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Brutal Heatwave and Ongoing Pandemic Mean More Poolside Dining for LA

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Plus, Tartine Bakery’s new Silver Lake pizzas, Balconi Coffee closes in Sawtelle Japantown, and the Abbey opts for new outdoor dining

A dining balcony looks out over a pale blue pool in California.
Caravan Swim Club
The Ingalls
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

West Hollywood’s Olivetta is returning to life this week, but with a whole new look. Instead of staying in its standalone location, the restaurant is moving down the street to the La Peer Hotel, with plans to operate poolside for the rest of the summer, at least. The residency means the return of chef Michael Fiorelli’s Italian cooking, including housemade pastas and pizzas and cocktails galore, with plans for the Marissa and Matt Hermer project to run 6 p.m. to midnight, Thursday through Saturday.

Olivetta is far from the only restaurant to switch to a new water-friendly format during this scorching summer, where outdoor dining is the law of the land. Steve Livigni’s Caravan Swim Club at Hotel June is up and running in the Playa Vista/Westchester area, Marco Polo is open once again in Silver Lake, and the Beverly Hilton has a new poolside setup for summer called Mercato. For those looking to escape LA for a bit, the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs has reopened its outdoor dining and on-site restaurants as well, though with a 116-degree heatwave rolling through Riverside County right now, hanging out all day in the sun is probably not advised.

And in other news:

  • Balconi Coffee has closed in Sawtelle Japantown after ten years, reports Toddrickallen, though the goodbye letter on the door does say that ownership hopes to reopen somewhere “safe” in the future.
  • Little House Confections, makers of some Instagram-worthy olive oil cake, has secured a six-month residency at the Platform development in Culver City. The spot launches tomorrow for pick-up orders and will run Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.
  • Tartine Bakery is now open in Silver Lake, with lots of open air, a patio, and plenty of pick-up and to-go services. They’re also doing blistery pizzas using the same sourdough that Tartine is famous for.
  • Local yogurt shop Yoga-Urt is turning five years old this weekend, and to celebrate the company is donating $1 from each sale to the Loveland Foundation and Support + Feed.
  • The NY Times has details on Sonoko Sakai, a longtime food luminary based in Highland Park who is known for making incredible soba noodles. The cookbook author and activist is an advocate for home cooking and a force within the Japanese culinary community and beyond, thanks to a gorgeous home studio setup for experimentation and online classes.
  • The MiniBar Hollywood team has a new tiny truck rolling around serving to-go drinks and snacks, including Little Dom’s gelato and a “fish and chips” setup that’s really just caviar and potato chips. Find them crawling around the city.
  • West Hollywood staple the Abbey is now doing outdoor dining. They’ve rebranded the open-air space as Abbey Road, with a dedicated menu and lots of lush plant life for all to enjoy.