Whether it's guacamole or boozy, liquid nitrogen Otter Pops, there's something awesome about having something prepared tableside. Especially when it's... the boozy, liquid nitrogen Otter Pops, and especially when they're made on an old Delta Airlines booze cart.
Here's a look at LA's 12 coolest tableside carts, one of which totally does the Otter Pops thing.
Cecconis (click here for address and info) Beverly Hills What they make tableside: Bloody Marys This Beverly Hills Italian spot does a bunch of tableside prep (including de-boning branzino and breaking you off a little ahi tartare something-something), but the clutch-est cart comes out during brunch. They do a build-your-own-but-they'll-still-make-it Bloody, with tons of house-picked veggies, spices, and boozes to choose from.
Skylight Gardens (click here for address and info) Westwood What they make tableside: Guacamole When this spot took over Gardens on Glendon, UCLA students were terrified they'd have to find a new place to have their parents take them for excellent guacamole tableside. That is, until Skylight kept the signature avo-cart. Deep breaths people, deep breaths.
Faith & Flower (click here for address and info) Downtown What they make tableside: Things involving absinthe Starting in June, this date-friendly spot will be doing absinthe (???) service. As seen above, fire (??????) is involved.
The Strand House (click here for address and info) Manhattan Beach What they do tableside: Open your oysters and make them taste delicious The South Bay's preeminent ocean-view eatery's got a seasonal raw-bar cart armed with 1) fresh oysters, 2) all the oyster trimmings (horseradish, cocktail sauce, lemons...), and 3) totally un-oyster-related Champagne!
Rivabella (click here for address and info) West Hollywood What they make tableside: Ice Cream and Risotto In a space that once housed Hamburger Hamlet (RIP), this mind-blowing Italian patio space is doing also-mind-blowing cart services -- they've got liquid-nitro ice cream, and a really unique way to do risotto: all of the ingredients are mixed in front of you literally in a cheese wheel, giving the whole thing an extra dose of creamy.
Bazaar (click here for address and info) Beverly Hills What they make tableside: Frozen Caipirinhas Everything here's all about molecular gastronomy, which means their cocktail cart's a stunner. They'll actually freeze a Caipirinha in front of you, with the liquid nitro smoke drawing everyone in the dining room's attention away from their Philly cheesesteak "puffs".
The Church Key (click here for address and info) West Hollywood What they make tableside: Liquid Nitro Otter Pops Almost everything at this Sunset Strip "American dim sum" date spot is served on carts, but it's the one totally and utterly amazing non-dim sum thing that steals the show: boozy Otter Pops (!!) that they make right in front of you with liquid nitrogen on an old Delta Airlines alcohol cart.
Kate Mantilini (click here for address and info) Beverly Hills What they make tableside: Guacamole Literally every famous person ever has been here and ordered their guacamole cart, where you can dictate the spiciness and mushiness and onionyness and cilantroness of our city's favorite dip.
Bourbon Steak (click here for address and info) Glendale What they make tableside: Speciality Whiskey Drinks Michael Mina's just-launched steakhouse serves whiskey a bunch of different ways via their specialty cart, where they'll torch different stuff and infuse your brown liquor with their smoke. It's pretty awesome, actually.
Pearls (click here for address and info) West Hollywood What they make tableside: Mimosas This new addition to the Sunset Strip's got the only kinda cart you'd rather drive than the Mario kind with balloons floating around it: a mimosa cart! It's got all of the obvious stuff: Champagne, fresh juices, and fresh fruit (from blueberries to strawberries, to other things that aren't berries at all).
Boa (click here for address and info) West Hollywood What they make tableside: Caesar Salad Also on the Strip is this long-standing steakhouse, which does a tableside Ceasar mixed by a dude who flips bottles and makes it all showy, and unsurprisingly (/totally surprisingly?) calls himself "Johnny Salad".
Patina (click here for address and info) Downtown What they make tableside: Roasted & Dry-Aged Liberty Duck The Disney Hall-adjacent, fine-dining restaurant's not skimping: they actually have a whole menu they'll prep tableside, with wallet-busters including roasted & dry-aged Liberty duck. Yeah, get that.
Jeff Miller is the Senior City Editor of Thrillist LA and thinks everything tastes better from a cart, especially dim sum. You can hit him at @jeffmillerla on Instagram and @thrillistla on Twitter.