With nearly 365 days of perfect weather, outdoor dining is commonplace year-round in Los Angeles, and even more so during a pandemic. And now that summer has officially arrived, there’s nothing like a bustling patio, especially in the food hubs of Beverly Hills and Century City, where the majority of talent agencies and law firms in the world are located. entertainment.
Industry regulars say the patios of Century City and Beverly Hills are buzzing these days. “As Beyoncé declares in her new single, ‘Break My Soul,’ we’re ‘back outside,'” says Patrik-Ian Polk, co-executive producer of Starz’s P-Valley. “As convenient as Zoom meetings are, nothing beats the in-person business lunch circuit in Los Angeles. It’s a vital part of the entertainment industry’s social scene that we’ve sorely missed. Darnell Strom, partner of UTA, tells THR that he thinks it’s harder to get a “last second” booking in the area right now. “People really want to spend more time eating out,” he adds. “I think people are trying to make up for lost time.”
Statistics from the OpenTable reservation app confirm this. From January to May, reservations at participating restaurants in Beverly Hills that have an average check of $50 per person increased 30% from 2021 and 13% from 2019. There was a shift in mood in recent months, according to writer and documentary producer Irena Medavoy, compared to 2021, which saw a high-profile crime wave in the region. “Beverly Hills took a big hit with the smash-and-grabs and when that person got shot at Il Pastaio,” Medavoy says, referring to an attack on a jeweler on the restaurant’s patio in March 2021. “I think it made everyone pause, but everyone’s back now. But film campaign consultant Terry Press, a regular at The Palm on Canon Drive, says she feels the power- lunch hasn’t fully returned to pre-pandemic levels. “You know what took over the business lunch? All the delivery services,” she says.
Even so, the area’s restaurant landscape is expected to be more crowded this year when a new Jon & Vinny’s (on North Bedford) and Daniel Boulud’s first LA outlet (at the Mandarin Oriental Residences on Wilshire Boulevard) are both set to open. . In the meantime, these five outdoor dining options (all open since the pandemic began) can help seal a deal while enjoying an atmospheric setting.
Light at the Fairmont Century Plaza
With its main perch across from CAA, the iconic Fairmont Century Plaza reopened late last year after a five-year, $2.5 billion renovation. Boasting a rich history as a mecca for celebrities such as the Beatles and Sonny & Cher and as President Ronald Reagan’s hotel of choice, the 400-room luxury property and residences hosted the Critics Choice Awards in March and is home to the French restaurant Lumière. Furnished with antiques, the place offers a bistro-style menu with dishes like chicken liver mousse to die for with olive oil jam. The patio feels like a slice of Provence with an herb garden, fountain, and lush lavender plantings. 2025 Avenue of the Stars, LA
With views of nearby Century City skyscrapers, Nerano’s chic patio — opened in 2020 in a former parking lot — offers an oasis in the middle of the city. The cuisine, inspired by the Amalfi Coast, includes spaghetti with squash blossoms and the same Tuscan-style thin-crust pizzas served at sister restaurant Toscana in Brentwood. “It’s a fantastic kitchen with a great outdoor area, chef, butler and staff,” says CAA agent Ted Miller. 9960 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills
Nua at the Crescent Hotel
Located inside the Crescent Hotel (near the offices of Live Nation and UTA), 1-year-old Nua looks like a Tel Aviv-style cafe that landed in Beverly Hills. Regulars, including Columbia Records president Ron Perry, come for chef Yoav Schverd’s modern Mediterranean cuisine, including grilled eggplant with tomato salsa and date syrup, and shakshuka with slow-cooked tomatoes and poached eggs on a perfectly moist Jerusalem bagel. The intimate little patio, hidden from the street, appeals to diners looking for a serene lunchtime getaway. “Nua is a cozy, tucked away spot with delicious food,” says Gersh’s partner Roy Ashton, “and the staff make you feel like you’re at a friend’s house.” 403 N. Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills
Maybourne Beverly Hills terrace
Flanked by lemon trees, potted plants, and white umbrellas adjacent to Beverly Canon Gardens, The Terrace’s sunny scene exudes Mediterranean elegance. Located at The Maybourne Beverly Hills hotel, sister property to Claridge’s in London, the restaurant offers dishes such as decadent homemade corn agnolotti with black truffles and steak tartare with lemon crème fraîche. The hotel has also recently enchanted guests with a quintessentially British afternoon tea courtesy of Claridge’s world-renowned midday ritual. While the crumpet-laden experience was a pop-up, the splendor will become a permanent fixture once the lobby’s ongoing renovation is complete. Until then, tea is offered at The Terrace every weekend from 2-5 p.m. “The food is great,” says Medavoy, who along with husband Mike recently had lunch there with producer-director George Stevens Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth. Strom adds: “The Terrace Restaurant at the Maybourne Hotel is my favorite place for a business lunch. The outdoor patio is spacious, the food is delicious, and if you squint for a second, you feel like you’re dining al fresco in Europe. 225 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills
Tommy’s Beverly Hills
A well-connected manager at Craig’s, beloved in the industry, for many years, Tommy Salvatore is the man behind Tommy’s. Located directly opposite The Terrace in the former location of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, the restaurant serves chef Vartan Abgaryan’s Italian dishes, including antipasto plates, spicy meatballs and cacio e pepe pasta, as well as options such as a burger and a bowl of mixed wild rice. Lunch and happy hour take place on the Café’s vine-covered terrace downstairs, while the main restaurant upstairs serves dinner. According to Polk, “Tommy’s is the place for an energized lunch. The ambiance is cozy and the food is to die for. And Tommy himself walks around the greeting tables, the nicest guy and an LA legend. 235 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills
This story first appeared in the July 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.