LA has smog and traffic and a lot of botched nose jobs, but when you get past all that, this city can be downright beautiful. After all, we have mountains everywhere and that giant blue thing we call the Pacific Ocean. And our restaurants have taken full advantage. This city’s patio game is strong, but the views that many of them provide are just as good. Whether you’re trying to impress a lover or a boss or you simply want to stare at some pretty sh*t, here are 17 restaurants with the best views in Los Angeles.
It’s completely baffling that there aren’t more rooftop restaurants in Hollywood, and Mama Shelter has smartly discovered that gaping hole and cashed in hard. The new boutique hotel in the heart of everything has a fantastic rooftop situation with solid food, foosball tables, an outdoor movie screen, and a bar serving cinematic-themed cocktails. It definitely gets crowded here on the weekends, but the after-work scene is extremely low-key.
Located on a hilltop overlooking Hollywood, Yamashiro is a straight-up classic, with views of LA most restaurants only dream about. The 100-year-old Japanese restaurant is massive and admittedly a bit over the top, but you won’t care. The food just got a big overhaul (for the better) and after one or five of those kamikaze martinis you’ll feel like the celebrity you were born to be.
It’s not every day you’re going to be able to convince people to drive to Burbank for a fancy dinner, but when it involves The Castaway, you make it happen. Yes, the food is pricey and somewhat average, but you aren’t here for that. You’re here to huddle around one of the outdoor fire pits with a group of friends or a special person and gaze out over the (shockingly) beautiful San Fernando Valley.
Perch might not have the cool kid factor of some other rooftops these days, but this casual French restaurant has become a downtown standby and that fantastic skyline view has only gotten better over the years . The weekend scene can still get a little hectic, but otherwise Perch is pretty easy to get into. The menu isn’t going to blow you away, but it doesn’t have to. The view, the live jazz band, and that big glass of wine you’re holding do the job every time.
One of the best day trips everyone completely forgets about is a jaunt around the Palos Verdes peninsula. This extremely sleepy coastline has Malibu-level views with a fraction of the traffic, plus a fantastic restaurant to soak it all in - Mar’sel. The main restaurant inside the Terranea resort, Mar’sel serves the kind of very solid (and very expensive) food you’d expect from a resort, unobstructed ocean views, and the romantic vibes that make this a perfect seal-the-deal date night spot.
Whiskey Red’s seafood-leaning menu will be on no one’s list for the best food in town. However, its marina-facing patio is an excellent Westside spot to watch the sunset. It’s definitely touristy, but if watching rich people float around on their private boats doesn’t soothe your mind after a long week, then we simply don’t have much in common.
Not all great views have to be from an up-top perspective. The Escondite is one of our favorite bars downtown, though its street-level location won’t exactly scream “jaw-dropping scenery this way!” from the outside. But thanks to a big empty lot next door, The Escondite’s patio has an unobstructed skyline view of downtown you’d never really expect. Solid bar food, strong drinks, live music, and no cover don’t hurt either.
In the world of art museums, The Getty checks in above average. In the world art museums with unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean, The Getty is as good as it gets. And right in the center of the sprawling hilltop campus is its restaurant. With both indoor and outdoor seating and all the salad and sandwiches to sustain you mid-culture-trip, the Getty’s restaurant far surpasses your usual museum cafe.
It’s crowded and touristy and you have to pay money to park in the private lot, but being the only place on the entire Malibu coast where you can eat with your feet in the actual sand goes a long way. The menu reads somewhere between Carnival Cruise dinner course and community pool snack house, but in general, everything tastes good and the portions are massive. This will be your parents’ favorite spot while they’re visiting, and look, Dad just jumped into the ocean with his clothes on.
Why is it that so many good views come at the price of mediocre food? 71Above is special because it doesn’t require such sacrifice - up on the 71st floor of the US Bank building, the views are the kind you can usually only get from an airplane, and the food is every bit as excellent. There’s simply no better way to finish a day than with a cocktail at the sunset-facing bar.
The rich people of Los Angeles pay millions of dollars for unobstructed views of the Pacific. But that just seems kind of idiotic seeing as you can pay $10 for a plate of mini Swedish pancakes and get the exact same thing. The Malibu Farm pier cafe is one of our favorite spots in Malibu for both its Scandinavian-inspired food, and for helping us pretend we’re actually millionaires during the time it takes for us to eat those pancakes.
It’s kind of a toss up as to which view is better at Nobu - the big blue Pacific ocean, or the insane people watching. If you don’t see a celebrity here, you aren’t looking hard enough. We’d kind of understand if the food here was mediocre, but the best part about Nobu is that it really, really isn’t. All that excellent Japanese food comes at a price, but when the Kardashian Wests are sitting to your left, that’s the least of your cares.
Located in a giant three-story building with unobstructed ocean views in Manhattan Beach, you’re not going to find much better sights than The Strand House’s. Sitting in that main dining room and watching the sunset with a margarita in one hand and hamachi crudo in the other is something we could do every day for the rest of our lives.
Eveleigh is not our favorite place in Los Angeles to go for dinner. But if we reviewed restaurants based on atmosphere alone, this West Hollywood spot would be right up there with the big boys. There’s not much better than sitting on the back patio with a cocktail in hand, gazing out at the flats of Beverly Hills and picking out the insanely gaudy mansions you’ll never be able to afford.
We’re not sure why there aren’t more restaurants at the top of skyscrapers in LA, but that’s just the world we live in. WP24 is one of the handful in town, and while the view over LA Live sure is impressive, we’d probably still come here if it was at basement level. The Chinese food is definitely pricey and on the formal side, but it’s also pretty damn tasty.
The food at The Roof on Wilshire isn’t pretending to be fancy - both grilled cheese sandwiches and boring roasted salmon make appearances on the menu. But what is 100% fancy is the view, which looks down Miracle Mile and across Beverly Grove.
The Penthouse is, without a doubt, a complete and utter scene - one that’s a strange mix of bachelorette parties, moms gone wild, and slightly lost-looking tourists. But nowhere else will you get a practically unobstructed view of the coast from Santa Monica up to Malibu. The food isn’t great, but neither you nor the bachelorettes on their fifth bottle of champagne are here for that.