The spring and early summer offer many opportunities for special “destination” dining.
Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, wedding anniversaries and graduations are special events that deserve special dining reservations.
What better way to celebrate a special occasion than to enjoy a fine meal with an equally amazing view?
633 W. 5th St., 71st Floor, Los Angeles, (213) 712-2683, www.71above.com
Downtown’s most notorious luxury restaurant offers a lively dining atmosphere and breathtaking views stretching to the Pacific Ocean that complement Chef Vartan Abgaryan’s vibrant modern American cuisine.
This 71st-floor eatery is located inside the iconic US Bank Tower building and is turning out some of the area’s best refined tasting menu meals. I highly recommend the Chef’s Table front row culinary experience. The culinary team will custom curate your five-course meal in front of the open kitchen. The Chef’s Table experience can accommodate up to five guests. If you’re just interested in a unique night out without the commitment of dinner, try out the afternoon cocktails or the ultimate nightcap at the SkyLounge.
900 Wilshire Blvd., 71st Floor, Los Angeles, (213) 688-7777, https://laboucheriedtla.com.
71Above isn’t the only restaurant with sky-high views. In addition to spectacular scenery, La Boucherie also offers prime cuts of meat and an extensive wine list.
27400 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, (310) 457-7885, www.geoffreysmalibu.com.
Great service and great views of the ocean make this a “must go to at least once” kind of restaurant. Of course, any place that serves a “Baked Brie in Puff Pastry” appetizer always gets my vote. Executive Chef Bijan Shokatfard also serves up some tasty seasonal specials, as well.
22706 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, (310) 317-9140, www.noburestaurants.com/malibu/home.
Panoramic ocean views in an ultra-sleek setting this restaurant sits right on top of gently lapping waves that are illuminated in the evening. Stunning ambiance, stunning food.
SCV and SFV
The Oaks Grille at The Oaks Club
26550 Heritage View Lane, Valencia
The Oaks Grille provides a delightful dining experience of gourmet cuisine and beautiful views of the entire Santa Clarita Valley. After dark, grab a drink around the outdoor fire pit and enjoy the view of twinkling lights across the SCV. Reservations are required. For reservations, email [email protected] or call (661) 288-1995 ext. 135
Le Chene French Cuisine
12625 Sierra Highway, Aqua Dulce, (661) 251-4315
The grounds and amenities at Le Chene make for a spectacular, beautiful location. The restaurant has been voted “Most Romantic Restaurant” not only locally, but by major Los Angeles publications, as well. Stop at the bar before dinner and head out onto the patio that overlooks a beautiful, romantic garden. Walk down the stairs of the rear deck to stroll alongside small ponds of water and under the lattice archways covered in ivy. Don’t miss the charming, antique water wheel.
15600 Odyssey Drive, Granada Hills (818) 366-6444
There’s something for everyone here. Enjoy an elevated lunch, brunch or dinner with a casual American menu. The sweeping views of the San Fernando Valley make your heart sing. I always enjoyed the occasional Santa Clarita Valley charity banquets that were held at this beautiful location.
1250 E Harvard Road, Burbank (818) 848-6691
After a $10 million revamp, the Castaway is back with a gorgeous space and sweeping vistas of the San Fernando Valley and more. The New American menu plays well with most palates.
2550 Fifth Ave., 12th Floor, San Diego
Opened in 1965 and located just minutes from downtown, Mister A’s offers the most spectacular views in San Diego. It was ranked fourth in the nation for dining by OpenTable diners. Enjoy the beautiful San Diego skyline, views of San Diego Bay, Balboa Park, Coronado, Point Loma and the San Diego Zoo. You can even watch the jets glide into the San Diego Airport. Chef de Cuisine Stephane Voitzwinkler crafts exquisite food to match the exquisite views. It is one of the few restaurants I know of in SoCal to enjoy properly prepared Iberico Ham.
Top of the Notch
8401 Mount Baldy Road, Mount Baldy
Gaze down on the clouds, covering the LA basin, from the stone terrace while enjoying a hearty plate of bacon and eggs, or a tasty cheeseburger.
This restaurant is located at 7,800 feet above sea level, which is higher than 36 of the 50 states, if you’re counting. During the non-ski season the restaurant is only open on weekends and holidays. You’ll need to take the chair lift to get there.