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Lobster Roll at Connie & Ted's
Photograph: Noé Montes Lobster Roll at Connie & Ted's

Where to dine out in Los Angeles

A rolling list of the L.A. restaurants where you can dine in as the government restrictions ease

By Stephanie Breijo
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L.A. County restaurants are open again, though for the time being, you'll need to sit outside. After reopening both indoor and alfresco dine-in service, Gov. Newsom announced a rollback of indoor dining, allowing only open-air tables for the forseeable future. This guide has been updated with restaurants available for dine-in service outdoors.

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Los Angeles County restaurants—and bars that serve food—can now reopen for full-service meals, providing somewhat of a return to dine-in normalcy after months of closures across the state. 

Of course, visiting a restaurant won’t feel exactly as you probably remember it; in order to reopen, restaurants need to adhere to strict rules set by the state, the county and the city, which will temporarily reshape the way we dine out. Will you need to wear a cloth mask when you’re not eating? Yes, it’s required. Will you be asked to wait outside or in your car while your table is readied? Most likely. Will much of the restaurant be empty, at least filled only 60 percent? Absolutely. 

For those who want to feel the plush banquettes of a restaurant booth or hold a menu in their hands again, here are a few recommendations on where to dine in when you want to go out. This is by no means an exhaustive or complete list of restaurants that have reopened their dining rooms—this is just a guide to get you started, neighborhood by neighborhood.

Here’s where you can dine out across L.A.

Beverly Hills

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Crustacean: Helene An's celebrated Vietnamese fine-dining restaurant is back with limited outdoor seating and a full range of decadent, comforting and iconic dishes. We're always partial to the famed garlic noodles, but just about anything that An and her executive chef, Tony Nguyen, cook up is worth an order.

Mr. Chow: Mr. Chow is breaking out the white tablecloths and Beijing duck once again, especially out front on the patio. The famed upscale Chinese-food chain from chef-owner Michael Chow reopened its Beverly Hills location, now with six feet of distance between tables and extra precautions such as staff temperature checks for your enjoyment of green prawns, handmade noodles, spare ribs and more.

Spago: Wolfgang Puck's flagship is back in action with all the hits and one of our favorite indoor-outdoor patios in town. Fortunately for all of us, sweet corn is in season which means some of L.A.'s best agnolotti is back on the menu just in time for Spago's return of dine-in service. Better order a lox pizza too, you know, while you're there, or better yet just opt for that famed tasting menu.

Century City/Pico-Robertson

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Factor's Famous Deli: A back patio, big, roomy booths and newly spaced dining tables make for plenty of seating options in this 72-year-old Pico-Robertson spot. Look for all the Jewish deli classics, including lox plates, hand-cut pastrami, house-made knishes and more.

Terra: The scenic, olive-tree–dotted Italian restaurant above Eataly L.A. with sweeping rooftop views is ready to welcome you for fire-grilled meats, handmade pastas, charcuterie boards and, of course, plenty of Italian wine and cocktails. Reservations are mandatory.

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Chinatown

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LASA: One of the city's best restaurants with the most congenial staff just added a front patio so you can enjoy LASA's comforting, vibrant Filipino food alfresco. The natural wine program is a perfect complement to the chicken adobo, inasal, fried pompano, crispy pata, and pancit you'll be enjoying. 

Oriel: Still managing to maintain its intimate appeal, the neon-pink–lit Oriel expanded with a new patio—giving us even more room to take in and savor its French wines by the glass and the bottle, best served with the wine bar's tremendous French onion soup, a few halved artichokes, and a decadent order of bone marrow, for good measure.

Culver City

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Destroyer: Jordan Kahn's futuristic café is back for business, offering some of the neighborhood's most artful dishes in a casual, modernist setting. That setting now offers patio dine-in service, in addition to pickup and takeaway. You can also find plenty of pantry items here to bring Destroyer's jams, vinegars, coffee beans and more home with you.

Hatchet Hall: Hatchet's nearly synonymous with its low lighting and intimate dining room, but the team converted the parking lot to a spacious, sunny patio, giving us a whole new way to experience the restaurant's satisfying, comforting and creative Southern/Old-American cuisine. (Even in the new space, we'll still fight you for that last bite of spoonbread.)

Maple Block Meat Co.: You could get your BBQ to-go, but it never feels quite the same as sitting down to a massive tray. You can get that experience again at pitmaster Adam Cole's Maple Block Meat Co., where the brisket, ribs, sausage and turkey get sliced to order, then arranged on a metal tray with pickles and other accoutrements. This is also where you can find some of our favorite wings in town.

Roberta's: The Brooklyn pizzeria's L.A. outpost is roomy—especially given the patio, which sits at the heart of PLATFORM—which should make enjoying Roberta's wood-pired pizzas, fresh pastas and farmers' market vegetables a cinch in the age of social distancing. Reservations are recommended.

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Downtown

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Amante Restaurant: Charming DTLA Italian spot Amante is reopening with brunch and lunch. Expect morning staples like lemon ricotta pancakes and steak and eggs, as well as dishes such as calzones, pizzas, chicken marsala, cioppino, and plenty of pasta.

Bar Amá: Josef Centeno flipped his back alley into an alfresco space, setting up tables and a casual vibe complete with a boombox—vibrant and fun, a perfect match for the queso, tacos dorados and other Tex-Mex specialties. Reservations available. 

Grand Central Market: Downtown’s historic food hall relaunched the very first night. A number of its vendors remained open for takeout and delivery services during the shutdowns, but now the indoor-outdoor gathering place is opening up its dining tables along Broadway and its patio seating along Hill Street. What’s more, it’s offering the first 30 minutes of parking free to GCM guests for all of June. Note: Masks are now required to enter the market, and guests should maintain six feet of distance at all times, especially when in line for vendors.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar: Want the vibe of a seafood summer meal without the trek to the shore? The Arts District's Rappahannock Oyster Bar, tucked into ROW DTLA, serves up lobster rolls, an array of oysters, crudos and one of the best burgers in town—plus beer, wine and cocktails—to make the most of the season.

Rossoblu: Steve Samson's phenomenal Italian gem in the Fashion District is back up and running for full service, converting the City Market South plaza into an all-out patio that now serves both Rossoblu's Bologna-inspired cuisine as well as pizza from the restaurant's sibling concept, Superfine.

Echo Park

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Counterpart Vegan: This plant-based café is back with plenty of patio seating—a perfect and sunny place to dig into vegan doughnuts, lattes, salads, carrot "lox" bagels, waffles, tacos, deli sandwiches and beyond.

Guisados: The Echo Park location of this family-run taco chain—home to some of the best braises and handmade tortillas in town—sports a spacious patio, so grab a few tacos (and if you can't decide, order the sampler platter), then enjoy them in the sun.

Lady Byrd Cafe: Echo Park's darling new café is thinking outside the box, or inside, as the case may be. Lady Byrd constructed glass greenhouses in its parking lot, offering a private, pod-like experience per dining party. After each meal of salads, breakfast fare, sandwiches or pastas, the greenhouses get a cleaning as well as fresh airflow to ready themselves for the next set of diners. 

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Encino

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Pasta Bar: While Philip Frankland Lee's fine-dining destination is still takeout-only, his new operation—a pasta tasting menu next door—is now up and running. The new Pasta Bar runs through elegant courses of handmade, fresh pastas served with the likes of clams and black truffle, alongside seasonal antipasti and, of course, pastries by the talented Margarita Kallas-Lee to top it all off. The restaurant is currently fully alfresco.

Sushi Bar: Next door, Phillip Frankland Lee's stellar sushi operation is in full swing. Scratch Bar and Pasta Bar's sibling spot, Sushi Bar, offers 17 omakase courses of delicately packed rice under some wholly creative seafood, some dotted with traditional freshly ground wasabi, others under the likes of caviar, truffle or fresno chili yuzu kosho. The whole operation has temporarily moved outdoors and still involves plexiglass barriers between guests, plus an at-the-counter experience.

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Hollywood

L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele: One of the world’s most famous—and oldest—pizza operations in the world touched down in Hollywood, carving out a garden oasis just off the main drag. L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele’s seating is almost entirely alfresco and a total show-stopper, and the pizza is stunning, too: Neapolitan-style pies gooey in the center and blistered around the crust are what you should always order, but we wouldn’t blame you if you got distracted by the small plates and pastas.

Long Beach

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The Bamboo Club: One of our favorite tiki bars is back, which is perfect timing for summer; we're already dreaming of mai tais on their bamboo-walled back patio. Now you can settle in outdoors, their new tented area, or in the dark bar, sipping on tropical (and way boozy) drinks and noshing on that fantastic Thai-tea–brined fried chicken sandwich, plenty of raw oysters, pulled pork sandwiches and other breezy bites.

Little Coyote: Long Beach's new New York-style pizza spot is exactly the kind of place we could spend a lunch into a dinner into an evening on the patio with some lambrusco, a local beer and a slice or five. There's salad, too, plus off-menu focaccia-style "grandma pies" and plenty of chill vibes thanks to a solid playlist and a seasoned staff.

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Los Feliz

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Alcove Café & Bakery: The neighborhood's favorite patio is back with distanced seating. Stop by Alcove for lunch and dinner throughout the week, plus brunch on weekends, including some of the best cocktails in town and options such as burgers, tacos, salads, cakes, sandwiches, avocado toasts and everything else that's bright, breezy and perfect for that patio.

Sōgo Roll Bar: The more casual counterpart to Sherman Oaks's Sushi Note, Sōgo sells high-quality sushi in limited formats and that's A-OK by us: These hand rolls are packed with lobster, toro, snapper, scallop and more, all wrapped in rice and the crunch of a still-pliant sheet of nori. Dine-in seating is available on the patio from Monday to Saturday.

Malibu/Topanga/Pacific Palisades

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The Draycott: With plenty of patio space, the Palisades Village spot from husband-and-wife team Matt and Marissa Hermer is an ideal spot for outdoor and socially-distanced dining. The menu echoes the garden-like, charming atmosphere, with new options such as lobster rolls, gazpachos and branzino, plus oysters, fan-favorite margaritas and a popular weekend brunch.

Inn of the Seventh Ray: The ambiance is a major selling point at Topanga's Inn of the Sevent Ray—easily one of L.A.'s most romantic restaurants—and now the ambiance is back. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the week, the tucked-away Inn gives you a not-so-secret garden to hide away in, all while enjoying pastas, seafood, local produce and a number of health-minded and vegan-friendly dishes up in the canyon.

Taverna Tony: One of Malibu's most beloved stalwarts is opening its breezy patio for mezze once again. Malibu Country Mart's Taverna Tony now offers its Greek specialties and family-style platters onsite, though you'll want to book a reservation before stopping by.

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Melrose

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Crossroads: With plenty of steakhouse charm—but none of the steak—one of the city's longest-running and top vegan restaurants returns with innovative-yet-familiar plant-based cuisine and an elegant atmosphere. As seating is more limited, especially on the new patio, the team recommends making a reservation before you head in. 

Mid-City/West Adams

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Alta: Chef Keith Corbin's bright and creative California soul food can be found full-service on Alta's verdant back patio and new front patio for brunch and dinner. The biscuits and turkey gravy; cornmeal pancakes with salted-caramel syrup; steak and eggs; fried chicken with fresno chili hot sauce; collards with smoked oil are all worth an order—and so are the oxtails, one of our favorite dishes of the year. In a rush? You can also find to-go items at Alta's café next door, Adams Coffee Shop.

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Santa Monica

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Birdie G's: Jeremy Fox's big, bright and family-friendly restaurant in Bergamot Station is now offering dine-in service with plenty of space between tables. There's also patio seating along the entry walkway, and an alfresco meal of matzo brei omelet; the refreshing relish tray; wood-fired meats; and that now-iconic rose petal pie sounds like it could be just the ticket.

BOA Steakhouse: With dry-aged steaks; blue crab cocktails; buttery lobster tails; and sides like truffled mashed potatoes, this is a high-quality steakhouse to mark the return of dine-in service. Settle into those large booths or large patios, either in the Santa Monica or the West Hollywood location.

Little Ruby: This chipper Aussie café reopened with plenty of flat whites and some of our favorite breakfast in town and, of course, "avo toast" galore. The spot just blocks from the beach also offers fresh juice, pastas, salads and burgers. Finish with some soft-serve sundaes before hitting the waves.

Mélisse: Josiah Cirtin's stellar tasting-menu desination is freshly reopened and now features a new outdoor patio setup. In addition to the restaurant's signature tasting menu, you'll also be able to order à la carte. Reservations are mandatory.

Tallula's: The Rustic Canyon Family's beachy, family-friendly Mexican restaurant now comes complete with a new patio. They've flipped much of the parking lot into a new alfresco dining space, which is where you can enjoy tacos, nachos, burritos and plenty of margaritas for dinner, with onsite brunch soon to follow. Reservations recommended.

Silver Lake

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Bar Restaurant: One of 2019's most arresting newcomers has opened up its parking lot, flipping it to a bulb-strung patio replete with cured ham, boquerones, lamb tartare, and mussels served, brilliantly, with a curly fries take on moules-frites. The wine will be plentiful. The vibe? Chic as hell. Book a reservation online.

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South Bay

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Fishing with Dynamite: David LeFevre's thoughtful and refreshing Manhattan Beach seafood shack is open for dine-in once again. The cozy, crisp-white restaurant serves up crudos, plenty of seafood towers, oysters on the half shell, lobster rolls, and uni fresh out of the shell, plus hot items such as fish and chips and a cult-classic fried chicken sandwich.

Jame Enoteca: El Segundo's handmade-pasta spot, tucked into an unassuming strip mall, is worth a visit. You can still order its salads, spaghetti, meatballs and parm-flecked seasonal vegetables to-go, but the dining room—and patio—are now open, too, with tables spaced six feet apart.

Playa Provisions: The beachy, multi-concept spot from Top Chef-winning Brooke Williamson and her husband, Nick Roberts, returns with plexiglass between booths and an all new patio in their repurposed parking lot for social distancing and outdoor dining right by the ocean. Expect breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, with plenty of summery options such as lobster rolls, seared scallops, salads and sangrias (not to mention a full ice cream counter).

Venice

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The Butcher's Daughter: The breezy temple to fresh juice and health-minded plates is open with its usual beachy seating, including some on the front and back patios. There are baked goods and vegan options and salads and brunches and, of course, those signature juice blends, perfect for refueling before a (socially distant) stroll around Venice Beach. 

The Waterfront: One of the Westside's best patios offers "cold drinks for chill people"—made by one of our favorite bartenders in town—not to mention tacos, plenty of seafood, citrus beer-grilled chicken, weekend brunch, burgers, and a locally focused craft beer list. Oh—and did we mention it's right on Venice Boardwalk? Head to the Waterfront for multiple outdoor dining areas and great vibes; reservations and walk-ins welcome.

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West Hollywood

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Connie and Ted's: Take a trip to the shore without driving past West Hollywood thanks to Connie and Ted's, Michael Cimarusti's New England-inspired seafood shack. There's even and expanded front patio to make it feel all the breezier. Close your eyes as you bite into lobster rolls, soft-shell crab sandwiches, raw oysters and other seaside treats and it's almost like you're right on the water.

Craig's: One of L.A.'s most celebrity-studded restaurants has reopened its dining room and added limited outdoor seating, but take note: You need to make a reservation, and at least for now, make one at least 48 hours in advance. Once you do, it's all red-sauce classics and steaks and seafood and martinis and honey-drizzled chicken. (And don't forget the house-made vegan ice cream.)

Dan Tana's: The WeHo legend is back to sling red-sauce classics and martinis galore, but this time, the Old Hollywood haunt has added alfresco seating. Make a reservation and head to the new, astroturfed back patio for outdoor dining and a whole new vibe for all of the chicken parm, chopped salads, cheesy garlic bread and other favorites (not that there's anything wrong with that original Tana's vibe, let's be clear).

E.P./L.P.: One of the city's best rooftop bars returns, and it's been totally reformatted for the age of social distancing. For the time being, the split-level E.P./L.P. can be found combined on the rooftop, L.P., with a new menu of Californian-meets-Asian small plates and bar bites such as three-pepper squid and a shrimp-toast take on a tostada. You can try a little of everything with chef Sabel Braganza's new $35 tasting menu.

Formosa Café: The Old Hollywood haunt with a gorgeous, glowing bar has returned, bringing 1933 Group's tiki-leaning, umbrella-garnished drinks and a lively atmosphere back to the space, all set to chef David Kuo's fabulous Chinese and Taiwanese bites. (The massive patio's not bad to look at, either.) Look for dumplings, sizzling platters of beef, BBQ pork buns, dan dan noodles, Kuo's signature Fatty Noodles and more.

West Third/Beverly Grove

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A.O.C.: Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne's beloved Beverly spot relaunched with a dinner-only menu sporting all of the classics. Of course you can expect Goin's iconic Spanish fried chicken, plus other favorites such as bacon-wrapped dates; ample charcuterie and cheese boards; wood-fired clams with sherry and toast; and plenty of farmers' market vegetables.

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Westlake Village

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101 North Eatery & Bar: Westlake Village's 101 North returned to dine-in service the first weekend possible and runs service throughout the day, which is great intel for those looking to dine on a bulb-lit patio. Expect a gourmet gastropub menu sporting the likes of wood-gired cauliflower; short rib sliders; rack of lamb; pastas; and wood-fired pizzas, plus a lengthy menu of beers, cocktails and sangrias, available both indoors and out on that patio. Reservations are encouraged.

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