The Sunset Strip’s next great see-and-be-seen dinner destination is here. Lavo Ristorante from the nightlife-famous Tao Group Hospitality promises all the usual details — lush plants everywhere to lots of stone and wood — but in a package that feels a little more restaurant, and a lot less club.
The new Lavo takes over at the former Roku space along the Sunset Strip, across from Soho House and within reach of the money and customers that come with Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and the Hollywood Hills. Spread across multiple dining and drinking areas and some 250 seats, the jewel-toned Italianate destination is draped in the kind of luxury that has made hits out of spots like Olivetta nearby. Think extra-tall dining space, glittering chandeliers, and a horseshoe bar wrapped in copper and gold. The masterpiece for the property, though, is the retractable roof over the primary dining area, which opens year-round to the sky and is ideal for the ongoing COVID moment. Venice locals Studio Collective even added accordion-style windows that breeze right out onto Sunset for near-wraparound airflow and views.
Not to be confused with Lavo, the nightlife destination in Las Vegas, Lavo Ristorante is intent on turning down the sparkler energy and amping up the cool kid dinner vibes. “It’s definitely not the party atmosphere the other Lavos have,” Tao’s chief culinary officer Ralph Scamardella recently told the Robb Report, citing the lack of a “dreaded DJ booth” and a focus on the kitchen.
From the pass, Scamardella and his day-to-day LA team will oversee a menu that does include some Lavo Italian-American staples like the signature one-pound wagyu meatball, while also offering a variety of pastas, crudos, and LA musts like roasted vegetables, salads, and cocktails. Expect tableside preparations and chocolate layer cake for dessert, while beverage director Craig Schoettler (Alinea, MGM) oversees spirits and wine.
The artsy, Italian Lavo Ristorante opens on Tuesday, March 15 at 9201 Sunset Boulevard, keeping evening only hours to start — 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. during the week, including Sunday, with an extension to midnight on Friday and Saturday night (closed Monday). Reservations can be made on OpenTable. Expect brunch down the line as the seats fill up for one of the bigger, more glamorous recent openings so far in greater Los Angeles.