With summer underway, we’ve rounded up some of the best places in Los Angeles and San Francisco to enjoy a drink alfresco
Words by KAREN PALMER
The restaurant and bar at the new Sally Breer-designed Arts District boutique hotel (housed in, yes, a historic 1927 firehouse) has a breezy indoor-outdoor feel. Request a table on the patio and enjoy a grapefruit spritz or celery negroni along with some of chef Ashley Abodeely’s elegant snacks, like juicy snow crab claws with tomato and garlic butter or a towering burger with smoked onions, spicy mayo and cheddar. 710 Santa Fe Ave., L.A., 213-947-3010.
Some of the best cocktails in town — and that burger — are served alfresco on the rollicking outdoor patio at this Arts District mainstay. Swing by during happy hour Tuesdays through Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. for cocktails or well drinks, or you and a companion can share a bottle of wine. Don’t forget an order of said infamous burger and fries. 1936 E. Seventh St., L.A., 213-335-6166.
Culver City’s new-ish Cal-Mediterranean bistro, perched atop the Platform shopping complex, is the perfect place to stop for an Allura spritz (blood orange amaro, absinthe, grapefruit bitters, cava) or any one of several refreshing Gin & Tonics on offer. Take in the 360-degree views of the city while you’re at it. Platform, 8820 Washington Blvd., Ste. 301, Culver City, 310-643-5853.
The NoMad Hotel
Get your sweeping views of DTLA right here: The Nomad’s rooftop bar is open to the public all day (use of the pool, unfortunately, is reserved for hotel guests). Gaze past the massive statue of Orco at the end of the narrow pool for colorful sunsets over the skyline while you order from the Oysters + Rosé menu, or make it a full-on tiki party with a Blue Hawaiian or frozen pina colada. 649 S. Olive St., L.A., 213-358-0000.
Does life get any better than drinks on a sunny pier in Malibu? Probably not. Although it can be quite the scene (read: hard to get into without a wait, especially on weekends), the ever-buzzy farm-to-table restaurant has one of the best seaside perches in the area. Order a slushy F’rosé and take in the bright blue Pacific. 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, 310-456-1112.
The new 4,000 square-foot rooftop bar at the Virgin Hotel offers views of SoMa, a swank indoor-outdoor salon and cocktails courtesy of Trick Dog alum Tommy Quimby. Snag a seat on a plush red couch on the outdoor patio and order bar bites like tuna tostadas from head chef Adrian Garcia. Smartly, the bar is designed to be closed off from the elements, should the S.F. “summer” wind pick up. 250 Fourth St., S.F., 415-534-6500.
The back garden at the Nopa location of the casual Greek favorite is the perfect spot to unwind with affordable bottles of Greek wine and fries given the Mediterranean treatment with olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and Mizthra cheese. Pull up a spot at the long communal table and dig in. 531 Divisadero St., S.F., 415-400-5458.
Transport yourself to the tropics at this popular Cow Hollow spot, which serves boozy cocktails that don’t take themselves too seriously. Think: chipotle mango margaritas and pina coladas. If you really want to feel the island vibes, grab a couple of friends and share a punch bowl like the Summertime, All the Time, which is spiked with pisco and white rum. 2032 Union St., S.F., 415-400-4355.
Feature image: Grapefruit spritz at FIREHOUSE HOTEL. Photo by Ren Fuller.
July 19, 2019