The West Coast of the US is a popular destination due in large part to its beautiful beaches, vibrant cities, and diversity of culture. It’s also home to some of the most spectacular and beautiful restaurants in the country: eateries that fuse culinary excellence with innovative aesthetics and that each offers their guests a unique dining experience.
If you’re planning your next (or first) trip to the West Coast, then make sure you carve out some time to visit at least one of the restaurants below to enjoy a meal like no other.
Juniper and Ivy, San Diego
Specializing in lovingly prepared regional American cuisine, Juniper and Ivy can be found tucked away on the outskirts of Little Italy. The restaurant is housed in a former warehouse that dates from the 1920s; the renovation of the building was completed by the celebrated Atlanta-based Johnson Studio, who were keen to preserve the industrial and rustic elements of the space whilst also fusing contemporary features into the overall design.
The antique redwood of the beams is original to the building, and the interior also makes use of original concrete and metal elements to further tie the current restaurant to the heritage of the building that houses it. Leather upholstered restaurant chairs and hickory wood tables invite guests to relax and contemplate the menu whilst also enjoying the plethora of vivid artworks that cluster on the walls.
But it’s not just the interior design that’s stunning. James Beard Award-nominated chef Anthony Wells leads a team with a mission to engage diners in a conversation about the ways that food is gathered, prepared, shared, and experienced; about the journey of the ingredients from farm to plate, and how food continues to shape culture.
Ingredients used are seasonal, with rotating daily dishes based on the ingredients bought into the kitchens by local farmers and fishermen each morning. The menu is a wonder to behold; dishes include Alaskan halibut served with butter beans, manila clams, olive relish, spicy tomato broth, and lamb meatballs, which are added to the plate alongside heritage bean hummus, house yogurt, and marinated cucumbers. For a lighter bite, opt for oysters with strawberry hibiscus or spicy tuna hand rolls with sushi rice and sesame leaf.
Founder and owner Michael Rosen, alongside his head chef, is passionate about providing diners with the most refined yet imaginative menu in town to give every single guest an unrivaled – and unexpected – dining experience.
Marjorie Restaurant, Seattle
Providing ‘food for the soul’ is the stated aim of this well-known restaurant that nestles in the Capitol Hill area of the city. Stepping inside, diners will immediately appreciate the cozy, intimate atmosphere, enhanced by the warm wood of the bar, the raw silk lining the ceiling, and the hand-crafted artworks dotted around the space. It’s vibrant here, too: vivid blue walls provide a bold background for the chairs painted in a mix of bright colors: green, orange, and pink.
The restaurant also offers outdoor seating courtesy of its cute patio area, strewn with greenery and plants, where the same brightly colored chairs look eye-catching against the natural shades of this little open-air haven.
When it comes to the food, it’s all about seasonal, local ingredients that are used to create an eclectic menu that’s inspired by cuisine from all over the world. Dishes include Jamaican Jerked Chicken, served with sweet potato and coconut puree, collard greens and plantain, and Albacore Tagliatelle – this option is comprised of fresh pasta, local albacore, and spring onions, capers, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
The four-course Seasonal Chef’s Tasting Menu is an extremely popular choice with both new and returning diners and is available nightly, including as carry-out.
Workshop Kitchen and Bar, Palm Springs
For American cuisine infused with Mediterranean influences, look no further than this restaurant that’s housed inside the historic El Paseo building that dates from 1926. Its Spanish colonial style is redolent in the terracotta tiles of the roof and courtyard and its grand, airy interior. The space was designed by the renowned SOMA and is cathedral-like yet contemporary, with concrete communal tables beneath its soaring ceilings and its black leather upholstery glowing beneath the clever, ambient lighting that makes the dining room at once expansive and intimate.
Choose from a rich and inventive menu that features dishes like Doro Wat Chicken cooked with Ethiopian spices and served with braised greens, carrots, and jollof rice cake; and Dory Fleet Black Cod, which arrives on a plate with a warm orange vinaigrette, broccolini, squash, pomegranate, and sea beans.
Freshness is king here: the kitchen team manages their own small garden that supplies the restaurant with herbs and flowers, while the seafood comes from the Dory Fleet and the Newport Pier, and poultry and dairy products are sourced from local, sustainable farms.