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L.A.’s best 4th of July food specials, BBQs and more

Best L.A. 4th of July specials, food and parties
Photograph: Courtesy Sprinkles Cupcakes

Before you hit the pool, the beach, the fireworks or the patriotic parties this 4th of July, make sure you nail down the most crucial ingredient to a holiday weekend: what you’re eating. Some of L.A.’s best restaurants are giving us red, white and blue pastries, steaks and everything else you can imagine, while others are making your home BBQ easy with picnics and takeout specials really worth celebrating. Whatever you’re looking for, do not go hungry into that long weekend.

If you’re craving red, white and blue specials

There’s solid pizza regularly coming out of Baldoria’s oven, but on the 4th of July, the Little Tokyo neighborhood spot is firing up a special all-American apple pie pizza for the occasion, plus all-day happy-hour pricing on cocktails. 

On the even sweeter side, the Dolly Llama’s launching a new, patriotic ice cream treat for the holiday. The local chain’s signature Hong Kong-style bubble waffle can now get stuffed with vanilla ice cream, then topped with strawberries, blueberries and mini marshmallows, and finally, drizzled with condensed milk, all accented by a torched marshmallow—one of America’s most summery treats imaginable.

As above, so below, Downtown's NoMad hotel is offering 4th of July food and drink specials at both its ground-floor coffee bar and up on its roof—and for the festive party vibes, you're going to want to head up to that rooftop pool. It's there you'll find red, white and blue frozen piña coladas, plus the return of NoMad truck's beloved black-truffle, bacon-wrapped hot dog with celery relish and black-truffle mayonnaise (tack on a beer for only $4—now that's the America we know and love). Upstairs, the patriotic piña coladas will be swirling from July 4 to 7, while in the coffee shop next to the lobby, you can snag a red, white and blue strawberry, blueberry and meringue croissant.

It isn't summer without ice cream, and Salt & Straw's got summer flavor in spades. The inventive frozen-treats company's July-only “Berries, Berries, Berries" series makes the most of berry season with a range of cream-toned and white ice creams swirled with bright red, purple and blue fruit, including Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero, Birthday Cake & Blackberries, and the new collab with Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, Cornflake Cookies with Boysenberry Jam.

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Sprinkles Cupcakes is offering a festive three-layer cake in our country’s signature colors. The red, white and blue layers are all vanilla cake, and they’re coated with a buttercream frosting that’s covered in festive candy stars. These colors do run for $49 per 8-inch cake, which can be ordered for store pickup between July 1–7. If you’re looking for Sprinkles’ signature cupcakes, you can find a $50 4th of July box during those dates as well, and it includes four red velvet, four dark chocolate and four gluten-free lemon blueberry cupcakes topped with a mini star; speaking of mini, there’s also a $5–$8 mini sampler box with one tiny red velvet, one bite-size dark chocolate and one minuscule vanilla.

Photograph: Courtesy STK

What’s more American than a hearty steak? A hearty steak topped with red lobster, a white garlic cream sauce and some blue-corn tortilla chips. Westwood steakhouse STK is offering the Red, White & Blue Steak special all week long for—get this—a price of $17.76. Thirsty? Gulp down red watermelon sours and blue gin sours, especially if you’re stopping by on 4th of July, when an all-day happy hour offers half-price specialty cocktails, $10 glasses of wine and bites between $2 and $8.

If you’re scouting cookouts, BBQs and more

For dinner with one of the best views in town, you can’t beat 71Above—and on the 4th of July, the modern-American bistro’s offering a four-course prix-fixe menu that you can enjoy while watching the fireworks pop off all over the city. For $115 per person, spend the holiday with dishes like steak tartare with mustard and capers; hamachi with kumquat, coconut, lemongrass and salsa seca; farm egg with crispy potatoes, chorizo, raclette and finger lime; rib eye with Broccolini, miso, garlic, onion jus, smoked soy and peanuts; and smoked banana ice cream with ginger snap and dulce de leche. 

For undoubtedly good times, head to the Arts District's new modern bistro, Bon Temps, where on Wednesday, July 3, they'll be kicking off the weekend with a themed celebration full of oysters, bubbly and cocktails from 4-10pm. (Our tip? Make sure you grab a seat on that alleyway patio, one of the neighborhood's best.)

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West Hollywood’s Conservatory already feels like a stylish grill-out, probably owning to that gorgeous patio and very clutch fire pit, but on July 4 and 5, executive chef Seth Greenburg is turning up the heat by turning that area into a grill station. Watch Greenburg at work as he mans the meat, alfresco: your choice of kalbi-style ribs, baby back ribs, carnitas sliders with pineapple slaw, or chicken kabobs, and each plate is served with potato salad, corn, and watermelon salad for $45 per person. In the mood for seafood? There’s also a king-crab plate with watermelon salad for $50. The fun runs 11am to 8pm on July 4 and from 11am to 10pm on July 5.

Wolfgang Puck never misses a chance to host a party, and during 4th of July, the chef goes all out. Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air is throwing the restaurant’s annual Texas-style BBQ, and this year, expect the signature outdoor grilling, carving and meat smoking you’ve come to know and love, along with the requisite summery sides, for $95 per person. Wash it all down with beer and wine pairings for an additional $40 per guest, then take in the scenery at one of L.A.’s most iconic and picturesque hotels. 

If you’re catering your own party

Zach Pollack wants you to “party like it’s 1776,” and to help, he’s offering take-home trays of some killer items at both Alimento and Cosa Buona. Simply bring these bad boys home and cook or reheat per instructions provided by Pollack: There are chili pork ribs with “Zach’s Red Hot” sauce, slaw and almonds ($60 per half sheet, $100 per full sheet), plus a radicchio caesar with chicories and breadcrumbs ($40 per half sheet and $55 per full sheet) from Alimento in Silver Lake, while in Echo Park, the chef’s casual pizza spot will prep spicy-sweet Buffalo-style chicken wings with carrot, celery and gorgonzola ($30 per half sheet, $55 per full sheet) and Cosa Buona’s beloved chopped salad ($30 per half sheet, $55 per full sheet). Preorder by emailing info@alimentola.com.

Let the Beard Award-winning duo of Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne do the cooking for you with their July 4th menu: Simply give their Larder at Tavern team at least 48 hours’ notice, and platters of smoked brisket, fried chicken, farro tabbouleh and even grill-ready trays of burgers can all be yours. (Prices vary; find the special menu here.) If you’re simply looking to feed a handful, they’ve got you covered there, too, with picnic boxes for two that come filled with complete meals: We’re talking spicy fried chicken with buttermilk dressing, biscuits with honey butter, slaw, summer succotash and cookies, to name but one option. What’s more, these picnic boxes don’t even need advance ordering. Look how easy they’ve made it.

Looking for more 4th of July events in L.A.? Just click that handy link.

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