One of the most important elements of a successful restaurant is a great dining room. Los Angeles is no stranger to amazing spaces, though classics such as Chasen's, L'Orangerie, Bastide, and The Brown Derby are long gone. With celebrities looking to be seen at pretty places, the city has no shortage of restaurants sporting great decor and ambiance. Without further ado, Eater presents LA's Most Iconic Dining Rooms.
1) Patina - The Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Hall might be the ideal home of Patina Group's flagship restaurant. The simple, elegant environs with white lines and warm hues makes for one of the great fine dining experiences in LA.
2) CUT - Wolfgang Puck's Richard Meier-designed restaurant in the heart of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel looks as modern as it gets, with conference room chairs, ecru walls, and a roving lineup of photographs. All the more to enjoy some of the best steaks in the city, if not the country.
3) Bouchon - Thomas Keller's Beverly Hills flagship bistro takes more cues from his Las Vegas restaurant in the Venetian than the charming Yountville original, but the design is all Parisian bistro, with high ceilings, zinc bar, and classic touches all around. [photo credit: Elizabeth Daniels]
4) Osteria Mozza - The dark wooden accents and white tablecloths let this Mario Batali-Joe Bastianich-Nancy Silverton restaurant feel urbane, comfortable, and refined. The mozzarella bar in the center of the room often has Silverton herself finishing off dishes.
5) Spago - Though the previous iteration was a textbook restaurant design from the mid '90s, Spago's fresh update has a clean, whitewash and dark wood theme that feels up to date. Only a few sneak photos are available, so a full look at the newly designed interior is still to come. [photo credit: Toddrickallen]
6) Bar Marmont - This Old-World-themed restaurant and bar adjacent to the famous Chateau Marmont is a Sunset Strip staple. Chinese lanterns and modern art stud the red-accent space that plays host to numerous revelers most nights of the week. A blue-chip celebrity hang out if there ever was one.
7) ink. - The look and feel is decidedly modern, almost arresting for its combination of dimmed spotlights and slate-gray walls. It's a fitting home for Michael Voltaggio's innovative cuisine driven by avant garde techniques. [photo credit: FoodGPS]
8) WP24 - Easily one of the best views in the city, this Chinese cuisine-oriented restaurant from Wolfgang Puck gets bonus points for feeling the most jet-set of any restaurant in the city, with wide views of downtown, minimalist furniture and design.
9) The Royce - A bright, spacious feel that completely belies its previous iteration as the Dining Room at the Langham. The old stodgy interior now contains striking blue elements and an almost resort vibe with mismatched furniture that still seems to work.
10) The Bazaar - A Philippe Stark aesthetic that launched a slew of post modern restaurant designs that featured unique, whimsical pieces and distinctive furniture in a dark, expansive space.
11) Melisse - Purple and white reign at this Santa Monica fine dining restaurant from Josiah Citrin. After a facelift a few year ago, the two-Michelin starred restaurant makes for one of the most graceful, pleasant settings in the city.
12) A Frame - Recently awarded the Best Design Award from AIA/LA, this boisterous room from Roy Choi blasts thundering tunes and clocks in as one of the loudest in the city. The former IHOP restaurant has a playful, ski-lodge chic look with birch wood walls and accents to go along with the Alice-in-Wonderland picnic patio outside.
13) Bottega Louie - The high ceilings and classic furniture makes this massive Downtown dining room feel like a less colorful, understated Ladureé (though all the macaron packaging might as well be carbon copied). Bright and airy during the day, the dimmed lights gives a big-city vibe that's full of energy. [photo credit: Vam Y.K. Cheung]
14) The Tasting Kitchen - Perhaps the epitome of California cool and modernity, The Tasting Kitchen's faux-open dining room has large windows that look out into the Venice sky while garden appointments give the room warmth. [photo credit: Elizabeth Daniels]
15) Drago Centro - Drago Centro's long, majestic dining room with arched ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows exemplifies the ideal power lunch spot with bankers and lawyers working in the towers nearby. But it also makes a great dinner date or happy hour place during dinner.
16) Michael's - One of the quintessential California dining rooms, Michael's started the tradition of housing modern art in a simple, classy space that paired with the farmers market driven cuisine. The patio is one of the best places to dine in the city.
17) Rivera - Slick, sexy, and varied, John Sedlar's alcove along a Downtown apartment building has three dining rooms for different purposes. One is dark, quiet, and filled with boothes for a more elegant, formal experience while the main dining room's long stretch has a posh urban feel. The raw bar and communal tables has a more convivial take on Rivera's cuisine.
18) Hatfield's - The former Citrus space by Michel Richard since has been transformed multiple times, but the dining room at Hatfield's has a minimalist, stately ambiance that exposes the kitchen on one side. It's appropriate for this popular fine dining destination. [photo credit: Muy Yum]
19) Water Grill - Though recently renovated for a more casual look, the once ornate room now has a modern, den-like atmosphere that lends well to the raw bar and seafood-centric menu that still stands.
20) Ray's at LACMA - It's fitting that one of the best dining rooms in the city is at LACMA, the county museum on Miracle Mile. The room itself is understated and modern, but the windows looking out to the expansive museum grounds, as well as the simple museum-piece furniture and table appointments, give Ray's an incredible look. [photo credit: Elizabeth Daniels]