Fancy a touch of whimsy or a hint of magic with your meal? So do we, which is why we’re highlighting the five most whimsical restaurants in Los Angeles.
861 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles | 310-388-1888 | Website
There isn’t anywhere in Los Angeles quite like Barton G. This restaurant, a concept first created in Miami by Barton G. Weiss, is pure theatre. It’s whimsical, imaginative and fun. Each dish is all about presentation, meaning, of course, that each is designed to be shared on social media. Thanks to an updated menu of items courtesy of Executive Chef Attila Bollok, there’s even more fun to be head at this La Cienega hotspot (you can expected to find a line out the door on any given night). You’ll find popcorn shrimp served in a popcorn maker, lobster mac ‘n cheese served in a mouse trap, fish served on a lure, salmon served on a samurai sword and the incomparable Marie Antoinette’s head filled: her hair is pink candy floss. There’s also nitrogen cocktails served in Buddha glasses and with dangling monkeys, which perfectly accompany the gorgeous bright pink cocktail bar, wall of flowers and overall sexy Hollywood ambiance.
The Tuck Room Tavern
10850 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles | 310-307-7004 | Website
James Beard award-winning chef Sherry Yard of Spago fame has finally has opened a restaurant whose decor is worthy of her fantastic, dream-spun culinary confections in the Tuck Room Tavern. The decor is whimsy at its finest: it is based on the board game Clue. Guests will find a parlor with shadow boxes that serve as tables, a conservatory and den. Touches include monkey lamps, bronze bulldog statues, giant 8 balls, leather banquettes and motifs of dancing bears and elephants on the walls. The restaurant also features stunning works by Mike Stilkey, an American artist based in LA renowned for his book sculpture art. Giving books a second life, Stilkey is the only artist in the world to hand paint donated or discarded library books that would otherwise not be able to be recycled to use as his canvas. The fare and drinks perfectly compliment the restaurant, with sweet Yard confections such as red velvet pavlova dotted with crispy vanilla meringue, red velvet raspberry chunk ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce; the “Millionaires Shortbread”—a mouth-watering mix of coffee caramel, caramel cream and chocolate; and “glace coupes”—luxe takes on ice cream sundaes. Guests will love cocktails like The Heisenberg: tequila is poured through a three-tiered spirit diffusion system containing cherries, nectarines and peaches—locally sourced from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, filtered through with nitrogen in honor of AMC’s Breaking Bad.
465 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles | 310-246-5555 | Website
Alice in Wonderland would have loved The Bazaar, Jose Andres’ whimsical eatery at the SlS Beverly Hills. This Philippe Starck designed dining den is totally modern, with checkerboard floors, roaring fireplaces, stuffed animal heads and, dare we say it, a touch of magic. Aptly named, The Bazaar is a tapestry of magical dining experiences set in an indoor piazza with cocktails that smoke to an inventive menu of tapas with unusual pairings such as King Crab with raspberries, coffee-rubbed wagyu and cotton candy foie gras.
700 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles | 213-802-1470 | Website
The food at Bottega Louie is a happy mix of Italian and French favorites, but what makes it so magical is its ambiance given that it is, in equal parts, a restaurant, gourmet market and French patisserie rolled into one, beautiful space located within the historic, century-old Brockman Building in downtown Los Angeles. It’s pretty ethereal, and something you’ll have to both see (and taste) for yourself: we didn’t get further than a wall of rainbow-colored macarons before falling under Bottega Louie’s spell: and that was way before we spied the opera cakes, sachertortes, Napoleons and Saint Honores.
Petit Ermitage Garden Rooftop
8822 Cynthia St., West Hollywood | 310-854-1114 | Website
If you want a little night magic, there’s really no more romantic, ethereal outdoor spot that the Petit Ermitage Rooftop Garden restaurant. Tuck yourself away, ideally on a date, in a little cabana underneath the stars, sipping vintage “Love Potions.” It’s an enchanted evening, rendered even more so by the boutique hotel’s vintage decor and the soundtrack of ambient favorites from Louis Armstrong and Edith Piaf that sound as if they were being played on a vintage record player…in the best way possible. Sadly, you have to be a VIP or a friend of the brand to dine here, but go on, you can do it…work your magic.
HauteLiving | 2016