California Alfresco Dining Spots
The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air. The terrace lures the rich and famous be-neath a bougainvillea-laden trellis. But, unlike many L.A. power-dining spots, it’s actually possible for nonmoguls to get in here. $$$$. 701 Stone Canyon Rd.; www.hotelbelair.com or 310/472-5234.
Saddle Peak Lodge. In the Santa Monica Mountains, this faux hunting lodge serves up the best game in town, from wild boar to elk, and great views from the patio. $$$$; closed Mon-Tue. 419 Cold Canyon Rd.; www.saddlepeaklodge.com or 818/222-3888.
Noé Restaurant and Bar. Grab a table outside to enjoy Robert Gadsby’s progressive American cuisine along with a view of the downtown skyline ― and the free Grand Performances concerts on the main stage at California Plaza below. $$$$. 251 S. Olive St.; 213/356-4100.
Asia de Cuba. Walk out to see the Land of the Giants-size terra-cotta pots, and you’ll be in the best seats at the Mondrian Hotel’s Asian-Latin restaurant. Sip a mojito and look out at the city sparkling below you. $$$$. 8440 Sunset Blvd.; www.chinagrillmgt.com or 323/848-6000.
Chin Chin. This Chinese cafe opened in the ’80s, when outdoor dining was a rarity in L.A. Now diners sit under umbrellas, nibbling house classics like Sichuan dumplings and enjoying the town’s best people-watching. $. 8618 Sunset; www.chinchin.com or 310/652-1818.