New alfresco venues include Cha Cha Chá and the Cottages at Savoca downtown, Sant’olina and THEBlvd Privé in Beverly Hills.
Even as health guidelines allow for greater capacity indoors, restaurateurs and their patrons continue to value outdoor dining as never before. Plus, it’s spring!
Cha Cha Chá, sibling to Terazza Cha Cha Chá on the historic Plaza de la República in Mexico City, opens in downtown’s Arts District. Cha Cha Chá’s lush rooftop perch has a westward facing view of the downtown skyline. The mid-century aesthetic combines design elements of both a Mexican villa and Palm Springs; more than 150 plants carve out semi-private spaces. At the helm is chef Alejandro Guzman, most recently sous chef at Michelin-starred Le Comptoir. Menu highlights include the Hongos tacos with bunapi and maitaki mushrooms and the Pescado Cha Cha Chá with grilled huachinango. Though he’s lived in L.A. since he was 9, Guzman was born in Mexico City. 812 E. 3rd St., downtown, chachacha.la
The h.wood Group unveils Cal-Med pop-up Sant’olina on the expansive rooftop at the Beverly Hilton, presenting flavor-packed recipes and 360-degree city views in a space that cheers by day and shimmers at night. Chefs Michael Teich, David Johns and SLAB’s Burt Bakman offer charred eggplant with sumac, pickled chile and olive oil; mezze including a latke with labneh, pickled apple, caviar and chives; and a celebratory 32-ounce dry-aged rib-eye with kefta, fattoush and pomegranate sauce among mains. The Sant’olina Benedict at brunch marries SLAB brisket, poached organic egg and harissa hollandaise. Mediterranean spices elevate the cocktails, too. 9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.285.1260, santaolinabh.com
Savoca, A Californian Trattoria at the J.W. Marriott L.A. Live, unveils The Cottages at Savoca, outdoor dining cottages with heating, electric candles, cozy décor and stepped-up ventilation. The restaurant, which debuted in 2020, is named for a town in Sicily, an inspiration, along with local seasonal produce, for chef Nathaniel Marcus’ Cal-Ital menu. Also outdoors at the property: poolside dinner and a movie, featuring a two-course meal, unlimited popcorn, films such as Thor: Ragnarok on April 9 and Aquaman April 10, and views of the downtown skyline every night. 900 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown, 213.765.8630, marriott.com
THEBlvd Privé is a pop-up dining experience at the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel; it’s on a private cobblestone boulevard, steps from Rodeo Drive, that’s dotted with topiaries and illuminated by gas lamps from a castle in Edinburgh. The menu features the California-inspired items offered at THEBlvd Restaurant—the hotel’s fine-dining room, which remains closed—often paired with Ruinart Champagne. Favorites include capellini “carbonara” with poached egg and caviar and sea bass with pistachio lavender and yuzu emulsion. Fanciful cocktails get kudos, too. There are lots of heaters, and pashminas on request. 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.275.5200, theblvdrestaurant.com
Photos from top: courtesy JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live; Kathryn Ballay, The h.wood Group; courtesy the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel