We're not entirely sure what the difference between dinner with some friends who happen to be women and a fully fledged Girls' Night Out is, but we suspect it has something to do with the presence of margaritas.
Whether or not this is correct, planning a night out with your lady crew is now a little bit easier, with this list of places that are generally fun, mostly not impossible to get into, and with menus that should keep your whole group happy. The involvement of tequila is entirely up to you.
ERB is one of those places that makes getting everything right look easy. The Arts District spot has great cocktails, a never-ending wine list, fantastic bar food, a sexy crowd, and an outdoor back patio the girl crew will never want to leave. Definitely snag a reservation beforehand as crowds are pretty intense on the weekends, but trust that the burger and biscuits and shrimp roll and hamachi are all worth it.
If you know one thing about your friend group, you know they’re picky as f*ck. So instead of calling every restaurant in town to see if they have a gluten-free option for your one friend who consistently thinks she's breaking out in hives - just go Gracias Madre instead. The no-real-meat-or-cheese Mexican restaurant in West Hollywood not only appeals to everyone’s very special stomach preferences, it’s also just fun. The cocktails continue to be tremendous, the crowd is very pretty, and if there’s a better group dinner setting in the area than that side patio, we don’t know it.
Is this the most quintessential girls night out spot in the city? Absolutely. Prime West Hollywood location? Check. Hot crowd that makes you feel alive inside? Check. Alcoholic popsicles that make you want to live forever? Check, check, and check. This Sunset Strip restaurant has the perfect mix of scene and accessibility, with a good menu (pierogies are a must) and prices very reasonable for the area.
You’re sick of your usual sleepy neighborhood dinners that inevitably end in Ubers back home by 10pm. Go be your best Jenner and snag a table at The Nice Guy. The La Cienega spot is technically an Italian restaurant, but nobody here’s scarfing down red sauce pasta and meatballs. This is a complete see-and-be-seen, which-E!-Show-are-you-on crowd, and sometimes that’s just what the doctor prescribed. Also, a free photo booth never hurt anyone.
It seems kinds of criminal that you can get a same-day reservation at SMYC, but this isn’t a thing we’re going to complain about. Instead, we’re going to order all the seafood small plates in sight and wonder why this place isn’t slammed every night. And we’re not going to rule out Bungalow afterwards because we do, indeed, only live once.
If the mood is right to make it a Hollywood night, Cleo is as good an option as you’ll find. The Mediterranean restaurant inside the Redbury Hotel has consistently great food, a vibe that’s trendy but never obnoxious, and is smack dab in the heart of all things Hollywood nightlife. Plus the menu is tapas style, meaning everybody can share, and your risk of overeating and going home early is minimal.
You’re looking for a scene, but not so much of a scene that you want to die and go home early for a long bath and a box of Breyer’s. Just head to Toca Madera. The organic/healthy/lettuce-cups-are-king Mexican restaurant on 3rd Street has quickly risen the ranks of see and be seen spots, but has maintained one thing all along - actually good food. The space itself is beautiful, you might see Channing Tatum there, and the tequila situation is strong. Whatever you do, save room for the churro ice cream sandwich.
Not all girls’ nights need to be all-out best night ever bonanzas. Sometimes, you just want to put on that dress your boyfriend doesn’t get and eat some really good food with your fellow women. Norah will make you feel like a total grown-up - in a “I really can have it all” kind of way, not a “Sh*t, doing my own taxes sucks” kind of way.
Is one of your friends fairly famous on Instagram? Do they refuse to eat anywhere unless they can get a bunch of good content? With Republique, everybody wins - the tiled floors, wooden tables, and high ceilings are your friend's dream and the French food is some of the best in town. And getting drunk on champagne and eating your weight in oysters is the definition of girls night success.
Unless you're one of the lucky ones, the closest thing your friendship group has to a garden is a fiddle leaf fig in the corner. Pretend like you have the best patio in the world and get to Commissary: it's inside an actual greenhouse next to the pool at The Line in Ktown. Besides the fact that you practically need the code-breaking skills of a Dan Brown character to decipher the menu, the Asian-inspired farm to table food tastes great and is prime for sharing. Who are we kidding though, you’re here for the Gin & Juice cocktails and some snacks before joining the party downstairs in the lobby.
Mama Shelter is technically a hotel. But it's a hotel with as good a rooftop restaurant as you’ll find in LA. With foosball tables, a projection screen playing old movies, and kitschy colorful furniture, Mama Shelter strays away from the usual models and bottles atmosphere of Hollywood rooftops. The food is solid, well-priced, and ideal for goals of not needing a nap afterwards. And those views are what beveling group photos are made for.
The idea of a girls night out in Beverly Hills sounds about as fun as an Uber ride with a chatty driver, but hear us out - Citizen is a good time. The new spot in downtown BH has a consistently young crowd, solid food, great cocktails, reasonable prices, and a design aesthetic that reads like the house of your aunt who doesn’t care if you smoke pot on the patio. This part of town gets sleepy in a hurry, but Weho is right around the corner for afterwards.
Hamasaku is not at all a scene, unless Westside families with children named Bear and Cecile are your idea of a scene. But on a Wednesday night when everyone’s finally available and you were supposed to make the reservation a week ago, Hamasaku is a lifeline to a still- excellent dinner. Sushi is obviously a prime girls’ night food group, but there are also hot things for that one annoying friend who still thinks raw fish is icky.
Sometimes it becomes necessary to spend a Thursday night ordering every pasta on the menu. This is not a thing you can easily achieve alone, so next time you’ve been up since 6am dealing with your nightmare of a boss, gather the crew post-work and head straight for Spartina. Grab a spot on the patio if you can.
When half the group wants a quiet dinner, and the other half wants a bar, meet in the middle and get to the front patio at Esters. Yes, it’s a wine bar, but there’s also a pretty substantial food menu that will keep everyone happy. Sure, you could order a charcuterie platter and a salad to share, but you could also order a grilled cheese and feel much happier about your life choices.
We’ve been hard on Eveleigh in the past, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an excellent girls’ night candidate. The room is pretty, the atmosphere is borderline rowdy, the waiters are good-looking, and there are lots of cocktails. The food is expensive for what it is, but that isn’t really the point tonight. The point is you’re going to 1Oak later and Eveleigh is the perfect pre-game.