12 January, 2009
A dear friend of mine inspired today's posting of LA's best outdoor cafes. Not surprisingly, Los Angeles remains the envy of the rest of this popcicle nation, and just to add insult to injury, we have some of the best outdoor cafes in which to enjoy such enviable weather. Here are just a few of my favorites:
Cafe Midi: The actual cash register and kitchen to this cafe are located in the rear of a kitschy housewares store and next door to American Rag Cie. The outdoor seating along La Brea Avenue never disappoints and A to C-list celebrities are often spotted enjoying a delicious Frittata or one of the many delicious omelettes offered, including a Maryland Crab Omelette with Avocado, Tomato, Mushroom and Spinach. Their lunch menu includes an extensive list of exquisite salads with fresh and unique ingredients such as dover sole, prosciutto, golden and red beets, and shredded celery root. It's near impossible to not feel the urge to order three items in one sitting in this authentic and yet classicaly Californian cafe.
Urth Cafe in Santa Monica: For those lazy days spent with a friend visiting from out-of-town, or those solo Sundays you want to catch up on some reading or writing, the Urth Cafe on Main Street is quite the inspiring and entertaining outdoor location. Nearly everything on the menu is superb, from the exclusive teas to rich coffees, to desserts and filling sandwiches. Most tempting are the sweets displayed pridefully across the front entrance. Don't feel overwhelmed by the choices in front of you, but feel free to ask the server taking your order what they recommend for the day, as special items are made, baked and brewed every day. Seating outside along Main Street provides plenty of people-watching, and the beautiful beach breeze just might stir those creative juices and cure any writer's block. Be sure to bring your laptop with you to enjoy the free wi-fi!
The Coffee Table: Even though it has been a year or two since I've been to this Silverlake gem, I've never forgotten about the great back patio and tasty breakfast, lunch AND dinner menus. The coffee was also quite good, from a Ritz-Carlton Hotel coffee standards (I'll save the topic of Best Coffees for a future post...). The wood benches and tables, local art decorating the walls and all-around casual atmosphere is unimposing and comfortable, whether you are an artsy-fartsy hipster, a mom or dad of two young kids, or just an Angeleno looking for a great place to take your visiting parents for brunch. But DEFINITELY don't skip on the back patio outdoor seating. It will feel like you're eating in the backyard of a friend's house. A friend who you will gladly tip for the quick coffee refills and warm service.
I could go on and on with great outdoor spots in Culver City, the Sunset Plaza or in Old Pasadena, but I'll let you be inspired to find your own favorite outdoor hot spots under the warm So-Cal sun. And be sure to bring your visiting mid-western relatives to show them exactly why you pay so much in taxes to live in this eternally sunny state.