With its famed Hollywood Hills, 75 miles of pristine coast and downtown skyline, Los Angeles offers plenty to gaze at, even when you’re not people-watching. Still, the best vantage point for getting a bird’s-eye view of the City of Angels is with a little elevation — preferably while partaking in delicious cuisine and handcrafted cocktails at the same time. Here are our picks of where to see it all in L.A.
WP24, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles
Standing 24 floors above downtown L.A., The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles is adjacent to sporting venues, concerts and outdoor events happening at L.A. Live. Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker Wolfgang Puck‘s WP24 is where to be near all the action, but away from the crowds all at the same time. While the windowed walls in the lounge and dining room offer up panoramic views of the city’s center, nothing captures the eye (and the other senses) quite like Puck’s modern Chinese cuisine. Let your night unfold in the dining room over a whole-roasted Peking-style duckling or a hot pot of slow-cooked Angus beef short ribs. Sunday evenings feature a dim sum feast in the form of handmade delicacies served family style at the table. In the lounge, order fresh cocktails such as the Sweet Basil Piñarita (Patrón Silver, pineapple, Thai basil) and Ginny Hendricks (Hendrick’s Gin, rosemary, lemon) made with ingredients sourced from the restaurant’s rooftop garden.
The Roof Garden, The Peninsula Beverly Hills
The luxurious Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property offers poolside dining five floors up at The Roof Garden restaurant. Soak up the sun in the chic outdoor setting over breakfast and lunch dishes such as caramelized pineapple with mint marinated mango and shaved baby coconut; a frittata with tomatoes, capers and smoked salmon; or shrimp ceviche with cherry tomatoes, avocado, red onion, jalapeño and fresh cilantro. As day turns to evening, and the Beverly Hills sky gradates from hues of deep orange to electric pink, gather around the teak bar or blazing fire pits to sip speckled jalapeño margaritas and nosh on dinner fare such as seared ahi tuna loin or tofu pad Thai. This summer also brings a special barbecue menu every Saturday and Sunday night through Labor Day with seasonal offerings such as smoked baby-back ribs, Australian rock lobster tail or the ever-indulgent 28-days dry-aged Harvey’s Guss 20-ounce tomahawk steak for you to try.
Takami Sushi & Robata
Among the high-rises and corporate crowd of the Financial District, Takami Sushi & Robata thrives as a beacon of sushi, robata and sake 21 stories above bustling Wilshire Boulevard. Once the elevator door opens to Takami (which translates to “elevated place”), the noise of the city melts away into lounge beats and the promise of expertly crafted cocktails such as the Serrano Kiss, a concoction made with Oxley gin, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, muddled serrano chili and basil leaves. Whether you choose to start your evening in the lounge or at one of the restaurant’s tables, almost everywhere in the space offers thrilling 360-degree views where you can see everything from downtown skyscrapers to the Pacific Coast. While you’re soaking up the depth of the horizon, enjoy menu must-haves such as spicy tuna on crispy rice, Takami edamame — a spin on the pre-sushi staple where soy beans are sautéed in garlic, butter and soy sauce — or anything off of the sushi menu — especially the chef’s daily specials.
The Penthouse, The Huntley Hotel
Rooftop dining has never been as elegant as it is at this tony Thomas Schoos-designed dining room 18 stories above the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica. The silver-shell-encrusted bar is the focal point of the indoor-outdoor space that boasts 360-degree vistas from Manhattan Beach to Malibu. Opt for a more private dining experience at one of the restaurant’s luxurious table cabanas. Your secluded section comes with a chandelier and is lined with gauzy drapes. Dine on modern American farm-to-table fare with ingredients straight from area farmers markets. Menu highlights include pan-seared diver scallops served with Israeli couscous and local garbanzos in an escabeche sauce; crispy-skin salmon with piquillo puree with fingerling potatoes and a saffron aioli; and a selection of steaks and house-cured meats.
Above Beverly Hills, The Thompson Beverly Hills
If Beverly Hills seems a little sleepy after the shops close for the night, you need only to look up to find the party. The Thompson Beverly Hills’ Above Beverly Hills restaurant and poolside lounge literally spells out where everyone is — nine stories high to be exact. Sip cocktails such as the Lemonade Chill (Russian Standard vodka, fresh lemonade) or Strawberry Smash (Reyka vodka, strawberries, mint, honey syrup, lemon juice, bitter) while you take in epic sunsets and full views that stretch from downtown to the beach. The menu offers everything from small bites such as fried potatoes served with a spicy tomato aioli, to house-smoked steelhead trout salad with baby frisee, egg and grainy mustard. On Fridays through September 13, join the Rooftop Food Club, where you can enjoy a curated selection of craft beers from a different brewery each week (Monkish Brewing will be spotlighted on Aug. 16; Strand Brewing on Aug. 23) and sample inventive menu items from Caulfield’s Bar and Dining Room, such as pan-fried beef belly Reubens and Seoul Sausage (Korean-style meats).
Photos Courtesy of Kathryn Russell, Peninsula Beverly Hills and The Huntley Hotel