16 Outdoor Eateries Where You Can Hold Court

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on March 26.]
Some days, it can be a real drag to live in L.A. — we constantly battle Carmaggedon, skeezy social-climber types, and well, actually…maybe there's not too much else to complain about. Either way, if you ask any fellow Angeleno to spill their top 10 reasons for living here, we're guessing 99 percent would have the great outdoors slotted near the top. So, as the mercury rises, we're here to help you maximize your time in the sunshine.
Because, let's be honest: Dining indoors is a lot like shopping with your sunglasses on — the tastes and smells simply aren't as enjoyable inside four walls. And since we know you like to do some (okay, most) of your planning on the fly, we made a handy-dandy list of the most appealing al fresco eateries in all the Southland. Print this out, stash it in your glove compartment, and we swear, once you have a glass of vino in hand, your daily traffic combat will seem like a distant memory.
1 of 5
Cliff's Edge
Smack dab in the middle of Sunset Junction is our favorite courtyard in all of L.A. The giant fairy-lighted tree is the ideal centerpiece for romantic nighttime magic.
Cliffs Edge, 3626 West Sunset Boulevard (At Santa Monica Boulevard); 323-666-6116.

Kick back on this NYC-style patio with rich Italian Arancini rice balls and unbelievably delicious ricotta fritters for a little slice of outdoor heaven.
Dominick's, 8715 Beverly Boulevard (near San Vincente Boulevard); 310-652-2335.

Primitivo's back patio is one of those intimate places where you imagine having a sexy date that lasts for hours (it's super fun in the daylight hours with a bevy of friends, too!). With great plates of tasty tapas and sangria that packs a punch, you'll leave here (although you won't want to) more than satisfied.
Primitivo Wine Bar, 1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd. (near Electric Ave); 310-396-5353.

Photo: Via Cliff's Edge
2 of 5
Mohawk Bend
This sprawling Echo Park terrace is where it's at for fresh air and ingredients. If it's still a little chilly, MB has you covered with a warm fireplace to snuggle up to, too!
Mohawk Bend, 2141 West Sunset Boulevard, 213-483-2337.

A favorite for birthdays and special occasions, the Palihouse courtyard restaurant has nailed the perfect formula for a memorable evening. Try the Writer's Block cocktail for a refreshing splash of cucumber, and take in a big sip with a deep breath of WeHo air.
Palihouse Courtyard Brasserie, 8465 Holloway Drive (Near North La Cienega Boulevard); 323-656-4500.

Nestled in the Laurel Canyon hillside, Pace's outdoor space is both bohemian and glamorous. It's the kind of place where you can guzzle Italian wine for hours (trust us, we have!).
Pace, 2100 Laurel Canyon Boulevard (near Kirkwood Drive), 323-654-8583.

Venice Beach Wines
The front deck of this local watering hole is small, but if you get there early enough, you can call dibs on prime people-watching real estate. For a casual catch-up with some pals, we highly recommend their tasty tapas, the best plates in town for sharing.
Venice Beach Wines, 529 Rose Avenue (near 5th Street), 310-606-2529.

Photo: Via Mohawk Bend
3 of 5
Le Clafoutis
Bustling at all hours, Sunset Plaza is the place to park it for interesting people-watching, and Le Clafoutis has scrumptious French fare to go with it. We suggest a light lunch meeting here — nosh on one of their many salads and a sip cool glass of Sauvignon Blanc as you get down to business.
Le Clafoutis, 8630 Sunset Boulevard (Near Sunset Plaza Drive); 310-659-5233.

Taste offers great eats and drinks to fuel you up before your next Melrose Place shop-off. The terrace is always happening, and the food's spot on.
Taste on Melrose, 8454 Melrose Avenue (Near Croft Avenue); 323-852-6888.

Café Stella
Come here for any occasion that calls for decadence. Just remember that you may want to wear loose clothing to accommodate the incredible French fare. Moodily lit and always packed with stylish peeps, the patio has a buzz to it that you typically can't find anywhere but Paris!!
Café Stella, 3932 West Sunset Boulevard (at Santa Monica Boulevard); 323-666-0265.

Photo: Via Le Clafoutis
4 of 5
La Sandia
What sounds better on a warm evening than some fresh air and a dose of tequila? This open space on the Promenade serves some of the yummiest Mexican on the Westside.
La Sandia, 395 Santa Monica Place (Near Broadway Street); 310-393-3300.

The Alcove
Los Feliz's prettiest garden terrace has gourmet bites (they make their own chocolate!), and a casual atmosphere perfect for a pre-show pre-game at the Greek, or just a relaxing long Saturday with your posse.
Alcove Cafe & Bakery, 1929 Hillhurst Avenue (At Franklin Avenue); 323-644-0111.

Il Covo
We named Il Covo our hottest new date spot earlier this year, mostly because the courtyard oozes with sex appeal. The Italian cuisine (definitely try the Mezzalune Ravioli) is divine, and the service is top-notch.
Il Covo, 8700 West 3rd Street (Near Robertson Boulevard); 310-858-0020.

Photo: Via La Sandia
5 of 5
This neighborhood restaurant was included in Bon Appétit's Top 10 Outdoor Dining Spots, and we completely agree! It's three levels of fire pits, fountains, and private spots to steal a kiss.
Wilshire Restaurant, 2454 Wilshire Boulevard (Near 25th Street); 310-586-1707.

Takami takes L.A. sushi to new heights with mouthwatering spicy tuna rolls and the freshest sashimi served up 21 floors above downtown L.A.’s Financial District. The porch wraps all the way around the penthouse level for spectacular skyscraper views.
Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant, 811 Wilshire Boulevard #2100 (Near West 6th Street); 213-236-9600.

The Little Door (and Little Next Door)
The outdoor terrace and courtyard of these sister restaurants will transport you straight to France. The Little Door has been named Most Romantic Restaurant in L.A. umpteen times because the open-sky, hidden gem vibe never fails to excite all senses.
The Little Door, 8164 West 3rd Street (At South Crescent Heights); 323-951-1210.

Photo: Via Wilshire Restaurant

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