Why We Like This Place
Finding Café Pinot really is like coming across an oasis in the heart of downtown L.A. Just steps from the sidewalk, the scene that fills your eyes is totally unexpected: Straight ahead is a deep turquoise reflecting pool in the center of a broad plaza, and all around it are landscaped lawns shaded by olive and jacaranda trees. This windfall of nature is no mirage—it’s Maguire Gardens, the lovely little park fronting both the Central Library at the end of the plaza and Café Pinot to your left.
The gardens also supply the backdrop for wedding ceremonies at the Café. The bride and groom exchange vows beneath a jacaranda tree opposite the restaurant, while guests look on from the emerald lawns. Although the park is open to the public, the ceremony area is cordoned off from passersby.
After the ceremony everyone strolls to the reception area near the water fountains. Entering the restaurant from this side, you walk through the Garden Patio, a convivial assemblage of white-clothed tables set out under canvas umbrellas and olive trees; a border of stone planters encloses the space, separating it from the rest of the park. On a balmy day, you won’t find a more delicious dining experience, and when evening falls, the surrounding skyscrapers light up the night sky.
Inside the restaurant you’re instantly struck by two things: the casual elegance of the décor, and the absence of walls. To be more precise, there are walls, but almost all of them are made of glass so they virtually disappear. Two semiprivate “rooms,” the North and South Wings, are just the right size for a rehearsal dinner or other intimate gathering. Between the two Wings is the Skyroom Terrace, a private dining room whose rear “wall” is open to the outside. Seating extends onto a petite covered terrace, overlooking a fountain and well-tended lawn. Reserve one room or take over the entire restaurant—garden and cityscape views can be had from most vantages.
Throughout the restaurant, the coolness of the glass is nicely balanced by the warmth of wood accents between banks of windows and the rich earth tone of the concrete floor. A flowing, Italian-style design of birds and vines on one of the few non-glass walls adds color.
Café Pinot is the third of many restaurants opened by Joachim Splichal and his wife Christine. (Their other successes—which are also available for special events—are Patina, the four other Pinot restaurants, Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse, Zucca Ristorante and several museum cafés throughout California). Specializing in contemporary American cuisine fresh from the farmers’ market, the restaurant serves up dishes like pepper-crusted Ahi tuna with baby bok choy, scallions and tomato-saffron sauce and seared Colorado lamb sirloin on a rosemary polenta tarte. Light, flavorful food and an irresistible ambiance have made Café Pinot a hit with locals, and the general consensus is that this charming restaurant is a wonderful addition to downtown L.A.‘s burgeoning renaissance.
Max. Seated Indoors: 0
Max. Seated Outdoors: 300
Max. Seated Indoors: 110
Max. Seated Outdoors: 620
Max. Standing Indoors: 250
Max. Standing Outdoors: 2750
|Max. Seated: 110|
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Maguire Gardens can accommodate 60–300 seated guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: Indoor spaces hold 22–110 seated or up to 250 standing guests. Outdoor spaces accommodate 40–620 seated or 50–2,750 standing. The restaurant and gardens combined accommodate 800 seated or 3,000 standing.
Fees & Deposits
50% of the estimated food and beverage total is the nonrefundable deposit required within 10 days of making confirmed reservations; the balance is due 10 days prior to the event. Setup fees may apply depending on your floor plan. For weddings or corporate receptions, there is a fee for use of the Maguire Gardens; ask about the cost. Catering is provided. Luncheons start at $55/person, dinners at $80/person; beverages, alcohol, tax and a 20% service charge are additional.
Year-round, daily 11:30am–10pm. Breakfast special events can take place 6am–11am. Closed Christmas, New Year’s Day and July 4th.
Special Events, Parties
Catering: provided, no BYO
Wheelchair AccessWheelchair Accessible
Venue TypeBanquet Hall/Events Facility
Alcohol: provided, no BYO
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