Solo travel can be the most rewarding. Decisions can remain spur-of-the-moment. A whim can lead to a new adventure. And, you get to spread out in that great hotel bed with no one stealing the covers.
Yet, dining occasionally presents an issue. Loud restaurants can seem overwhelming. Likewise, you don’t want to dine solo in a space that’s not even half-full. We’ve rounded up our favorite spots for a solo meal in West Hollywood to make you feel right at home and maybe even help you find some new friends.
Quick and casual only applies to the service and the atmosphere in this quiet, but very respected sushi bar. They source the best fish money can buy, and if you’re opting to splash out (pun intended), there is a $150 omakase option. Or, you can select from the menu with beautiful raw selections like yellowtail carpaccio and spicy tuna. There’s also a crispy rice here that’s nearly addictive.
Pro Tip: The team behind Jinpachi just opened another great spot for sushi. Head east on Melrose to Fish8, where you’ll find slightly lower prices but the same impeccable devotion to sushi and sashimi.
E.P. & L.P.
When dining alone, you still want a bit of action during a night out. E.P.’s chef’s counter is essentially a meal and a show––with front-row seats for the creation of exotic fare. Dining at the counter is usually first-come, first-serve, but if you’ve only got one night in the neighborhood, it’s wise to make a reservation. Chef Louis Tikaram’s newest, must-try specials include the Mooloolaba King Prawns with roasted seaweed butter, nori salt and lemon, as well as Szechuan Fried Fish, with wok-tossed green onion, dried chili and cinnamon.
From chicken, mushroom and jamón croquetas to seared flank steak with roasted bell peppers and Manchego crumble, just reading the Twitter feed of BCN makes us hungry. The name is an acronym for Bikinis (pressed Spanish sandwiches), Bocatas (baguette sandwiches) and Cocas (stone-baked flatbreads). While it’s not gluten free, this Barcelona fast-casual concept is a fantastic spot for solo diners. You can mix-and-match small plates and also perch on a barstool facing the front window. Excellent people watching opportunities abound.
Many feel Cecconi’s has the best burger in the city—yes, we’re talking about the Fontina Black Truffle Burger. We can’t argue with that, as it’s a solid choice for lunch or dinner. This lively institution is home to delicious Italian fare, and Tuesday-Saturday, they do a 3pm to 6pm special menu with $3, $6, and $9 specials, like avocado and chickpea dip, calamari fritti, and Peroni by the bottle. Grab a seat at one of the comfy, leather barstools and enjoy a meal while people-watching.
If an elegant dinner alone is what you’re after, this dark and dreamy establishment has been wowing customers since 1983. While the neighborhood outside has changed, Cafe De’toile remains a stalwart for fine-dining in a cozy atmosphere. The offerings are rich and classic, from the Duck Paté with crackers and glazed pearl onions to the massive Lamb Shank, braised and served over wild mushroom risotto.
Inspired by Mexico and a love of healthy, organic, sustainable cuisine, Chef Chandra Gilbert has made Gracias Madre a must-try on the L.A. map. There’s 5,000 square feet of dining space, both indoors and out, and it’s a wonderful place to bring a book, grab a glass of wine and take in the warm night air. The menu is vegetarian, marrying California cuisine and that of old Oaxaca in dishes like the Pozole hominy stew, the stewed cactus Nopales and the tacos with barbecued jackfruit with cashew crema.
Cavatina at Sunset Marquis
“As a chef, you can’t help but be inspired by what you see being offered in the local markets here. You have the very best Mother Nature has to offer when it comes to vegetables, fresh fruit, seafood, and meat,” says Michael Schlow, chef/partner at Cavatina, which opened in 2014. The restaurant’s location at the sainted Sunset Marquis makes it ideal for those dining solo, with a warmth and hospitality you’d expect in any ultra-luxe, renowned hotel. However, this venue remains popular with a large contingent of locals, thanks to a menu that’s varied and exciting, with the freshest sushi quality fish flown in for Hamachi Crudo with Pickled Mushrooms, Togarashi, and Crispy Tempura Bits. “We love that we have so many regulars at Cavatina,” he says, “and they ultimately help us decide what stays on the menu. Several dishes have become favorites, like the Tuna Poke, the Roast Chicken, our Rib Eye, and the Famous Marquis Cheeseburger.”
Obicá Mozzarella Bar
Sunset Plaza can fill up an afternoon. Make sure there’s time for a cut and blowout at Industriecutz and a bit of live music at Le Petit Four. Obicá is the ultimate stop for aperitif hour––as plates arrive piled with delicate cured meats, thick slices of homemade mozzarella di bufala, and, of course, a classic Negroni or Bellini on the side.
Salami, Mortadella, Prosciutto, Focaccia Bread, Cherry Tomatoes, Burrata § Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese Plate || Obicà Mozzarella Bar || Hollywood, CA ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photo Credit 📷: @lafoodieguy ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Gather ’round the whole family for Obicà, ’cause these plates are meant for sharing.👌Heck, sit down at a table with random people if the fam doesn’t want to tag along. 😎 Seriously, this spot is great if you’re interested in a lite meal before a night out, special event or sharables with date or the squad. Make sure to spread some cheese on the bread and top it with a slice of meat – and that’s a snack for a king or queen. 👑 Like, comment or tag someone who’d love this plate! ✌️😎 #LAFG #LAFoodieGuy ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀👇TAG A BURRATA LOVER! 👇
Home page featured image: Katana on the The Sunset Strip (another awesome place to fly solo and watch great sushi being made!)