The Most Overlooked Mediterranean Paradise in Europe
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This longtime local favorite rooftop somehow still feels like a hidden treasure: the pool is beautiful, the food at its classic-American restaurant is delicious, the garden calming, and the bars -- there are two -- thirst quenching. It’s a favorite for parties and weddings too, though, so call ahead to make sure you can get up there before heading over.
The prime Downtown rooftop of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant atop the Ritz-Carlton is usually closed to the public -- except for this summer, when on Friday and Saturday nights it’ll be open for a revolving door of food concepts, including ramen, American BBQ, Korean BBQ, and an ongoing dessert bar.
This Echo Park bar has become a favorite for tons of reasons: a rotating craft beer list, a strong performance space, an upstairs with tons of seating, and a small outdoor rooftop patio, which makes up for what it lacks in views (it’s on the side of a hill and facing Sunset, so, yeah, no city vistas) with an unusually intimate feel.
It’s confusing which half of this two-story restaurant/bar is EP and which is LP, but it doesn’t matter: everyone calls it by both names, and everyone’s happy when they end up on whichever one is actually the rooftop, which has great views, fire pits, amazing cocktails, and small-bite Asian food from EP downstairs. Er, LP downstairs. Er, from the downstairs kitchen.
Since the hotel’s opening in 2014, the Upstairs bar at Ace has become an unquestionable classic in the rooftop game, thanks to a roaring fireplace, a killer view of that iconic "Jesus Saves" sign, amazing drinks, a pool (albeit a weirdly small one), and DJs and performances nearly nightly. It’s also a perfect place to stop before a show (and after a show) at Ace’s Theater.
This right-in-the-heart-of-Hollywood hotel opened its rooftop just in time for summer 2016, and it’s completely open to the public, with great panoramic views of the city, a full-on yoga studio with daily classes, a Mediterranean restaurant, and evening programming that includes DJs, film screenings, and acoustic sets from local songwriters.
This airy patio on Sunset is right in the heart of tourist-central, but still delivers great drinks and food -- a rarity to find on the Strip, and an even bigger rarity overlooking the Strip.
You'd never know this rooftop bar was here if you didn't, uh, know this rooftop bar was here, which is just one of the many reasons it's great: carefully-curated, fresh ingredient-filled drinks are another.
Anyone can das boot on the lower level, but grab a drink upstairs at the Red Lion to feel like you’re really in the middle of Berlin (and grab one of the monster-size pretzels for extra authenticity). Oh and just because it’s not that high off the ground doesn’t mean it’s not a rooftop.
You know what's better than seeing a show inside the Fonda? Watching the live feed of the show from ON TOP OF THE FONDA while drinking a cold drink. Boom. We said it.
Yellowtail ceviche. Korean BBQ sliders. Chili/garlic/furikake wings. A view of the ocean. Wait, sorry, what were we talking about?
Okay, this one stretches the rooftop definition a little, but its top-of-the-mountain view of the city + great pool + model-y ambience is probably what people from the Midwest think of when they picture LA. Grab some of the house-made harissa hummus or some seafood flatbread, and think about all the poor unfortunate souls who aren’t you.
Yeah, this Downtown restaurant's got one of the best views in the city, but did you know one floor above is a bar with EVEN BETTER-ER VIEWS IN THE CITY? And the drinks are so good, you guys. Try a Spicy Concombre w/ Greenalls gin, St. Germain, lime juice, cucumber, and jalapeño. Alternatively, you can grab yourself a $6 Scrimshaw, or a $7 Stone IPA. And psst, they’ve even got a late-night menu, including ahi tuna tartar and burgers.
Oysters, Sriracha butter chicken wings, 50 craft beers on tap, ping pong, board games, picnic tables, and live music. Any questions?
The sushi here is kinda, sorta, a little bit, pretty good -- and the 21st-floor view is next level. Add the club Elevate next door for post-dinner drinks, and, yeah, winner. Winner.
Waterbeds. DJs. A biergarten. Actually good food. Bikinis. You. Yes.
It looks like a nondescript office building on the outside, but the Hotel Wilshire is actually a great boutique hotel on an otherwise non-hotel-y part of, uh, Wilshire that's equipped with a fantastic rooftop bar and a killer view of the Hollywood Hills.
Take the less than 10min walk from Abbot Kinney and peep Hotel Erwin’s rooftop bar (assuming you haven't already while you were completing the LA bucket list). The sea breeze goes great with one of the craft cocktails or some mahi-mahi tacos. Easy street parking and nutso sunsets are also a major plus.
Eating and drinking don’t have to be your only rooftop activities this summer (but they could be!). If you’re done unleashing your inner Jeremy Piven, and now want to unleash your inner Serena Williams, head over to the West Hollywood Tennis courts (LA secret alert!) and check out the beautifully-maintained courts on the roof of the parking structure.
Eating and drinking and playing tennis also don't have to be your only rooftop activities this summer (but again, they could be!). Once you're done unleashing your inner Serena, unleash your inner Tiger Woods (minus, you know, the cheating) at this rooftop driving range, which has an automated ball-teeing system and is open 'til 10pm.
Yes, we're recommending this place, and yes, it's because there's a half-acre Japanese garden on the roof, so if you’re looking to get married, or propose, or just stare longingly at a waterfall and ponder your fate, check out the Kyoto Gardens. And what, are you trying to be totally sober while you get married/propose/ponder your fate? Don’t be ridiculous. There’s a bar up there too.
Of all LA’s rooftops, The Library at the Redbury seems to be the one everybody forgets about... so, you know, stop forgetting about it. As its name suggests, the place has a library-meets-lounge-meets-rooftop-meets-Hollywood vibe, and the Mediterranean food menu comes courtesy of Cleo Hollywood downstairs. Oh, and of course it’s got views for days. See ya there.
A brand-new, elite-level day-drinking option on the rooftop of the Hollywood Proper, Filifera is here to combat the woeful lack of great rooftops in LA. Grab some upscale cocktails, upscale snacks, and bask in the glorious sunshine that brought you there in the first place. By the way, if you’re wondering what a filifera is, you’d know it better as the desert fan palm tree.