Café Pinot

A storybook dinner for two

By Jen Jones Donatelli

With its twinkly patio, dreamy Downtown views, and glass-encased dining room, Cafe Pinot feels like something out of the pages of one of the storybooks in the adjacent, equally dreamy Central Library building. And for the New Year, now in full swing, the Patina Group is introducing an exciting new chapter in the story of this elegant LA institution.

The protagonist of the story? Chef Viet Pham. In line with the approach at most Patina restaurants, Pham applies classic French techniques to California cuisine. His vision for Café Pinot? Along with revamping the pasta program and making charcuterie in-house, he plans to introduce more shareable, nose-to-tail dishes, utilizing the whole animal or fish—think suckling pig, three-way lamb, and three-way duck. One high point is an amazingly tender whole branzino, served with sweet chile-miso sauce over a mix of whole cabbage, broccoli, scallions, mushrooms, and sesame seeds. A carefully chosen Chardonnay from Cafe Pinot's wine list creates the perfect pairing for your fish feast. It’s the kind of happy ending that anyone could agree on.


Dinner: Mon–Tue 5 PM–8:30 PM; Wed–Thu 5 PM–9 PM; Fri–Sat 5 PM–9:30 PM; Sun 4:30 PM–8 PM
Lunch: Mon–Fri 11:30 AM–2:30 PM

price range

$24 (crispy duck confit) to $42 (hanger steak)