12 Los Angeles restaurants perfect for special occasions

Middle Eastern restaurant Bavel brings a Casablanca-flavored celebration to LA’s Arts District. | Credit: Ashley Randall

LA’s star-studded dining scene means the celebratory meal options are limitless. From classic Californian wine bars to sky-high charmers, there’s a spot to match your special occasion energy, whether you’re toasting to a milestone birthday or Some Personal News. 

These places prove there’s never been a better time to book a festive meal here. Read on for a guide to 12 LA restaurants perfect for celebrating in style. 

71Above (Financial District)

Sunlight streams through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the wood-clad dining room at 71Above in Los Angeles

Sweeping city views are one of the many special occasion perks at 71Above. | Credit: 71Above

71Above scores bragging rights for being the highest restaurant west of the Mississippi. But the sweeping views aren’t its only special occasion perk. Its three-course Mediterranean menu also rises to any occasion, with swanky touches like Kaluga caviar and rosewater pavlova. The whole special occasion package is here—views, food, and atmosphere. For something a little more low-key, check out the Vista Patio on the 69th floor with equally stunning surroundings and a top-notch Mediterranean mezze menu.

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A.O.C. – 3rd Street (West Hollywood)

Vines and greenery cover the brick walls in the outdoor courtyard at A.O.C. in Los Angeles

A.O.C. is home to one of LA’s prettiest gardens, perfect for a big birthday dinner or bridal shower. | Credit: Rob Stark

For a quintessentially Californian celebration, grab a table in one of LA’s prettiest gardens. The lush outdoor courtyard at A.O.C.—James Beard Award-winning chef Suzanne Goin’s French-accented wine bar—is where you want to plan a big birthday dinner or bridal shower. But it’s also just as perfect for a midweek pick-me-up. Go for the cheese and charcuterie boards, wood-fired clams, and 24 by-the-glass wines, picked by acclaimed restaurateur and sommelier Caroline Styne.

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Bavel (DTLA)

Three flatbreads with toppings including spicy lamb and pork sausage, tomato, red onion, pine nuts, nigella seed, mint, sumac, and sesame paste at Bavel in Los Angeles

The festive menu at Bavel is a whirlwind trip through Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt. | Credit: Ashley Randall

Take a whirlwind trip through the Middle East when you celebrate at the second restaurant from the award-winning Bestia team. This is Casablanca in the Arts District, splashed with turquoise, saffron, and brass accents for days. The menu travels to Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt, featuring spectacular roasted meats with lots of harissa and tahini. No birthday party here is complete without the strawberry and sumac pastry and a scoop of pistachio ice cream.

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Bicyclette (Pico-Robertson)

République’s Walter and Margarita Manzke own three popular French restaurants that were all designed with special occasions in mind. Bicyclette is one of the newer jewels in their crown, a bistro with blue-and-white tile floors, simple wooden tables, and bright green walls. Mark an anniversary or big date night in its cozy digs and share escargot and duck leg confit. An all-French wine list adds to Bicyclette’s romantic Parisian vibes—all that’s missing is an Eiffel Tower view.

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Chi Spacca (Hollywood)

A tomahawk pork chop with fennel pollen at Chi Spacca in Los Angeles

Butcher-inspired mains fuel the celebrations at Chi Spacca. | Credit: Anne Fishbein

Anyone who can’t imagine a celebration dinner without meat—and lots of it—should go straight to this upscale Tuscan steakhouse. Chi Spacca is part of chef Nancy Silverton’s Mozza empire and zeros in on butcher-inspired mains like a 50-ounce bistecca Fiorentina and tomahawk pork chop. The supporting characters on the menu are just as impressive, and so is the massive Italian wine list. Add a candlelit dining room and you’ve got all the essentials for a big night out.

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Kato (Downtown)

Save this modern Taiwanese hotspot for celebrating something extra-big. Kato’s newer location—its first home in the Row DTLA was showered with honors, including a MICHELIN star—is bigger but still about chef Jon Yao’s inspired multi-course tasting menus (pig ears with tomato and sesame, freshwater eel with stone fruit) on gorgeous plateware. Wine director Ryan Bailey more than understood the assignment when it came to designing an equally unique natural wine list, and the bar stirs up cutting-edge cocktails featuring Asian ingredients like bitter melon and five spice. 

n/naka (Palms)

n/naka is where you come for one of America’s most sought-after kaiseki experiences. The 13-course seasonal extravaganza is masterminded by chef-owners Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama and unfolds in a restaurant adored for its next level-service (if you’re a left-handed eater, you’ll notice how quickly the staff puts silverware on the correct side of the table, for example). A minimalist dining room lets the modern Japanese plates take center stage. They rotate often, but you’ll always find perfectly al dente spaghetti swirled with abalone, pickled cod roe, and shaved truffles—a Nakayama special.  

Otium (Downtown)

Otium’s central DTLA location near the Walt Disney Concert Hall makes it a go-to for pre-show celebrations. But the striking glass-and-steel restaurant has its own artistic cred, thanks to a Damien Hirst mural on the walls and an affiliation with The Broad museum next door. On the menu, expect exceptional modern American dishes that shout out to LA’s many multicultural influences by French Laundry alum Timothy Hollingsworth, plus a power-packed cocktail list for toasting.

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Pasjoli (Santa Monica)

Golden osetra caviar, smoked sturgeon, crème fraîche, chives, cucumber, and savory chips at Pasjoli in Los Angeles

There are many luxurious touches at Pasjoli, including caviar service. | Credit: Christian Seel

Alinea vet Dave Beran opened this elegant French spot in 2019, but really turned heads for a tasting menu he launched in 2023—because nothing says special occasion like a limited-edition meal. Beran brings MICHELIN-starred swagger and unexpected Japanese touches to his 12 gorgeous courses, which also include a wine pairing option. If you’re going the a la carte route, get the duck for two, pressed in front of your eyes for a little tableside je ne sais quoi.

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Providence (Hollywood)

Silver glass globes hang from the ceiling in the deep green dining room at Providence in Los Angeles

A sea-inspired color scheme makes up the sleek interiors at Providence. | Credit: Daniel Collopy

Gear up for one of the fanciest nights of seafood you’ve ever had. Providence—which added a Green MICHELIN star to its growing list of awards this year—is led by James Beard Award-winning chef and co-owner Michael Cimarusti, who works his technical magic on an eight-course tasting menu starring the ocean’s most elite like golden Kaluga caviar and luscious uni. Don’t be surprised if a meal here takes a whopping three hours to finish. Bring anyone you want to impress, whether that means potential in-laws or your closest friends, and raise a glass to a meal of a lifetime.

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Spago (Beverly Hills)

Smoked salmon pizza with crème fraîche and caviar at Spago in Los Angeles

Wolfgang Puck’s signature dishes like smoked salmon pizza may not be on the menu, but you can still order them at Spago. | Credit: Spago

Even 40 years after it opened, Wolfgang Puck’s Beverly Hills icon is still a stunner. A special occasion meal here means you’re celebrating your big night and the dishes that made the Austrian American chef/restaurateur one of the most recognizable names in the food world. Puck’s signature (and often copied) dishes like smoked salmon pizza with crème fraîche and caviar may not be on the menu, but you can still order them. Whether you’re looking for a romantic meal for two or a full-on LA blowout, Spago’s got you covered with private dining options that can fit anywhere from 24 to 277. 

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Alta Adams (West Adams)

Hands dig into various dishes containing soul food like mac and cheese and fried chicken with hot sauce next to assorted glasses of wine at Alta Adams in Los Angeles.

Alta Adams is a group-friendly celebration spot known for updated takes on soul food. | Credit: Alta Adams

Larger celebrations call for Alta Adams, a soul food spot tailor made for groups. There are prix fixe dinner options for 10 or more, plus buy-outs for four separate areas (for parties of 26 or more). Choose from an intimate indoor art room, a lush back patio, a parklet by a mural, or the wine shop next door. No matter where you sit, you’ll dig into updated versions of everyday classics like house-smoked brisket or shrimp and grits from two-time James Beard nominee Keith Corbin and Bay Area celeb chef Daniel Patterson.

Tried them all? Check out other options here.

Karen Palmer is a pizza- and pasta-obsessed food writer based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Instagram at @karenlpalmer.

Kristin Braswell is a journalist and founder of CrushGlobal Travel, a company that customizes travel guides and authentic experiences around the world.