Ladyface Ale Companie
Already well known for their handmade brews (particularly their delightful blonde), this quiet hillside destination boasts a patio that guarantees a good time. If you want good conversation with friends over more than a few pints, they can handle that. If you’re looking to slow things down with a significant other, the open sky and rolling hills serve as a romantic backdrop as well. The extensive taplist (and cold-storage beer bottle room) will keep you feeling fine all night long.
Despite its, ahem, reputation as a haven for the Malibu rich to drink their nights away, Moonshadows is just as alluring to us normal folks for its uninterrupted ocean views and abundance of outdoor seating. On weekends, the deck turns into a bit of scene, but there are still plenty of weeknight tables available under the moon. And once you’ve grabbed a seat, with the waves lapping beneath the boards, you won’t mind the drive one bit.
The Cat & Fiddle
The Cat & Fiddle is the old Hollywood standard for patio drinking. Celebrating 30 years as a Brit-heavy drink destination, the lush garden area is populated with tons of greenery and an inviting central fountain. The bricks can get pretty worn on weekends, but if you slide in on a weeknight or want to help chase the sun down with some Jameson, there is no better place in Hollywood.
If the oppressive Eastside summer heat is keeping you down, try dragging yourself to Glassell Park’s Verdugo Bar. Quietly set in amongst the neighborhood, the craft beer haven secretly boasts an enormous back patio, with long arrays of communal picnic tables and an impressive collection of beer signage. There are plenty of local beers on tap, but don’t skip the bottle list; you’re likely to find more than few gems there as well. If you’re making an evening of it, bring some cash for the inevitable food truck that parks in their lot.
Although there is another location in Long Beach, the Simmzy’s in Manhattan Beach is a South Bay drinker’s delight. Within easy sight of the pier, the patio is always crammed full with locals. Beers here change frequently, and if you’re sticking around for an open-air dinner, Simmzy’s serves up one of my favorite burgers in all of Los Angeles.
Red Lion Tavern
Silver Lake’s Red Lion Tavern is for the beerhaus purists. Open since 1959, this is still the place to conquer Das Boot, or just sit amongst the bricks and shoot the scheiße. Even the beer collection is old world, with summertime hefes sharing space with darker dunkels and refreshing pilsners. Add on a plate of sausage or a pretzel for full effect.
Those looking for a more metropolitan drinking vibe would do well to give downtown’s Perch a shot. Overlooking a corner of Pershing Square, the rooftop dine and drink space sits on the 13 floors above street level, with plenty of sweeping views to the rest of downtown’s dotted skyline. If you don’t find yourself getting dizzy from the height, a crisp bottle of French white wine and the caviar salmon might do the trick.
For those hearty all-season drinkers, Far Bar is the best tucked away outdoor drinking spot in Los Angeles. Hidden in plain sight along First Street in Little Tokyo, the alleyway opening isn’t much more than a shoulder’s width between adjacent buildings. Once inside, the brick patio opens up considerably, with tabletops running along one side and the tiny craft beer bar in the back corner. Food is served mostly in an attached indoor dining space, but under the sparkling overhead lights as nighttime crawls on, you could slowly chew on a Belgian trippel all night and be just fine.
As an haute Asian downtown dining destination, Chaya hardly seems the type to liven up an outdoor drinking space. Yet, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the yakitori eatery strings up the lanterns and transforms their outdoor patio into a full-on beer garden. Small bands headline the weekends, food and drink specials rotate throughout the summer, and the wonderful feel of outdoor drinking under heaving skyscrapers never quite goes away.
Golden Road Brew Pub
If you don’t mind the occasional train (or if you love them), Golden Road is a craft beer aficionado’s paradise. A steady batch of taps pour suds from the Golden Road Brewing building just next door, alongside a few handles of friendly beers from other local brewers. Grab a glass and head for the outdoor dining area, an open, sliced-off side of the building. From under the awning, Point The Way IPA in hand, you’ll find yourself remarking that this industrial stretch of Atwater Village never looked so good.