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From downtown skyscrapers to the Hollywood Hills and Pacific Ocean, you can’t beat these sights. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

51 rooftop restaurants and bars in L.A. to soak in the best city views

Don’t you love the way L.A. looks from the sky? Peer downtown and you’ll spy City Hall and the U.S. Bank Tower. Head toward Hollywood and you’ll glimpse its rolling, mansion-dotted hills and its eponymous sign tucked between them. Keep going west and you’ll eventually spot the Pacific coastline with its jutting piers, foaming shores and jagged cliffs. And there are countless more neighborhoods between those horizons that boast their own spectacles.

As for where to soak in the sights, you have a slew of options. There’s the reward of hiking to the top of a trail, but as summer daylight dwindles, L.A.’s rooftop restaurants and bars prove more tempting, offering incomparable vistas alongside sparkling pools, creative cocktails, prime people-watching and, of late, memorable meals. While delicious food can be a bit of an anomaly for rooftops, where the focus is often on socializing and drinking, several newcomers stand out with worthwhile culinary programs in addition to remarkable views.

Chef Suzanne Goin and restaurateur Caroline Styne of A.O.C. launched Cara Cara on the 15th-floor rooftop of the Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel in late 2021, quickly emerging as a local favorite, not just for uninterrupted views of downtown skyscrapers but also for a seasonal menu that rivals the pair’s ground-floor, Iberian-inspired Caldo Verde restaurant that opened at the same time.

“I just thought, ‘What would I want to eat if I was sitting on this rooftop, looking out over all of L.A.?’” Goin reflected.


Cara Cara makes magic out of a tiny upstairs kitchen and opts for an all-day menu that allows chefs to prep certain items in Caldo Verde’s downstairs kitchen and run plates up the elevator throughout the day.

“The rooftop is tough competition for Caldo Verde,” Goin explained. “This way, we’re able to offer a great breakfast and brunch downstairs and operate two different experiences at the same time.”

Feeling thirsty? Here are the 10 best places around Los Angeles for drinks.

Dec. 6, 2022

Perched in these uplifted environments, it’s hard not to be enveloped by a sense of optimism. It’s similar to looking out the window on a descending flight home, silently naming landmarks as they come into view and chuckling at the blinking brake lights on the zigzag of freeways below. With a distanced and wider perspective, you’re reminded of all the reasons you love this city.

We get a little loose with the definition of rooftop for this guide, including a century-old pagoda nestled in the Hollywood Hills and a farm-to-table restaurant at the edge of Malibu Pier, but we promise you’ll be grateful for these liberties once you take in the panoramas. Some are perfect for a dinner date, while others are great for catching up with friends over drinks and a few are best suited for dancing after dark. Here are 51 of the best rooftop restaurants and bars, overlooking Disneyland resort, Laguna Beach, downtown L.A., Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice and beyond, ranked by height. — Danielle Dorsey

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(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Spire 73

Downtown L.A. Californian $$$
There’s a shift in perception that occurs in the way you view Los Angeles, and even your place on this Earth, when you are 73 floors up in the rooftop lounge of the tallest building west of the Mississippi. For one, airplanes seem really, really close. Few other places in the city offer views over the tops of L.A.’s iconic skyscrapers and actually make you feel as if you are scraping the sky. This perspective is one of the reasons you may want to put up with the $60-per-adult spending minimum at the InterContinental Hotel’s Spire 73 inside the 1,100-foot (counting the spire) Wilshire Grand Center.

A good portion of your $60 minimum likely will go toward what Spire 73 calls “mixologist-inspired” (versus mixologist-made?) cocktails, which run $22 each. Spire 73’s abundant Mediterranean platter may seem like something you’d put together after a Trader Joe’s run, and the L.A. Galbi appetizer of two or three Korean-barbecue-style short ribs may seem a bit skimpy, but both go down easy with a glass of Pinot Noir as you watch the glow of the sun setting across the city. The best-realized dish was the seared Alaskan salmon with spring vegetables. The most fun? Spire 73’s rooftop s’mores. For fine dining with a non-rooftop view, head down two flights for the hotel’s La Boucherie steak and seafood house on the 71st floor.
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A rooftop bar with big "AC Hotels Marriot" and "Moxy" sign and strings of lights
(Shawn Scott)

La Lo La Rooftop

Downtown L.A. Tapas Cocktails $$
Located on the 34th floor of the AC Hotel, just across the street from Arena and the Convention Center, La Lo La Rooftop bar is smack dab in the middle of downtown, with breathtaking, almost-360-degree views of the entirety of Los Angeles. Debuted at the start of summer, the buzzy tapas bar quickly became a favorite destination pre- or post-show or game at arena, with swooping string lights, bright and fruity cocktails, Spanish-leaning bites and a slate of recurring events such as Sunday brunch with DIY Bloody Mary and michelada stations and live DJs on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s unlikely you’ll get bored on the 4,000-square-foot wraparound rooftop, but should you desire more entertainment, you can head down to Level 8, an innovative, multi-venue experience on the eighth floor of the Moxy, under the same roof as the AC Hotel, with food and bar concepts such as Qué Bárbaro, a South American concept centered around live-fire cooking from chef Ray Garcia, and Golden Hour, a poolside carousel bar. And a tip: Check ahead of your visit to see if there are any games or events happening at Arena — traffic and parking can get pretty hairy in this area.
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(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)


Hollywood Hills Asian $$
Located 250 feet above Hollywood Boulevard and overlooking the Hollywood Hills, downtown skyline and Pacific coastline, Yamashiro isn’t technically a rooftop, but it evokes the same feeling from its multilevel, wraparound patio and historic bungalow (request a seat by the floor-to-ceiling windows and you won’t miss the view). Built in 1914 as a replica of a palace in the Yamashiro Mountains near Kyoto, Japan, the grounds remain well preserved with a garden and koi pond that you’ll glimpse if you decide to stroll the expansive property before or after your meal.

Now partially owned by Nick Cannon, Yamashiro recently updated its menu, which resembles one you might find at Cheesecake Factory for its length, though the dishes typically fall into a modern pan-Asian category, including lobster karaage, pork bao buns, sashimi pizza and loaded cut rolls, plus steak and seafood entrees. There’s a sake list, but the cocktail menu proves more interesting with Japanese whisky and gin featured heavily throughout. Zen Oasis is a strong yet soothing mix of green apple- and green tea-infused gin, lemongrass-infused vodka, elderflower syrup and a dash of suze, perfect for babysitting as you watch the sun sway below the horizon. Valet parking is $15, or you can try your luck along a narrow stretch of Sycamore Avenue, but prepare yourself for the uphill climb.
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two hands clink cocktail glasses at an outdoor rooftop bar
(Timothy Kwon / Hive & Honey)

Hive & Honey

Irvine American $$
Hive & Honey is a buzzy bar perched on the 16th floor of Marriott Irvine Spectrum. A host positioned at the elevator bay of the hotel directs the flow to the roof, where a panoramic outlook over Irvine means there isn’t a bad seat in the house, if you can get one. Reservations are recommended since this rooftop bar is popular with groups who settle in on sofas and order bottle service. Those on a date night can grab a high-top table for two to order small plates, while singles circulate with cocktails served in honey-bear bottles. A live DJ spins on weekends, and ambient-colored lighting adds to the party atmosphere. There are clear views of Irvine’s Great Park, the Irvine Spectrum and Saddleback Mountain. The menu features indulgent bar food, with dishes like heritage chicken wings, slicked with chipotle honey and topped with blue cheese crumbles, and the mallow dessert, which stacks graham cracker, marshmallow brulee and honeycomb on top of a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream. The rooftop’s name hints at the honey kept on hand for many of its cocktails. The Hive & Honey Old-Fashioned uses rye whiskey infused with honeycomb, while the Bees Knees is made with house-made honey syrup, orgeat, lemon and gin.
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(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)


Downtown L.A. French $$
The brunch crowd comes out in hordes to this 15th-floor, French-inflected restaurant where you’ll be treated to live jazz and clear downtown views in addition to a la carte and prix fixe menus with hits like flaky baked brie, crab benedict and shrimp scampi, as well as cocktails like bloody marys, bellinis and mimosas. After you’ve filled up on pitchers of sangria, head one floor up to Perch’s 16th-floor bar to keep the party going. Pro tip: You can also order a cocktail at the rooftop bar if you failed to make a reservation and need somewhere to kill an hour while you wait for your table.

In a neighborhood full of skyscrapers, Perch’s rooftop bar feels like a garden in the city with nearly 360-degree views, from the lovely overhead of Pershing Square across the street as far as Signal Hill. With mismatched cushions lining wrought-iron benches, trees wrapped in string lights and brick fireplaces, it’s easy to lose an afternoon or evening here. It’s definitely a go-to spot for postwork drinks for downtown finance bros and couples looking for a backdrop for their hard-launch post on Instagram, but those factors don’t detract from the ambience. Craft cocktails lean into the garden theme, like the citrusy Summer Solstice and a cucumber-basil Le Jardin.
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(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Cara Cara

Downtown L.A. Californian Portuguese $$
Gracing the 15th floor of the Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel, Cara Cara serves some of the best rooftop cuisine you’ll find in the city. The restaurant from chef Suzanne Goin and restaurateur Caroline Styne shares the same Portuguese- and California-influenced perspective as their lobby-level Caldo Verde space, where you’ll find large-format dishes and multicourse Sunday suppers with celebrity chefs like Carla Hall and Phil Rosenthal.

Upstairs at Cara Cara, the seating spills across an indoor-outdoor bar area to a covered patio to a lower level of wraparound seating with tables, couches, umbrellas and fireplaces. The all-day menu makes it tempting to stick around as the sun sets with dishes meant for sharing, such as piri piri fried chicken, mini lobster rolls, a selection of tacos and focaccia pizzas, plus new entrees like New Zealand lamb chops drizzled with cumin yogurt and clams soaking in a bath of garlic, vermouth, herb butter and fregola. Cocktails are creative and fruity with fresh ingredients, such as a lychee martini and a passion fruit caipirinha with mezcal. A few spirit-free cocktails are available, as well as wines by the glass, with an emphasis on California, Spanish and Portuguese labels.
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A pool surrounded by lounge chairs, umbrellas and flowering plants in pots
(Nikolas Koenig)

The Roof at West Hollywood Edition

West Hollywood Mexican $$
Perched above Sunset Boulevard on the 14th floor of the West Hollywood Edition hotel, the roof here offers seating that’s sandwiched between an infinity pool and a glass-wall border with a garden hedge, giving guests sparkling views of downtown, Mid-City, Beverly Hills and much of the Westside. Should it get too breezy on the exterior, there is an indoor bar with stools and cobalt-blue couches. As it caters to model-slash-influencer-slash-podcast host-slash-producer types who are largely preoccupied with capturing photos for the ’gram, you might not see too many patrons digging into the food menu, but it’s one worth exploring, with a broad Baja Mexican theme. The Dungeness crab nachos drenched in a melted cheese mornay sauce are a standout and the sweet potato taquitos represent one of many worthwhile vegetarian options. There are also tacos, ceviche and oysters, in addition to a trio of tortas. The cocktail menu leans into agave spirits and refreshing, herbaceous flavors; Morning Octane, with tequila, Amaro Montenegro, chile verde liqueur, coffee liqueur and espresso, will help power you through the night.
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Two cocktails with a pool in the background
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Broken Shaker

Downtown L.A. Californian $$
L.A.’s outpost of Miami’s lauded Broken Shaker bar sits on the 14th-floor rooftop of downtown’s Freehand Hotel, dotted with palm fronds, cactuses and bulb lights for a sunny vibe, and drinks and bites that match the atmosphere. If every fruit-, coconut- and herb-tinged cocktail catches your eye, just see the bar’s two most popular: The tequila-forward Litty City is bright yet complex with pomegranate juice, coconut-and-chai cordial, celery, coconut and pandan bitters, while the herbaceous tequila-and-Aperol Vibe Check uses blood orange, herbs de Provence and lemon, garnished with a whole sprig of rosemary and a dried orange wheel. The food menu, while brief, offers poolside L.A.-inspired classics: carne asada fries, falafel burgers, fried fish tacos, chicken banh mi and ceviche.

There’s limited seating at the bar and its scant tables, but for the ultimate rooftop experience, opt for the cordoned-off pool area (even if you don’t intend to swim): Access to the pool and its lounge chairs aren’t limited to hotel guests, but it is first come, first served and requires a $65 minimum on food and drink if you’re not staying the night. Note: Kitchen hours are limited, with food served only from 1 to 7 p.m. most nights of the week and from 1 to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
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a rooftop with lounge chairs and a pool with tall buildings in the background
(Stephen Kent Johnson)

Upstairs at Ace Hotel

Downtown L.A. American $$
As cranes rise and fall around it, Upstairs at the Ace Hotel holds steady. The 14th-floor rooftop is a stalwart in L.A.’s scene, even if the food menu seems to diminish with every visit. Last time I went, a bartender slid a slightly damp menu toward me and asked that I place food orders at the bar. Chips, salsa, guacamole and a couple of taco options do a fine job at soaking up booze-forward drinks like the Señorita with tequila, elderflower, chile, lime and a Tajín rim. With a separate ground-level entrance adjacent to the lobby restaurant Loam, Upstairs at Ace Hotel is particularly popular on warm days for its open-pool policy that welcomes all rooftop guests, regardless of whether they’re staying at the hotel. A DJ sets up weekend afternoons and plays well into the night, with tables and chairs eventually pushed into the corners in favor of a dance floor.
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The rooftop pool and bar area of Bar Clara has an open-mouthed sculpted head at one end.
(Bar Clara)

Bar Clara

Downtown L.A. Spanish $$
This landmark 12th-floor rooftop in a historic building — formerly the L.A. headquarters of Bank of Italy (which later became Bank of America) — is immediately recognizable for its poolside replica of the face of underworld god Orcus, based on an architectural folly in a northern Lazio, Italy, garden. Located at the far end of the pool, its gaping mouth occasionally serves as a cool-weather firepit, and its backdrop is downtown L.A.’s skyscraper horizon. Hotel Per La’s showcase dining room might be the ground-floor Per L’Ora restaurant, but the rooftop patio at Bar Clara is where you want to soak up the al fresco life, especially around sunset. The abbreviated Mediterranean-esque menu has a few bar snacks (the Moroccan-spiced crunchy chickpeas are addictive), salads (fattoush, say) and mains (hanger steak with Calabrian chile chimichurri if you’re hungry), but it’s an ideal location to start the evening with a first round or two of drinks.
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The bar and dining space under a pergola at the Rooftop by JG at dusk.
(Rooftop by JG)

Rooftop by JG

Beverly Hills Californian $$$
Sitting 12 floors up on the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills hotel, the astonishing views at Rooftop by JG are the centerpiece, accompanied by a muted emerald-and-white palette across the seating and decor. The open-air rooftop has a seafood-focused menu that ranges from a sashimi sampler platter to a lobster burger and a vaguely Cuban-inspired chicken and vegetable dish. As the sun sets, Rooftop by JG shifts from a place for families and business meetings to an intimate date spot where you can gaze out to see as far as downtown L.A. The cocktails are beautifully presented with vibrant colors, edible flowers and an embossed “WA” interlocking logo on the ice cubes, but the flavors don’t always match up, with some leaning syrupy or even medicinal. On the other hand, the robust list of spirit-free drinks features hand-pressed juices, La Colombe coffee and teas and well-concocted mocktails like How to Tai a Tai and Honest to Goodness — spins on a virgin Mai Tai and a jolting sweet tea with mint.
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table with two place settings, each with a plate of food and a cocktail
(Eddie Sanchez / Hungry in L.A.)

Rooftop at the Wayfarer

Downtown L.A. Mexican Californian
With a shallow wading pool (complete with a floating rubber ducky), scalloped umbrellas and fire pits, the 12th-story rooftop at the Wayfarer is a convenient day-to-night destination. Make a reservation for weekend brunch, when chef Victor Morales offers a nine-course menu including a welcome mimosa; an “earth” course with a choice of avocado toast or market clementines in a yogurt lebni with mint and garlic chile oil; a “sea” course with smoked salmon on pita or ahi tuna tartare; and entrees like chilaquiles in a chocolate mole sauce and a crab cake benedict. The dinner menu dials it back but still offers options worth exploring, such as grilled Spanish octopus and pescado con papas with cornmeal-crusted branzino, yucca fries and a habanero tartar sauce. The cocktail menu is tiki-inspired, with large-format scorpion bowls available for groups, in addition to a few frozen options and even a couple of warm cocktails for those chilly downtown nights. If you’re up for another adventure after your meal, head to the Wayfarer’s underground speakeasy, Lilly Rose, where you can order tea-based cocktails in an off-kilter “Alice in Wonderland”-inspired setting.
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outdoor dining area with a view of disneyland
(Ralph Esposito / VRX Studios)

Top of the V

Anaheim Spanish $$
Top of the V sits on the 12th floor of the Viv, formerly the Radisson Blu Anaheim, with a menu from executive chef Edgar Beas that’s as much a draw as the sweeping views of Anaheim.Plush seats and dim lights set the romantic mood, with velvet curtains pushed back to reveal a bird’s-eye view of Disneyland and California Adventure. Chef Beas worked under three-Michelin-starred chef Martín Berasategui in Spain and takes inspiration from the Basque region for his dishes, like pulpo a la plancha, with tender octopus that‘s braised and then charred with pimentón, potato espuma, olive oil and lemon puree; or Carrillera, braised beef cheek Beas serves in a bright piquillo pepper puree. Enjoy a full Basque Country experience with the five-course tasting menu ($125 per person), available until 8 p.m. for parties of one to four, or the Siesta Sunday menu, a three-course brunch ($65 per person) served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The wine list from food and beverage director Mark Steiner leans toward Old World profiles, but you also can’t go wrong with a glass of sangria. At 9:30 p.m. the lights go down so you can take in Disneyland’s fireworks show, which is when you should order the decadent Basque cheesecake, incredibly creamy and perfectly scorched.
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A rooftop bar with white frilly table umbrellas
(Wonho Frank Lee / Harriet’s Rooftop)


West Hollywood Californian $$$
On the 11th floor of 1 Hotel West Hollywood, Harriet’s looks out over the center of the city and, on a clear day, as far as the beach, with glass walls and potted plants partitioning guests without disrupting the view. There’s no pool on the rooftop, but with string lights, fringed umbrellas and green-striped booths, it feels like a place where you could easily laze away an afternoon in the sun. Cocktails (all $20 a pop) help the time slip by, like fruity Rent Free with gin, passion fruit, hibiscus, lemon and club soda, though if you’re going for brunch with friends, I’d recommend ordering a bottle of Champagne with a carafe of orange juice on the side for a better deal. The food here is better than average for a rooftop, with prices that add up quickly, but there are plenty of vegetarian options across the brunch and dinner menus, including a breakfast burrito that overflows with scrambled eggs, black beans, Jack cheese, avocado and crispy potatoes. For dinner, the chilled lobster roll on brioche and grilled mahi mahi tacos were better than expected, a shining example of hotel culinary director Ginger Pierce’s influence, with dishes and even cocktails sourcing from the onsite garden and beehive whenever possible. In the evenings and during Sunday brunch, Harriet’s turns up the music for a clubby vibe that appeals to the mid-20s influencer set. The dress code stipulates that crowns, tiaras and sashes are not welcome, indicating that the rooftop might also be a popular option for bachelorette and bridal parties.
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indoor lounge area with tropical theme
(Christian Horan Photography)


West Hollywood Global $$$
On the 11th floor of the Pendry Hotel is a Californian Art Deco haven. Merois is Wolfgang Puck’s fourth restaurant in West Hollywood and sits on the uppermost floor of the Pendry Hotel. From the colorful, seashell-shaped booths to the bird of paradise plants lining the walls, Merois’ design is immediately captivating. There are two dining areas: One faces the hotel pool by the bar and bleeds around the corner into the indoor dining area. From here, you can catch a glimpse of the Hollywood Hills in between high-rise buildings. In the indoor dining room, the closer to the windows you are, the better views you have looking southeast to downtown L.A. and southwest to Baldwin Hills. It does get quite dark in the enclosed dining room once the sun goes down, but the booths make for an intimate retreat as you gaze out through the south-facing windows. Puck’s menu marries pan-Asian influences with California seasonality, including a raw bar with crispy rice and tuna tartare and a selection of dim sum with a standout fried lobster spring roll.
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A Mediterranean-style bar with views of L.A. seen through the windows
(Michael Mundy)

Bar Lis

Hollywood Bar Bites $$
A few months ago, a friend celebrated her birthday at swanky Bar Lis, the 11th-floor rooftop on Thompson Hollywood, reserving a seating area in the interior that’s arranged with velvet jewel-toned furniture, fanning palms and framed photos of vintage Mediterranean beach scenes. A server took our food and drink orders instead of us having to order at the bar, and we promptly fired off several rounds of grilled country bread (with creamy ricotta, black pepper and honey), french fries, blistered shishitos and potato-and-leek croquettes to pair with Bisous, a crushable tequila cocktail with watermelon, mango, lime, Aperol and fire water. At 10 p.m. we were politely shooed away as staff moved furniture to make room for a dance floor. Roaming the rooftop, you’ll encounter a fountain overflowing with foliage near the bar and a glass-walled terrace that overlooks Hollywood and its still-lush hills. As the midnight hour closed in, the terrace offered a breather as the dance floor became more and more raucous, rivaling that of any street-level club. Bar Lis is definitely a great weekend option if you want an oontzy soundtrack, but I prefer to visit the lounge on Tuesday evenings for live jazz or Wednesdays for piano performances.
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(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Agua Viva

Downtown L.A. Spanish $$
Ten floors up at the recently opened Conrad Hotel, inside the Grand L.A. designed by Frank Gehry, is Agua Viva, chef José Andrés’ more casual rooftop dining spot next to his San Laurel restaurant. While San Laurel offers excellent views of the Music Center and Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, most of Agua Viva’s tables point toward Los Angeles City Hall, the Art Deco monolith that is often lit in a kaleidoscope of color once the sun goes down. (Note that foliage and fire pit hoods can block the view at some tables.)

The plant-filled space gives off resort vacation vibes, and the menu goes along with this mood down to the rum-soaked pineapple dessert, piña borracha, served on skewers inside a pineapple shell. In addition to well-considered cocktail and wine lists, Agua Viva has a good selection of no-alcohol choices that go beyond flavored soda. An always reliable order at an Andrés restaurant is patatas bravas, fried potatoes dotted with alioli and spicy tomato sauce. Basque-style yellow-green piparra peppers make the roasted chicken more interesting, and the grilled octopus comes with a potato espuma flecked with fried garlic and chorizo oil. There are also lobster rolls; grilled shrimp, beef or chicken skewers; build-your-own hand rolls; and Peruvian scallops with yuzu kosho, Fresno chile and, in a nod back to the urban tropical theme, pineapple and rum.
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bustling rooftop bar with string lights
(Keni Rosales / Cabra)


Downtown L.A. Peruvian $$
On the 10th floor of the Hoxton hotel, Cabra showcases the best of what downtown’s rooftop restaurants have to offer — an extensive menu with food that you’ll want to make a reservation for, punchy cocktails and classic skyline vistas. It isn’t easy to create an intimate dining room on top of a hotel that also provides expansive views from all sides. But the sophomore L.A. restaurant from Chicago chef Stephanie Izard manages to create a cozy, friendly environment set against a cityscape backdrop. Like Girl and the Goat, Izard’s first L.A. restaurant, in the Arts District, Cabra’s menu is big on flavor; here, the focus is Peruvian. (Both Girl and the Goat and Cabra have original locations in Chicago.) Fat, flaky empanadas are served with a huacatay mayo, the bass ceviche is splashed with leche de tigre and the crab causa is layered with aji potato. If you ask to sit by the pool, cocktails — from the classic Pisco sour to a Tropical Cure with pineapple and Japanese whiskey — will be poured into plastic cups, so you can chill in a lounger by the water. Not a bad scenario for weekend brunch.
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A narrow pool lined with lounge chairs on a rooftop
(Dream Hotel)

The Highlight Room

Hollywood Californian $$
On the 10th floor of the Dream Hotel, the Highlight Room is an open-air restaurant on the far side of the pool, overlooking the Hollywood Hills with a clear view of the Hollywood sign through the glass-paneled border. Tiled floors, trees in stone-brick planters, mint umbrellas and servers in salmon-hued shirts make this elevated escape feels worlds away from the street-level madness of Hollywood. With burgers, sandwiches, flatbreads and salads, the menu is meant to appeal to a broad range of diners but doesn’t sacrifice taste in its mission — the roasted chicken has a pleasantly crispy skin that yields to a juicy and moist center, served with a medley of crispy potatoes and sautéed spinach. The Highlight Room turns into a buzzing scene after dark when the pool is covered and becomes a dance floor, with hotel guests mixing with neighborhood clubgoers.
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A view from Dante, on the ninth floor of the Maybourne Hotel
(Giada Paoloni/Dante)


Beverly Hills Italian $$$
One of New York’s latest exports to L.A. is Dante, a rooftop bar and restaurant on the ninth floor of the Maybourne Hotel in Beverly Hills. If you’re lucky enough to snag a reservation (when I walked in, reservations were fully booked for an entire month) or get a seat at the bar, opt for one of Dante’s signature cocktails. A handful of martinis and negronis are available, such as a caviar martini with half an ounce of caviar and the Last Sip negroni that was developed with Italian chef Massimo Bottura. Sample martini options during the daily Martini Hour, when they’re discounted to $10 each from 3 to 5 p.m. The food menu unfortunately leaves a bit to be desired: You may be enticed by the restaurant’s poolside wood-fire oven, but the pizza doesn’t particularly stand out, with crust that’s a bit too salty and soggy. If you’re stopping in for afternoon drinks or happy hour, just skip ahead to the dessert menu: in particular, the panna cotta served with a perfectly tart berry sauce was a surprisingly memorable treat.
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A western-themed lounge space with leather couches and chairs and a view of Hollywood
(Michael Mundy)

Desert 5 Spot

Hollywood Bar/Nightclub $$
First things first — there’s no dedicated food menu at this rooftop bar on the ninth floor of the Tommie Hollywood hotel. The agave-focused beverage menu, on the other hand, gets creative not just with ingredients but by naming the cocktails in honor of country hits like “Walk the Line” (with mezcal, cucumber, mint and matcha) and “Jolene” (with tequila, watermelon, strawberry, agave and lime). The decor feels like a meticulously designed, ’70s-inspired Pioneertown Airbnb, with mismatched jewel-toned furniture and cover bands crooning Fleetwood Mac hits on the indoor stage. There’s also a wraparound patio with a pool that’s open to the public every Sunday from 2 p.m. to sunset and a mechanical bull that makes special-event appearances. Desert 5 Spot definitely attracts the club crowd on Friday and Saturday nights; it offers line dancing followed by karaoke on Wednesday nights, happy hour with discounted drinks and tacos from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and bingo with prizes on Sunday evenings. It’s one of the better people-watching venues in Hollywood (which is truly saying something), attracting cowboys in Stetson hats, TikTok celebrities and tourists in equal measure.
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tables with blue tablecloths and wicker chairs on a rooftop
(Vanessa Tierney Photography)


Beverly Hills Mediterranean $$
It’s difficult to describe the true vibe of Sant’olina, a Cal-Mediterranean restaurant on the ninth-floor rooftop of the Beverly Hilton Hotel. On one hand, it is (thankfully) not filled with 20-something frat guys, but the space does lack a certain luster and liveliness. Maybe I visited on a particularly slow Thursday night, but the restaurant was never more than a quarter full, which is unfortunate because it serves stellar food, with a gracious staff and expansive views that extend all the way to downtown.

The food and drinks are what really make this a place worth visiting. Skip the seafood options and head straight for the kebabs: Charred lamb and beef covered in a citrus glaze and served with a creamy tahini sauce plus perfect pillowy laffa bread, make for a heavenly meal. Don’t skip the dips, with the beet muhammara being the standout. Sant’olina’s cocktail menu doesn’t disappoint either — every drink is well crafted, but in particular, the tequila-based Spicy Siena and Poolside are perfectly tart and strong.
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(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)


Santa Monica Mediterranean Californian $$
Stepping out of the elevator into Calabra, the seventh-floor rooftop on the Santa Monica Proper hotel, you’ll catch one of the restaurant’s best views of Santa Monica Beach as you walk to the dining area. While the rooftop offers unobstructed views of the sky, the height of bordering walls and planters makes it difficult to take in the neighborhood sights. The only other places to catch a view are near the bathrooms behind the dining area or by the pool as a hotel guest. But the panoramas aren’t the only reason to visit Calabra. The Mediterranean-skewing menu beckons with an array of dips served with fresh pita bread and phyllo-baked feta with a crispy-crunchy crust and a soft, creamy interior. Seared diver scallops, whole branzino and a house burger round out the large-format options, and a baklava sundae and Lebanese rice pudding are worth saving an appetite for. Cocktails like the Washed Ashore, with tequila blanco, pear brandy, pear liqueur, blue spirulina, lemon and lime, embrace the beach atmosphere.
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A pink cocktail on a table set up at a rooftop bar area
(Sixty Beverly Hills)


Beverly Hills Californian $$
With a pool flanked by cabanas, striped umbrellas, fireplaces and hanging wicker chairs, the seventh-floor rooftop at Beverly Hills’ Sixty Hotel was already a vibe. Previously the Umbrella Social Club, with a forgettable, lackluster menu, the space recently rebranded as Ella, offering the full menu from the popular lobby-floor restaurant by the same name. Seasonal salads and Prince Edward Island mussels in a spicy Calabrian chile broth represent light, bright options, while pizzas, pastas and entrees including a house burger and steak au poivre round out the dinner choices. For brunch, the house-made cornbread with whipped truffle honey butter is a must. Cocktails are flashy without sacrificing taste — for example, Pompeii mixes golden beet with tequila and citrus and arrives in a burst of flames.
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three cocktails in flute glasses on a high table on a rooftop, with Los Angeles spreading out in the distance
(The Godfrey Hotel Hollywood)

I|O Rooftop

Hollywood Global $$
The seventh-floor I|O Rooftop on the Godfrey Hollywood hotel features 12,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including two bars, a pool with loungers and umbrellas, a glass-wall border with barstools tucked underneath and palm trees that reinforce your place in the sky. Standard rooftop bites such as chicken wings, guacamole and chips and a house burger are on offer, in addition to a sushi menu with nigiri, sashimi and specialty rolls that’s available from 4 to 10 p.m. The sweet, fruit-forward cocktails seem geared toward a crowd that only recently started drinking — I suggest asking for your preferred drink over one of the house specials or perusing the wine list instead. While I|O Rooftop lacks a certain panache in comparison to neighboring rooftops like Desert 5 Spot and Mama Shelter, you can usually count on it being less crowded than its competitors.
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outdoor rooftop with Capitol Records building in background
(Sam Frost)

Lemon Grove

Hollywood Californian $$
The sixth floor of the Aster in Hollywood has everything you’d want or expect in a rooftop. It’s got the views — you’ll get plenty of snaps of the Capitol Records building and all the activity happening down on Hollywood and Vine. It’s got the DJ that’s so bad they’re good (or are they so good they’re bad?). It’s spacious, it’s got fire pits, it’s got great bathrooms with fancy moisturizer.

That’s all fine and good, but the best thing about Lemon Grove is the “moonlight hour” menu that’s available after 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The wild mushroom pizza, laden with fungi and duxelles paste, big enough to feed two people, costs a mere $12. A generous charcuterie board, with various fruits, cheeses and meats and charred bread, clocks in at $15. Finishing with a very good banana cake, served with gelato and brûléed bananas, two hungry people can leave sated for about $40 — how many places can you say that about? Nonalcoholic cocktails are good too. The Casablanca, made with booze-free gin, was a dry and citrusy embrace.
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central fire pit on a rooftop

Flora Rooftop

El Segundo New American $$
On the sixth floor of the AC Hotel’s South Bay location in El Segundo sits Flora Rooftop, bordered by blooming herb and flower gardens, with draping lights, umbrellas, a lengthy central fire pit with communal seating on both sides and plenty of plush couches and chairs. There’s something calming about watching the planes fly in and out of nearby LAX, and the garden-inspired cocktails and cuisine make a visit here feel truly immersive. Shareable plates include stuffed mushroom cups and pesto chicken flatbread. The Flora Mai Tai will banish any poorly rendered versions from your memory.
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Culver City, CA - May 09: An aerial view of Canopy Club, an all-day restaurant, poolside lounge and bar located at the top floor of the Shay Hotel in Culver City. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Canopy Club

Culver City Californian $$
Culver City doesn’t have a particularly formidable skyline, but the fact that there are no high-rises nearby means that from the right perch on a clear day you can see for miles. That ideal nest is Canopy Club, the sixth-floor rooftop on the Shay Hotel, with its teal rectangular pool, flamingo-pink accents and potted plants, plus heat lamps and a living room setup with a fireplace. The all-day menu is casual and homey, with salads, bowls, tacos and sandwiches, plus daily specials. The weekend special is your best bet if you’re dropping by between Friday and Sunday — lobster frites come with two pounds of grilled Maine lobster tossed in a Calabrian chile butter and a generous heaping of shoestring fries.
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An aerial view of the High Rooftop bar, full of orange umbrellas, with the beach in the background
(Phillip Silverstein)

High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin

Venice American $$
On the fifth floor of Hotel Erwin and offering pristine panoramas of the Venice Boardwalk and beach, it’s easy to see why High Rooftop Lounge has elbow-to-elbow crowds on the weekends. The move is to plan a visit in advance with a few friends and reserve VIP oceanfront seating for $25 per person. Other seating options won’t require a down payment, but you should make reservations in advance, even if it’s for a high-top. Outside of the views and mingling with crowds that include tech bros, boho influencers and out-of-town bridal parties, High Rooftop has a full bar with a handful of frozen and hot cocktails in addition to signature drinks, wine and beer, with a food menu that spans charcuterie boards, grilled fish tacos and inventive flatbreads topped with ingredients like sweet pepper sofrito, chorizo and Oaxacan cheese. The sunset views prove some of the best in the city, but for me, the rooftop is most appealing on weekdays from 1 to 4 p.m., when happy hour discounts cocktails to $15 and certain snacks to $5. It’s also one of the only times I can cozy up to the ledge without fighting back crowds.
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rooftop dining area with striped umbrellas
(Ryan Forbes)

The Roof Garden at the Peninsula

Beverly Hills New American $$
It’s easy to get distracted on your way to the fifth-floor Roof Garden at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel. Hotel guests milling around the lobby have that vaguely distracted “they might be famous” air, and in the Living Room, clusters of women in sloping hats and circle skirts delicately pluck scones from tiered towers. Don’t be intimidated as you take the elevator to the Roof Garden that’s just a few steps down from the hotel pool and cabanas. The food here is light and inoffensive, with the usual frittatas, toasts and omelets on the breakfast menu, and slightly more exciting choices offered all day, including seared scallops in a black garlic aioli and charred octopus with chorizo. An arrangement of striped umbrellas blocks out the sun (or the stars, if you come at night) and the hedges obscure all but the tallest palm trees from view, but the cozy space and relaxed atmosphere still make for an above-average al fresco setting. This feels like somewhere a transplant would take a visiting friend or relative who wants to experience a slice of Beverly Hills without outrageous prices or formal attire required.
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four women at a rooftop bar table with a firepit in the middle and roller coasters lit up  in the background
(The Fifth)

The Fifth

Anaheim American $$
This Anaheim rooftop bar and restaurant can be found on the fifth floor of Grand Legacy at the Park, directly across the street from Disneyland on South Harbor Boulevard. The open-air outdoor space is the perfect place to grab a drink post-Disney, and the bar even offers a 10% discount to cast members and Magic Key holders. A lively nightclub crowd gathers Tuesdays through Thursdays for Late Nites at the Fifth, offering cocktail specials and a live DJ from 10 p.m. to midnight. Standard bites like mozzarella sticks, breaded and deep fried, and entrees like a craft burger served on a brioche bun are available. The best nights to visit are Tuesdays, when the bar hosts Tiki Tuesday and serves $14 classic tiki drinks such as Three Dots & a Dash and Jungle Bird, or any night fireworks are scheduled at Disneyland, since the Fifth has a perfect outdoor view of the show.
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colorful tables, chairs and umbrellas on a rooftop with the Hollywood Hills visible in the distance
(Francis Amiand / Mama Shelter)

Mama Shelter

Hollywood American $$
Make your way to the cross streets of Selma and Wilcox avenues and look up — you’ll see an illuminated crane in a top hat carrying a white sack in its mouth, marking Mama Shelter’s fourth-floor rooftop. Taller and newer rooftops have sprung up in the neighborhood over the last couple of years, but Mama Shelter still attracts decent crowds whether it’s for a weekday comedy night, brunch or a day party. The open-air space is vibrant with primary colors that spill across the seating and umbrellas, and it offers 360-degree views spanning Hollywood to the beach. Short rib or fish tacos, ceviche and a couple of creative bao buns make for above-average grazing and help soak up sugar-laden cocktails.
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overhead view of a selection of dishes and a cocktail with a napkin that says Topside
(Sarah Mosqueda / O.C. Times)

Topside Roof Deck

Newport Beach Californian $$
Lido House opened in 2018, on the site formerly occupied by Newport Beach City Hall, and the boutique hotel’s fourth-floor Topside Roof Deck has been a champagne-sipping hot spot ever since. Outfitted with navy-striped lounge furniture, Topside offers views of the city and overlooks the hotel’s saltwater pool. While the atmosphere is reminiscent of a casual beach house, there is a dress code forbidding tank tops and board shorts, making Topside an obvious choice for a nightcap after dinner at the Mayor’s Table restaurant downstairs. Executive chef and partner Riley Huddleston oversees all of the hotel’s food and beverage concepts and has curated an almost exclusively French sparkling wine list as well as a thoughtful zero-proof cocktail menu. Huddleston recently added more substantial offerings to the rooftop food menu, including yellowtail ceviche with pickled watermelon or baked feta dressed in mole poblano. Topside closes at 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday but stays open until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, when reservations are highly recommended.
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Groups of diners on an outdoor patio
(Grandmaster Recorders )

Grandmaster Recorders

Hollywood Italian $$
How many rooftops do you know that offer caviar service? On the third floor of this restaurant that once served as a recording studio for greats like Stevie Wonder and David Bowie, diners are invited to embrace rock-star-level decadence with square slices of pizza topped with porchetta and pineapple, plump pork-and-veal meatballs, fried fontina-stuffed olives and house-made gelato in flavors that change by the day. An array of classic and specialty cocktails is available, plus a gin Negroni, seasonal slushy and frozé on tap — do as the cherry-red “live baby live” sign demands and order a couple (or a few?). Forest-green umbrellas, heat lamps and string lights make this a vibey destination regardless of the time of day. If you want to take things up a notch, head to the bottom floor for dancing under the disco ball at Studio 71.
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a pool lined with tables and an arcade of windows

Skybar at the Mondrian

Hollywood Hills West American $$
Skybar utilizes WeHo’s hilly terrain to its advantage. Sitting at the top of the hill, Skybar looks south to Los Angeles from the Sunset Strip. While you can’t see the view from the bar itself, stepping out to the bouncer-protected pool deck will grant you views of the Beverly Center and Beverly Hills. There’s plenty of seating, including wide hammocks, cushioned lounge chairs and nooks with large windows overlooking the city.

The beverage menu is perfect for those who prefer their drinks sweet with sparse alcohol, including fruit slushies in tall flutes and a chamoy-candy-inspired Tamarindo Duro cocktail. Skybar keeps the party going from dawn till dusk on weekends when it hosts daytime pool parties and rotating DJs.
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bar on a rooftop
(Eric Wolfinger / Funke)

Bar Funke

Beverly Hills Italian $$
Perched on a third-floor rooftop, newly opened Bar Funke serves cocktails, wine and bites from Mother Wolf and Felix chef Evan Funke, with limited views of Beverly Hills. The light-pink marble bar practically glows around sunset, a chic setting for a Negroni featuring the chef’s favorite olive oil, boulevardiers tinged with single-origin coffee and grappa sours made with rhubarb. Bar Funke’s brief food menu echoes the regional Italian dishes being served downstairs but is missing the signature pastas, with dishes that skew smaller and more snackable. Rooftop-only caviar service arrives with burrata, and the chef’s iconic Sicilian focaccia — the sfincione — can be found at Bar Funke with olive oil, salt and wild oregano, or tomato and anchovy.

Bar Funke’s walk-in-only format allows for a taste of the lauded new spot without vying for a table the second reservations release online. While stools at the bar are limited, tabletops covered in white tablecloths allow for breezy views of the garden-hedged rooftop, a bevy of palm trees and the neighboring Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
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The third-floor rooftop at Cork & Batter features comfortable couches, wicker seats and fire pits.
(Wonho Lee)

Cork & Batter

Inglewood American $$
As lively as Cork & Batter can get now — especially if you visit when one of L.A.’s professional sports teams happens to be playing — you get the sense that the three-story bar is only beginning to hit its stride, with construction still underway at the neighboring Intuit Dome that will be the home stadium for the L.A. Clippers. Situated across the street from the Kia Forum, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park Casino and retail center, there’s still plenty to do in the meantime, and Cork & Batter shares a parking lot with adjacent Sonder Lüm hotel, making it an obvious stop for Inglewood tourists.

The string-lit roof features comfortable couches, wicker seats and fire pits to stave off the South Bay breeze, plus big-screen TVs — one can only imagine the energy watching a live football game while cheers float over from the next-door stadium. The food menu attempts a take on elevated bar bites but falls squarely into average territory with sliders, wings, flatbreads and salads that are all just fine. The most commonly ordered item might be the Margarita Tree — a vertical hanger with four bottles of Patrón attached. Each one is filled with a different red, blue, pink, purple or yellow concoction, depending on what flavors you choose. It’s a hard deal to turn away when it’s offered for $55 on Taco Tuesday.
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outdoor and rooftop patio space in the dark with string lights
(E.P. & L.P.)

E.P. & L.P.

West Hollywood American $$
E.P. & L.P.’s third-floor rooftop is one of the most spacious in all of L.A., offering views of the Sunset Strip and Hollywood Hills, plus plenty of foliage to make you feel like you’ve made a nest among our iconic palm trees. While the second-floor Bombo restaurant offers a full modern Mexican menu, rooftop L.P dials it back in favor of comfort-driven snacks like a fried chicken sandwich and salt-and-pepper calamari. Happy hour brings deals in the form of $12 craft cocktails, $10 house wine and frozé, plus a $9 cheeseburger and chips with guacamole for $7, offered Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Prefer tacos? Stop by anytime on Tuesday, when you can order up a pair of Baja fish, mushroom or asada tacos for $8 and tack on a Calidad lager for just $6. The rooftop is also the venue for Melrose Rooftop Theatre, where you can catch classic and recently released blockbusters screening after dark most days of the week, including bar access for cocktails, food and movie snacks like popcorn and candy.
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People seated at the Rooftop Lounge in Laguna Beach as the sun sets behind them
(Wales Communications)

Rooftop Lounge

Laguna Beach Californian $$
Laguna Beach’s La Casa del Camino Hotel is home to the third-floor Rooftop Lounge, a destination popular among locals and vacationers. Just steps from Cress Street Beach, enter through the Spanish-style hotel lobby and go up the stairs to the right to get to the ocean views. This bar is beach-casual and opens at 11 a.m. during the week and at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, making it the perfect place to grab breakfast after a morning surf session. The Rooftop Lounge is known for fresh fruit mojitos made with Mahina Platinum rum and available in flavors like tropical, mango, berry or classic mint. The food menu offers appetizers such as hamachi crudo with pickled daikon radish, Fresno chile, wakame, ginger and yuzu, and more substantial fare like a Nashville hot chicken sandwich, with sweet ’n’ spicy comeback sauce, pickles and slaw. As an added bonus, Rooftop Lounge is dog-friendly.
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An aerial view of a covered, second-floor rooftop bar
(Eden on Brand)

Eden on Brand

Glendale New American $$
Eden on Brand does right by those of us who don’t drink. The three-story restaurant serves great-looking nonalcoholic cocktails that don’t feel like they’re a second thought. A carefully crafted virgin blueberry lemondrop martini, in a proper glass and everything, looked and tasted great. While some places charge full price, or close to it, for boozeless drinks, my faux martini was just $9. A tart virgin Moscow mule was even cheaper — only $7. On the other hand, full-booze cocktails will run you around $18.

The food is largely on point too. I recommend the burger, which leans on truffle flavor a bit, but if that doesn’t bother you, you’ll be rewarded by a simple, good-quality patty with aged cheddar cheese and a mountainous frizz of potato strings on a peppery brioche bun. It’s reminiscent of the very good Everson Royce Bar burger, though at $30, it’s considerably pricier. But you’re paying for the plush banquettes and clubby feel, right? Speaking of which, there was a covering on the roof during my visit, which is great for bad weather but also meant the views were less than panoramic. The ambience, while sleek and airy, felt more like a breezy terrace.
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 bar space with large windows looking out on the ocean
(Jakob N. Layman/Élephante)


Santa Monica Italian $$$
Élephante feels like a scene from a summer vacation in the south of Italy. The Sunset Room is a high-demand dining area with vistas of Santa Monica that roars with conversation, making it difficult to hear at your table. However, should you wish for a quieter enclave, the Cactus Room, toward the entrance of the restaurant, allows for more connection at the expense of the view.

In keeping with the Mediterranean theme, the menu features light yet flavorful pastas, salads and fluffy-crust pizzas smeared with tomato sauce and copious amounts of olive oil. Many of the items are shareable, including the drinks: Any of the sweet yet strong craft cocktails can be super-sized into a punch bowl, perfect for celebrations. And the whipped eggplant dip and salted Puccia bread are group favorites to keep coming back for.
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Tables on a rooftop patio with a pergola over some and umbrellas over others
(Eataly L.A.)


Century City Italian $$
Atop the Italian bazaar Eataly at Westfield Century City sits Terra, the third-floor terrace restaurant with a focus on wood grilling. The menu offers charred dishes including lamb chops, rotisserie chicken and skewers pierced with king trumpet mushrooms and stuffed pork shoulder, as well as house-made pastas. For a larger group, consider ordering the grigliata di pesce, a grilled seafood platter with swordfish, calamari, shrimp, clams, snow peas, caponata and Sicilian panelle.

As day turns into night, the vibe morphs from a place for drinks with the girls to a dimly lit date-night spot. There’s seating inside, but with string lights, heat lamps, fire pits and an open-air grill to keep you warm, the spacious patio is the move. Take your pick from tables, lounge-y couches or stools at the greenhouse-inspired bar, but the closer you are to the barriers of the roof, the more you can see north to the Los Angeles Country Club, with office buildings to the west. Regardless of where you’re sitting, fire-kissed Italian cuisine and a comfortable setting make Terra worth returning to.
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rooftop bar with a pergola


Culver City Italian $$
Don’t sleep on Culver City’s rooftop scene. For one, Margot’s third-floor rooftop is stumbling distance from Canopy Club, which you’ll also find on this list. Secondly, while the view is mostly obscured by the flowering rosemary and lavender bushes that border the space, it still stands out as one of your best elevated options for just about any occasion. Ask to sit at the edge of the patio if you want a view, but even listening to the occasional Metro train buzz by below makes for a pleasant visit. Each table is allotted its own heating lamp, and there are cozy couches for those who plan to linger longer over drinks, plus an interior that recalls a greenhouse with glass panels throughout. The menu’s influence is hard to pin down beyond seasonality, but raw seafood, piled-high salads, grilled vegetables, pastas and entrees like a bone-in pork chop and rack of lamb are all worth exploring. I particularly enjoyed the grilled prawns, puffy with Calabrian chile butter and given a pleasant sharpness thanks to pickled shallots. Cocktails are refreshing and fruit-forward — go for the mango or prickly pear spritz if you prefer a low-alcohol option, or the olive oil martini if you need something stronger.
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A white building at the end of a pier
(Malibu Farm)

Malibu Farm Restaurant

Malibu Californian $$
As you approach Malibu Pier, you’ll first notice Malibu Farm Restaurant, featuring a farmhouse design with indoor and outdoor seating that spills onto either side of the pier’s entrance. Sitting high above the shore, Malibu Farm will transport you to a backyard beach or a yacht in the Hamptons. The restaurant from Helene Henderson sources liberally from her home garden and offers sustainable options on its seafood-rich menu. In addition to catch-of-the-day fish tacos, grass-fed steak and lobster mac ’n’ cheese, a range of plant-based items is available, from a tofu banh mi to a vegan version of the popular coconut ceviche. The bar menu features simple, ingredient-forward concoctions organized by fruit or flavor — for example, Papaya features papaya-strawberry-infused tequila, organic agave, lime juice and a lava sea salt rim. A selection of beer and wines by the glass and bottle is available, and at the end of the pier, Malibu Farm Cafe boasts a full coffee menu with more casual food options that you can enjoy in the outdoor seating area or take to-go.
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a rooftop lined with palms and other tropical greens
(Betty Hallock)

LA Cha Cha Chá

Downtown L.A. Mexican $$
It always feels like a vacation when you’re sitting at the aqua-tiled bar on LA Cha Cha Chá’s downtown rooftop. The restaurant is up only one flight of stairs from the street-level entrance but is just as transporting as any high-rise terrace. Surrounded by lush plants and strung with patio lights, Cha Cha Chá (sister restaurant to Mexico City’s Terraza Cha Cha Chá) overlooks Traction and Third streets with views of the downtown skyline on the horizon. The house cocktails lean tropical, almost all of them made with tequila or mezcal. Skip the low-ABV Tonica (too sweet) for a refreshing Cantarito with tequila blanco, grapefruit and soda served in a terracotta jar with a chile-salt rim. The “modern Mexican” menu from executive chef Paco Moran means botanas such as guacamole with jalapeño oil (add chapulines for an extra $5) and tortita de huazontle (the wild greens that are a type of quelite); large plates including achiote-tinged pollo a las brasas served with soft blue tortillas, carnitas, and New York strip steak with red wine salsa; and ceviches, tacos and small plates that span chorizo-stuffed quail and a tamal with crema fresca and caviar. It’s a solid menu for an ebullient crowd that keeps the party going, whether it’s Friday lunch or Saturday night cocktails.
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Restaurant with a greenhouse-style roof and walls
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)


Koreatown Californian $$
It’s all about that big, lush, beautiful greenhouse at Openaire, on the second floor of the Line Hotel in Koreatown. Have you heard of Instagram? I imagine you’ve seen it posted there once or twice. It’s great to sit at an exterior table to soak up the rays and get that true rooftop experience. Just be aware that Openaire, while it certainly has alcohol, feels more like a restaurant than a club.

True to its K-town roots, my favorite nonalcoholic cocktail at Openaire was the Korean BBQ, flavored with gochujang and Tajín. It’s a wonderful sweet, salty and slightly spicy concoction that seems distinctly L.A. Food options from chef Josiah Citrin (Citrin, Mélisse) are decent as well. A respectable ahi tuna tartare comes swimming in citrus and creamy avocado, and the veggie burger, while a bit loose texture-wise, features a house-made patty that tastes pleasantly earthy, almost smoky. I’ll take it over Impossible meat any day of the week.
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Covered terrace with tables and chairs
(Yoshihiro Makino)


Venice Italian $$
In true members-only fashion, Reunion, the second-story rooftop on NeueHouse’s newly opened Venice co-working hub, is lined with raised walls that partially block views of the neighboring Venice Boardwalk and beach — maintaining a behind-the-curtain feel that’s a welcome change from the pulsing popularity of nearby High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin. White wicker chairs and light wood accents make this a comfortable beachside environment for a lengthy work session. Reunion features light yet filling lunch dishes intended to energize and opens to the public for dinner at 5 p.m., when you can enjoy the last hour of the Cicchetti Sunset menu, with a selection of Italian aperitivo for $7 each. For something more substantial, dinner offers antipasti, Italian meats and cheeses, carpaccios, pastas, grilled meats, a couple of burgers and two Parmigianas, including a vegan option with cauliflower that’s topped with coconut cheese, tomato passata, lemon and basil. NeueHouse just opened a second location of Reunion — with the same menu and Cicchetti Sunset deal — in its West Coast flagship Hollywood location, featuring a similar open-air feel, though it’s technically located on a second-floor terrace.
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outdoor bar and patio space surrounded by greenery
(Wonho Frank Lee / Bar Bohémien)

Bar Bohémien

Culver City Cocktails $$
I don’t know what it is about Culver City rooftops, but what they lack in height, they make up for in atmosphere. Bar Bohémien is just one flight up from the bustling Citizen Public Market food hall and won’t grant you far-off vistas, but arriving at the narrow, winding space with tucked-away booths and a plant-lined patio feels like you’ve discovered a secret, no matter how busy it might be. Convincing faux ivy overflows from the slatted roof to frame the interior bar area, and an arched Art Deco window offers a ledge and bar stools for taking in a view of Culver Boulevard below. Outside, tall hedges offer privacy, while a canvas roof covering means the noon sun won’t blind you should you decide to stop by during the day. Even as the season shifts to fall, Bar Bohémien isn’t slowing down — the rooftop plans to debut an expanded alfresco space that runs the entire length of the building and serves as an extension of the market, so feel free to bring food from downstairs vendors as well. The craft cocktail menu gets creative with seasonal fruit, aromatics and herbs, including A Vibe Called Quest with shochu, gin, melon liqueur, matcha, lime, yuzu and orange blossom. Short but thoughtful wine and beer lists are available as well.
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A bartender makes a drink behind a bar.
(Silver Lake Pool & Inn)

Marco Polo Trattoria & Bar

Silver Lake Italian $$
Technically, Marco Polo Trattoria & Bar is on the winding, jungle-like second-floor terrace of the Silver Lake Pool & Inn. However, the neighborhood’s only rooftop pool is just a few steps above it with lounges, couches and an additional bar area. Honestly, the combination of both venues being so close and accessible makes the quirky, retro-inspired inn a tempting setting for a staycation. Marco Polo offers breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus, including a coffee bar, light Italian-inspired plates, signature cocktails and wines by the glass and bottle. Stop by daily to enjoy a dip in the heated pool (commit to spending $50 on food and beverage per person to reserve a day pass), on Wednesdays for half-priced bottles of wine, on Friday evenings for poolside aperitivo and on Sunday afternoons for swim sessions with rotating live DJs.
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a rooftop with many people dining on it and the ocean in the background


Laguna Beach South African Seafood $$
Pet parrots greet guests at this South African-inspired restaurant in Laguna Beach. You can book your choice of a labyrinth of private dining rooms and lounges, but the most coveted spot is on the second-floor veranda rooftop that overlooks Pacific Coast Highway and the Laguna Beach coastline. The menu highlights Portuguese traditions and wood-fired steaks, but Mozambique is best known for its peri-peri dishes featuring African bird’s eye chile peppers. A crowd gathers Thursday through Sunday for live music ranging from reggae to jazz, and happy hour is offered daily at 3 p.m. (until 6 p.m. on weekdays, 5 p.m. on weekends) with $10 margaritas and mojitos.
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Tables and chairs on a second-floor rooftop


Malibu Italian American $$
On the second floor of the Malibu Ranch Market, Spruzzo feels like you’re on top of a strip mall. Though you’re across the street from the beach, sitting at a booth at the indoor dining room or outside on the open-air patio won’t make a world of a difference, given that much of the view through the transparent barrier is of Pacific Coast Highway and the trees that divide the road from the sand. Spruzzo has a general Italian and American menu — burgers, sandwiches and customizable pizzas and pastas, with seafood supplements. After working up an appetite catching some waves at Zuma Beach, this is the place to go for hearty beach fare.
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