Some of these dozen outdoor offerings are new, while others tout recently installed chefs or fresh dishes just in time for the start of the season. From the skyscrapers of downtown L.A.’s Financial District to the Malibu sand, they offer the ideal refuge from the summer sun.
Bowing June 25 in the storied former Bastide address, this specialist in contemporized Russian classics is a West Coast outpost of a mini-chain started in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Take to the charming, birdhouse-adorned courtyard. Al Fresco Order: Blinis with caviar. 8475 Melrose Place
Govind Armstrong and Brad Johnson of the acclaimed Post & Beam in Baldwin Hills help forge L.A.’s New South trend at this laid-back Venice charmer. Al Fresco Order: Steamed mussels with Tasso ham, grilled spring onions and preserved lemon butter. 1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
For the summer, Chaya's branch in L.A.'s Financial District has instituted a special Beer Garden menu for its sleek patio. The must-get is the unique Kirin draft capped with a head of frozen beer foam that looks like a soft-serve topping. Al Fresco Order: Bacon-wrapped date skewers. 525 S. Flower St.
CONNIE & TED’S
One of the most buzzed-about entries of the season has been the new-school East Coast seafood shack from acclaimed chef Michael Cimarusti of Providence. Take a seat under the architecturally inspiring modernist veranda. Al Fresco Order: Lobster roll with hot drawn butter. 8171 Santa Monica Blvd.
Just opened July 1, this Larry Ellison-backed Italian-Mediterranean restaurant with the Zen-minimalist vibe situated directly on Malibu’s Carbon Beach offers stunning views of the Pacific. Al Fresco Order: The signature crispy sea bass “cannolos.” 22716 Pacific Coast Highway
Go ahead, call it a fancified Arby’s. This month-old, mid-city roadside roast beef stand from the minds behind Red Medicine and 800 Degrees is a perfectly art-directed bit of nostalgia, right down to the hard-top retro umbrellas. Al Fresco Order: Custards and curly fries. 1000 S. La Brea Ave.
Once the home of a Paramount contract starlet, this quaint 4-month-old restaurant with the secluded wraparound porch is housed in a restored bungalow a fork’s toss from the studio lot. Al Fresco Order: Pan-seared halibut with corn, wild mushrooms and salsa verde. 5750 Melrose Ave.
The team responsible for atmospheric Sunset Strip aerie Eveleigh has done it again with this nascent mid-city spot whose porch features arguably the most attractive vertical garden in town. Al Fresco Order: Hand-cut tagliatelle with Dungeness crab, tarragon and lemon. 8422 W. 3rd St.
THE CONSERVATORY GRILL
The Montage Beverly Hills hotel’s poolside restaurant, with its view north across the Golden Triangle, typically closes early. But now on Sunday evenings, it’s begun to stay open late for dinner service. Al Fresco Order: Di Stefano burrata with roasted tomatoes and mint pesto. 225 N. Canon Drive
A West L.A. draw since its debut in late 2011, the restaurant – specializing in New American stomach-liners such as fried Brussels sprouts and house-smoked trout – has just added a patio. Al Fresco Order: Hamachi crudo and seared avocado with cucumber salad. 11520 W. Pico Blvd.
This several-month-old Italian concept from the folks behind Pace in Laurel Canyon and Porta Via in Beverly Hills boasts a light-strewn rear patio that feels like the Amalfi coast out of the midcentury past. Al Fresco Order: Grilled Santa Barbara spot prawns with sea urchin butter. 8265 Beverly Blvd.
At the base of a skyscraper in downtown L.A.’s Financial District, this French-Californian destination recently snapped up top local toque David Feau shortly after he left his Pasadena post at the Royce. Al Fresco Order: Grass-fed beef tartare with marinated feta and grilled scallions. 800 W. 6th St.