Restaurants might be closed for indoor dining, but outdoor dining is in full swing across LA. And no place is that more apparent than in Culver City and its surrounding neighborhoods, where entire streets have been shut down to make room for new and expanded patio dining. From Southern comfort food and Oaxacan staples, to old-school Hollywood classics, here are 16 of our favorite spots in Culver, Mar Vista, and Palms for outdoor dining. We’ll continue to update this list, so if your favorite patio isn’t included, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Downtown Culver City spot Akasha has reopened with three small dining patios. They’re serving their wide-ranging comfort food menu, which includes everything from cacio e pepe to chicken cauliflower fried rice, and one extremely tasty burger. Reservations online.
Chef Josef Centeno’s Tex-Mex spot on Culver Blvd has great margaritas and an even better patio - plus, excellent nachos, queso, and frosé, too. Amácita is open for dinner from 3-9pm Tuesday-Sunday, with Super Nacho Happy Hour from 3-6pm. Call for reservations - (424) 523-3300.
One of the newest additions to the Platform in Culver City, Bianca Bakery serves French pastries alongside housemade breads and pastas. Stop by for whichever of the tarts look good (our favorites are the pistachio or the chocolate ganache), some tomato and basil focaccia, and the gnocchi pomodoro. Any of them pair well with a glass of sauvignon blanc.
The classic Culver City steakhouse has moved their Old Hollywood aesthetic outside - and onto a new patio in their parking lot. On top of string lights and astroturf, there’s also a mural of the interior dining room going along the walls, so you actually feel like you’re inside the place. Except you’re outside - even better.
Hatchet Hall is a modern Southern restaurant in Culver City with excellent food and an extended patio (in their old parking lot) to ensure a very socially distant meal. In addition to that patio, they’ve also changed up their service bit. It’s walk-in only, everyone orders at the bar, and you seat yourself.
Is Jackson Market actually too good to be true? Located on a hidden residential street, Jackson Market serves as deli, apothecary, wine shop, snack bar, and probably a few other things we don’t even know about. Consider it one of Culver’s best-kept secrets, and that’s before we even mention their incredible back patio, the perfect place to grab some breakfast or a quick lunch.
Madre’s location in Palms/Culver City set up a few tables out front of their main dining room. It’s not a huge new space, but it’s a great option if you want al fresco dining and some excellent Oaxacan food.
We know you’ve been wondering where to go this summer to drink gin and tonics while you watch trains go by, but fear not: Margot has returned. This Culver City rooftop spot on top of the Platform is back open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Reserve here.
The side patio at Culver City’s local BBQ spot Maple Block has reopened for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. It’s the best place to sit, because you can practically taste the scent of the peach wood burning in the restaurant’s smoker. If you’re there for lunch, get the smoked pork shoulder sandwich - topped with creamy coleslaw and sweet BBQ sauce. Otherwise, try the pork spare ribs for dinner.
My Lai is a family-run Vietnamese spot in Mar Vista that had the unfortunate luck of opening a few weeks before the shutdown began. But they’re back open, with a patio behind the restaurant and some tables out front, too, where you can eat bun vermicelli noodle salads, banh mis, and chicken and garlic rice. They’ve also got a build-your-own-bowl situation, if you prefer.
This handmade pasta spot at the Helms Bakery complex in Culver City has a huge patio that’s ideal for physical distancing. Along with our favorites like tagliatelle Bolognese and spaghetti and clams, Pasta Sisters has also brought back their excellent (and seasonal) eggplant parmesan. They’re enforcing plenty of rules, like a new separate ordering system for dine-in and takeout, customer temperature checks, and an employee dedicated to finding appropriately-distanced seating.
There’s a whole lot of everything going on inside their Culver City corner space - an airy dining room, a buzzing bar, a plant-filled front porch, and a menu crammed with dishes that pull from all over Asia and the American South. So naturally, Piccalilli was able to call a quick audible during the pandemic, expanding their patio onto Main St. and adding new items like smoked wings with mustard/Carolina BBQ sauce and ghost pepper. Hey, you’ve got a little extra space to sweat. Reservations available online.
Public School 310 in Culver City just expanded their outdoor seating. They’ve also got an impressive beer list to-go, plus wine, cocktails, and pub food like wings and pizza. Reservations available here.
This Brooklyn transplant actually reopened before their East Coast cousins, though they’re currently only accepting reservations for patio seating. That patio, however, is pretty nice - it spreads through the courtyard of Culver City’s Platform complex - and Roberta’s roster of pizzas (including the sweet-and-spicy Bee Sting and their savory, mega-cheesy Famous Original) is deep. Reservations here.
Rustic Kitchen Market & Café
The cafe/market/wine bar in Mar Vista has a new heated patio. Groups over six people are not allowed, and it’s recommended to call ahead as seating is limited. (310) 390-1500.