LA might be synonymous with beaches, palm trees, and near-constant sunshine, but its worst-kept secret is how chilly it can get for large chunks of the year. Sure, we’re not talking about sub-zero wind chills, but a strong jacket is pretty much required at night from November through May. And that means a restaurant or bar with a roaring fireplace can transform a pleasant night into a Hygge-filled dreamscape in a matter of moments. Visit one of these 12 spots to embrace the coziness.
With a separate pizza counter and enough trees to qualify as a mini-forest, L’Antica has one of our favorite patios in Hollywood. That said, come jacket weather, the inside lounge is tough to beat. It doubles as an entrance/waiting area, but the beautiful space has cozy chairs, a few scattered tables, and a massive, all-white fireplace that makes it feel like you’re in a stately masseria in Southern Italy. As for food, don’t stray too far from the famous pizzas, but if you want to throw a few appetizers on the table, we recommend the calamari or the squash blossoms, when available.
Yes, this infamous hotel bar on The Strip is at its best in the summer when you can hang by the pool, sip martinis, and watch agents toss their burner phones into the pool. But come colder weather, the inside is pretty fun, too. With burgundy lounge chairs and wood-paneled walls, it’s cozy, yet professional, and a sensible place to take a meeting considering you’re only a few feet from a roaring fireplace - fueled by all the sh*tty contracts that’ve been thrown into it.
The Front Yard is the all-day restaurant inside the Garland Hotel that shouldn’t be written off as just another sleepy lobby cafe. It’s a party pretty much every day of the week, with a healthy mix of studio workers getting drunk on their lunch hours, retirees getting drunk because they can, and hotel guests getting drunk while their kids play in the pool. And on top of all that, the massive patio has a huge fireplace in the corner that cranks up the ~literal~ heat if you come at night on a date.
Lunetta is the slightly more formal, dinner-only restaurant connected to Lunetta All-Day in Santa Monica. It’s the kind of place with few surprises - the food is simple and crowd-pleasing (i.e. chopped salad, albacore crudo, and wood-grilled salmon), and the service is friendly and professional. While they now have three charming patios connected to the space, the intimate interior bar room - with its velvet chairs and dark fireplace - has the moodiness we crave during colder months.
With a warm earth-tone aesthetic, a meat-and-cheese-heavy menu, and a roaring fireplace in the corner, every aspect of this Puglian restaurant on 3rd Street seems designed to comfort, and make you forget about all the passive-aggressive things your boss said to you this week. And that’s exactly why you’ll always find us come wintertime. It’s also refreshing to be in an Italian restaurant in LA that doesn’t serve the same Northern and coastal standards as everyone else. There are only two pastas - a pomodoro and the slightly bitter, al dente orecchiette which is the standout. The rest of the menu leans largely on traditional Puglian meat skewers, as well as imported cheeses that taste great spread across their house-made focaccia.
A tiny watering hole in Culver City, Old Man Bar specialized in one thing: Whiskey. Bourbon, specifically - they’ve got a fantastic list of hard-to-find (and occasionally very expensive) bottles, and some of the best Boulevardiers and Old Fashioneds in town. But rather than being stuffy, this is a cool, dark space, filled with taxidermied animal heads, a fireplace, and a fun crowd that makes you think this could easily be a roadside tavern in Manitoba. It’s attached to Hatchet Hall, one of the best restaurants in the area, so we recommend getting some dinner beforehand, too.
AOC is a classic, and even if it’s not as exciting as it was 10 years ago, it’s still a great spot to grab a glass of wine with a client or spark some romance with your spouse of 15 years. With a roaring fireplace and Juliet balconies circling the courtyard, this California/French spot still has one of the best patios in the city. You might be across the street from the biggest hospital in California, but here, you feel like you’ve been transported to a farm estate deep in Provence. Order the Spanish chicken, a bunch of charcuterie, and one of our favorite paellas in the city.
The Wellesbourne’s a bar on Pico with an aggressive British pub theme that we strongly approve of. It feels like a rich Englishman’s country estate, with big leather chairs and dark wood furnishings. It’s also your best bet when you’re killing time before a movie at The Landmark. Not just because you can drink Sazeracs, but also because they have an entire room covered in bookshelves with actual books you can read next to the roaring fireplace.
Firefly is by no means a secret, but stepping into its massive back patio feels like you found a hidden European resort in the middle of Studio City. There are intimate cabanas along the sides, a two-story wall of ivy rising in the back, and a giant see-through fireplace smack in the center of everything. It’s one of the most romantic spaces in The Valley, and its wide-ranging American menu is a solid bet for any kind of date night. We like the bigeye tuna tartare, mussels in a curry broth, and fried Manzanilla olives.
Walking on the grounds of Saddle Peak is like wandering into another dimension, or Ron Swanson’s hunting lodge in Montana. Located deep in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu, this sprawling, meat-centric restaurant has three separate floors with roaring fireplaces, an actual library, and a patio overlooking the mountains. With giant portions of hard-to-find meats - elk, ostrich, emu, or whatever is on the butcher’s block that night - and stuff like mac and cheese and cast-iron johnnycakes on the menu, there will be plenty to share. But only if you want to.
We don’t need to remind anyone of Nobu’s existence, but it is worth pointing out how blustery Malibu can get - making this famous sushi restaurant’s fireplace-adorned dining room all the more useful. Yes, you’re going to spend money here. A LOT of money. But at the end of the day, the food is excellent, the ocean views are unparalleled, and Oprah just walked in drunk with Spielberg. It’s the kind of experience that simply comes with a certain price tag.
Located inside a bungalow house in Pasadena, Bar 1886 is where you go to drink Manhattans and Sidecars on a secluded patio - or inside next to the stone fireplace - and pretend like you’re a person who owns a mansion in Pasadena. This dimly-lit, romantic bar has a rotating cocktail menu, but if you aren’t seeing anything that looks good tonight, they have over 600 off-menu cocktails that the bartenders can whip up on command. If you get hungry, there’s a very good bar menu with things like al pastor prawns and mushroom gnocchi.