From the 1930s, when it was a playground for restaurant-owning mobsters like Bugsy Siegel, to the 1960s counter-culture movement, from the New York Dolls and Donna Summer Disco days of the ‘70s to Rock ‘n’ Roll of the 1980s, The Sunset Strip has long been a nexus for wild parties, late nights, and great music, pushing the boundaries of both dining and entertainment in America.
Today, it’s as vibrant as ever, and it’s one of the best places to stay, drink, dine and play in all of West Hollywood. Here are some of our favorite places to grab a bite, have a drink, and maybe spot a celebrity:
Los Angeles has some of the best weather for al fresco dining. Experience haute cuisine under the stars at Boxwood Café at The London. The ambiance includes tons of greenery, as expected, but there’s also a whimsical approach to craft cocktails and inventive, New American cuisine by Executive Chef Anthony Keene. While we love the night sky and glittering buildings from the scene atop The London, the fresh juices, organic spirits, ripe salads and coastal California bounty keep us coming back to Etcho Café, at the Jeremy Hotel. It’s an ultimate when you’re after a high-end brunch scene, and we wouldn’t be the least surprised if you bumped into a celebrity or two.
Also check out the Riot House Restaurant at Andaz WeHo, the Bar 20 at Grafton, Cavatina at Sunset Marquis, the Tower Bar at Sunset Tower and the dining at Ivory on Sunset at the Mondrian.
The Sunset Strip has long been a celebratory location, and if you’re looking to have a dinner for someone or something special, there are plenty of options here. BOA Steakhouse makes great use of dark leathers and industrial accents in the design, and the steaks are flown from around the globe, giving you a full menu of Wagyu, Porterhouse, Rib-eye and 40-day-aged options. Roku and Katana Robata are ideal choices if modern Japanese fusion is what you are craving. Sushi and Teppanyaki at Roku are taken to new heights for American dining, including hand-selected sakes, elegant cocktails, an impressive wine list and menu items like Matsuzaka beef and sweet, Santa Barbara spot prawns. At Katana Robata, the name of the game is Japanese comfort cuisine, in a setting that’s won ample awards for design. Get a reservation on the outdoor patio for the optimum people watching, whilst enjoying both hot and cold, gorgeous Japanese small plates.
Pearl’s Rooftop has a charming, bohemian kind of feel, with ivy crawling across the beams of the covered, outdoor roof deck and small wooden tables, for intimate, low-key dinners. The Avocado Toast is a local favorite, but Lobster Dip is truly something unique––with a French Dip reimagined as a buttery, saucy seafood sandwich. Rock n’ Reilly’s is a nod to the days and times when The Sunset Strip was a place of more nefarious activity. The fictional backstory of the bar involves an Irishman with a fondness for whiskey and for poker. In reality, it’s bastion of both dark spirits and craft brews, with specialty tacos on Tuesdays, signature sliders on Wednesdays and happy hour every day of the week. If you’ve got a whole crew, then one of the best casual options on The Strip is State Social House. The lofted, beam ceilings and ample seating give it an airy vibe, even when crowded, and there’s plenty of nosh––most of it healthy. Snack on Ahi Tuna, a list of gluten free pizzas and fresh vegetable sides with inventive preparations.
Late Night Bites
There’s a throwback vibe to after-midnight dining on The Strip. Mel’s Drive-In is everything you want in a nostalgic, stick-to-your-ribs diner, from the swiveling leather stools at the counter to the super-crispy bacon and the thick, creamy, made-to-order malts. This being California, you can also get freshly squeezed juices and a bowl of fruit and yogurt too. Kitschy, crazy and a whole lot of fun, a night out at Cabo Cantina is a good way to blow off work or travel stress. It’s also super affordable. Where else can you get a platter of hot wings or a basket of tacos for under $10 and two-for-one frozen drink specials every day from 4pm to 8pm?
If you’re after a burger or a tasty dog, look no further on The Sunset Strip than Wahlburgers or Carney’s Restaurant. At Wahlburger, you’re going to need a lot of napkins when it comes to our favorite––The Triple Decker. That’s three, 3-ounce patties, lettuce, tomato and onion, with American cheese dripping through each layer and Paul’s Sauce––a house signature. Carney’s is housed in a bright-yellow, vintage railway car and the hot dogs here have been called out in multiple Best Of lists. We adore The Red Baron, with cabbage, mustard, Jack and Cheddar cheese.