon Delight made with Absolute Elyx, Blackberry Aperol, grapefruit, lime, sparkling wine and Perrier are not to be missed.
From “Top Chef” and “Tournament of Champions” winner Brooke Williamson and her husband, Nick Roberts, Playa Provisions just steps away from the sand has debuted a brand new, outdoor patio in their spacious parking lot with socially distant tables, umbrellas, astroturf, and the best beachside picnic vibes for the summer. Playa Provisions is serving its full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, as well as its weekend brunch. Enjoy signature summer favorites like the Lobster Roll and a Banana Hammock cocktail or seasonal specials like Buttermilk Biscuits & Lobster Gravy or Octopus with Harissa Spiced Chickpeas & Arugula. Bar Manager Taylor Hall is serving up all new summer cocktails to keep you refreshed during your outdoor dining experience. Check out the Pool Party made with Lo-fi Amaro Aperitif, gin, simple syrup, lemon abd cava float, the Serenity Now made with Bison Grass Vodka, Mt. Gay Rum, pineapple, lime, coconut cream, falernum and tiki bitters or the Insanity Later made with Argonaut Brandy, lemon, banana liquor, sage, grapefruit and soda top.
One of L.A.’s most popular cocktail bars, Employees Only, has totally transformed their parking lot into a new patio filled with benches, umbrellas and arguably the coolest crowd. Under the sun (or stars) sip on one of their famous bar creations like the Tropic City made with rum, strawberries, peach, ginger and lemon or the Old Monty made with bourbon, cherries, amaro, hibiscus and vermouth. This may actually be the ultimate quarantine escape as EO serves up wood-fired pizzas every day and is visited by The Barber Truck, a mobile haircutting service on the weekends. Just what we all need.
Connie & Ted’s
Fresh air was just meant to accompany Connie & Ted’s fresh New England-style seafood. The Weho favorite is new and improved with a front parking lot patio adorned with astroturf, umbrellas, string lighting, and more. Indulge in items from their raw bar treat yourself to a mouthwatering Lobster Roll or Catch Of The Day. In addition to a fine collection of craft beer, wine and cider, Connie & Ted’s makes some killer cocktails like the The Belladonna made with Moletto Tomato Gin, old south tom olives, pickled alliums and celery salt or The Niña, the Piñ a, the Santa Monica Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, pineapple, honey, basil oil, lime and black pepper.
One of the most romantic restaurants in all of L.A., La Bohème thrives in an outdoor setting. While it has always had a fantastic garden patio, boasting a fireplace framed by beautiful roses and scented jasmine, the restaurant has now taken over its side parking lot. The new expanded patio is filled with astroturf, big cushy chairs, and plenty of charming foliage. On the menu, you’ll find elevated nibbles like Hamachi Sashimi and Chicken Liver Pate as well as full hearty meals like Rustic Lasagna and Grilled Creekstone Ribeye. Plus all the vino and fromage your heart desires.
Located in the Arts District, Tony’s Saloon is old school through and through. Once a haunt of famed author Hunter S. Thompson, Tony’s reopened and expanded their patio to include the entirety of their huge back parking lot. The classic spot goes modern during COVID with socially distant picnic tables, virtual menus and red and green cards that you flip to signal to the waitstaff. Happy Hour is celebrated every day from Daily 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with $8 cocktails and $5 beers. And don’t leave Fido at home, Tony’s is notoriously dog friendly.
Celebrity hotspot Delilah recently reopened, Thursdays – Saturdays, for al fresco dining and is THE place to seen at a social distance. Already hit up by Kylie Jenner, the art deco restaurant expands to the back parking lot and is continuing to serve up its signatures like Tony’s Famous Baby Back Ribs, Crab Croquettes and Kendall’s Slutty Brownie. In addition to beer, wine and bubbles, Delilah mixes roaring 20s style cocktails like the Dirty Dame made with Belvedere vodka, manzanilla olive brine, sel gris and blue cheese stuffed olives or the Ladies & Gents made with Jim Beam Bourbon and banana & cacao mole essence.
In 1962, Johnny Harlowe made the jump from the silver screen to chef and owner of Dear John’s. Convinced by his pal Frank Sinatra, Johnny opened the iconic spot just a ways down from Sony Studios in Culver City. It became the watering-hole for the Hollywood elite with Sinatra often in the corner playing the piano against the dark brick walls once lined with portraits of famous John’s. Seasoned chefs and entrepreneurs Hans Röckenwagner and Josiah Citrin recently re-opened the joint with an updated classic American menu and old-school cocktail list. And Dear John’s old Hollywood vibe is certainly not lost since it moved outside. The parking lot patio, decorated with astroturf and string lights boasts a mural of the interior dining room going along the walls so you actually feel like you’re inside.
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