These last couple of weeks has been a flurry of enjoying exceptional food and drinks outdoors. Cattle and Claw, the new pop-up restaurant on the patio of Sofitel LA, featured two of everyone’s favorite foods to experience al fresco: burger and lobster. There were lobster rolls, lobster tacos and lobster salad; burgers in three sizes (from sliders to petite to a two-handed ten-ounce patty on a bun); a bloody mary made with lobster-infused vodka, and three of my personal favorite cocktails that begin with the letter “m”—Moscow mules, mojitos and margaritas. With everything served on wooden paddles and one of the prettiest patios in all of LA, the evening was a primer in how to please a crowd with a minimal amount of fuss.
A few nights later and just a few blocks away, The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills hosted a media dinner to mark the newly opened Boxwood on the Roof for the summer season. An elevated yet casual dining experience, the menu featured raw oysters; hand-roll sushi; a stellar calamari tempura; deviled eggs with fried oysters; braised short rib agnolotti; grilled lamb; a dry-eyed New York steak, and a standout risotto with spring vegetables. Want to get a group of sophisticated food journalists to act like 8-year-olds at a birthday party? Serve them, as the Boxwood did, as ice cream sundaes. My favorite was London Fog—Earl Grey-flavored ice cream with vanilla syrup and whipped cream.
Then, for the final chapter in this trilogy of culinary indulgence, it was off to Katana, the always-buzzing Sunset Strip modern Japanese eatery, for their annual Red Sun BBQ Series, which runs through Labor Day weekend. We were welcomed with a Cherry Limeade Snow cocktail (Grey Goose Cherry Noir, fresh lime, simple syrup and grenadine over crushed iced). That fortified us for the feast that followed, which included ceviche, lobster and chicken skewers, carnitas and popcorn shrimp tacos, and Jesse’s Roll (a hand roll of shrimp tempura and avocado topped with filet mignon).
If you’re in Los Angeles this summer, you’ll want to make a reservation for one or more of these experiences. Each of them showcases outdoor summer dining at its very best.