Feature

10 Sexiest New Restaurants in LA

By Lesley Balla  |  October 10, 2016
Credit: Paley/Dylan + Jeni

These days, sexy restaurants in LA aren’t defined by Edison bulbs, communal tables or midcentury-modern furniture; now it’s rope art, stunning views and the allure of fire. Here is a look at 10 sexy restaurant newcomers with rooms as gorgeous as the food — even better if that room is mostly under a retractable roof.

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  • Credit: Joshua Targownik

    Manuela
    Now open in the Arts District in Downtown LA, this fabulously sprawling space is part of the restored Globe Mills complex occupied by global gallery, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel. In addition to the beautiful open dining room, complete with vintage accents and reclaimed fixtures found in neighboring buildings, the open-air courtyard and terrace is surrounded by trees, art and sculpture. It’s the kind of place chef Wes Whitsell, who’s growing his own gardens and raising chickens on-site, can create Southern- and Texas-tinged fare morning, noon and night.

    907 E. 3rd St.; 323-849-0480

  • Credit: Catch/Katie Balis

    Catch LA
    The fourth spot for New York–based EMM Group, this ocean-leaning rooftop restaurant, bar and lounge makes great use of the stunning scene surrounding West Hollywood’s design district. Under a retractable roof, the indoor/outdoor dining room is filled with ivy-covered wood beams, foliage-filled chandeliers and leafy trees, with even more seating and cocktailing happening along the perimeter outside. It's big and ready to party, and celebs, whether A- or D-list, have already been going in droves. 

    8715 Melrose Ave.; 323-347-6060

  • Credit: Wonho Frank Lee/Gwen

    Gwen
    Hollywood taps into its primal instincts at the meat-centric spot from brothers Curtis and Luke Stone. The rooms seamlessly blend art deco gorgeousness with soft velvets, pink marble and exquisite glassware and cutlery with beautifully butchered meats hanging behind glass. A flaming spit of flesh anchors the room like an altar to all things carnivorous. Two words come to mind: sexy beast.

    6600 Sunset Blvd.; 323-946-7500

  • Credit: Wonho Frank Lee

    71Above
    Seeing the LA skyline from 71 floors above Downtown is indeed one of the sexiest things about the stunning modern American restaurant atop the U.S. Bank Tower building. But the details around the dining room and lounge are just as exciting, like the way the glow of the sunset hits hexagonal brass sculptures on the ceilings, or subtle references near the windows pointing to far-off and close-in neighborhoods. The curved room offers a perch for every mood: lingering dinners for two, post-work drinks with friends and nightcaps before the evening ends.

    633 W. 5th St.; 213-712-2683

  • Credit: Paley/Dylan + Jeni

    Paley
    ​With a look that blends midcentury-modern with contemporary edge, the open room — from the bustling kitchen and chef's counter, to the large black leather booths, brown banquettes and fab light fixtures in the dining room and the brass-stool wrapped curved bar — is designed for boss-impressing lunches and lingering dinners off a New American menu. The dining room, surrounded by windows, is bright and sunny during the day and sexy at night. No partitions between banquettes and booths makes for easier people-watching. The bar at the front of the restaurant is a new cocktail magnet for the neighborhood.

    6115 Sunset Blvd.; 323-544-9430

  • Credit: Rose Cafe-Restaurant

    Rose Cafe-Restaurant
    When it comes to boho-chic, Venice has it in spades. The reboot of this very longstanding neighborhood hangout with a bakery, rustic Cali menu and bar has elements to attract everyone from surfers coming in off the waves to Silicon Beach trendsters soaking up happy-hour fun and local brunchers lingering on not one but two sun-filled patios on weekends. Think local artwork, macrame and sleek nods to the evolution of Venice from a laid-back community to the hotbed filled with art, cocktails and bazillionaires that it is today.

    220 Rose Ave.; 310-399-0711

  • Estrella
    The entire space is done up like a Laurel Canyon abode circa late 1960s, early 1970s, when crooners like Joni Mitchell and Mama Cass from the Mamas & the Papas lived in the hills. The patio, lined with fabric booths, lots of pillows, succulent-filled planters and macrame wall hangings, has become the go-to for the fashionista set and anyone trolling the Sunset Strip. Chef Dakota Weiss’s all-day menu is full of surprises, from a bacon-wrapped, egg-stuffed avocado at brunch to sous vide steaks at night.

    8800 Sunset Blvd.; 310-652-6613  

  • Viviane
    The Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills got a whole new look this year, including the poolside restaurant Viviane, which is helmed by chef Michael Hung who puts a contemporary spin on classic continental cuisine. Thanks to designer Kelly Wearstler, pops of midcentury-modern panache and lots of warm blues, golds, neutral tones and geometric shapes abound. The mix of custom and vintage furnishings is enviable for anyone who wishes their house looked like Don and Megan Draper's. The cabanas are perfect for morning or afternoon dining, with a small bar for cocktails (courtesy Ryan Wainwright) and tables inside.

    9400 W. Olympic Blvd.; 310-407-7791

  • Credit: Josh Telles

    Norah
    This stunningly stylish West Hollywood spot with an eclectic contemporary American menu has become the place for lounging over cocktails or dining on small plates, whether you live in the area or not. It's full of textures — white marble, leather, bubble-light chandeliers, dark woods, leafy trees and black and white contrasts — and there's plenty of room to find a cozy corner or spread out along communal tables with mismatched stools and custom-made chairs or low-slung sofas. Skylights and huge glass doors let in a natural daytime glow, while an open fireplace and soft lighting make it more intimate at night.

    8279 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-­450-­4211

  • Credit: Sierra Prescott

    Otium​
    If a restaurant is going to live next to The Broad museum and its collection of contemporary art, it has to look good. The word otium has roots in Latin, which loosely translated means a place for leisure activities. In this case leisure is lounging on a sprawling outdoor patio surrounding by trees, the Bunker Hill skyline and the museum’s funky facade; at the inside bar with its tangle of branches and leaves painted on one wall; or in the sprawling dining room centered by an open kitchen bustling with activity. It’s a stunning space for chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s eclectic fare, and everyone from city dwellers to office workers to museum-going tourists are eating it up.

    222 S. Hope St.; 213-935-8500