Don’t cue up a box of tissues power ballad like “All By Myself” just yet because dining alone in a town like LA actually ain’t all that bad. This may come as a surprise but Los Angeles has a many options for you to choose from, options besides Poquito Mas, Tender Greens, or Veggie Grill that is. A true, cultural, authentic LA dining experience can still be had regardless of how many people you go with; sometimes you are your best date option. At these LA spots, books and insecurity can go straight in the trash because where you’re going, you won’t even need ’em. Whether you live here and just feel like flying solo for a night on a “treat yo self” mission, or you happen to be a visitor who is in need of “the know”, here are 5 awesome spots for you and yourself to try and shamelessly enjoy in a city I think most people would be nervous to attempt such a thing. Get out there and try one – and don’t say I didn’t tell ya so!
1. Eat Shabu.
Not only does Eat Shabu offer amazing, healthy and delicious food, but the nature of the layout and how Shabu Shabu works makes it a very friendly place to dine solo. To put it simply, the whole place is one long counter where everyone practically dines alone. Every seat comes with their own individual pot and burner to cook your food, everyone orders their own meal (no sharing here), and because everyone is so busy eating and cooking, talking doesn’t happen all that much. The whole Shabu Shabu experience isn’t exactly romantic or high brow but it is still a fun and unique dining experience everyone should try regardless of whether you live here or don’t, and whether you’re alone or not. Read a past article I wrote and find out more about Eat Shabu HERE.
SWINGERS. Everyone loves Swingers, because really, it’s the perfect diner? The menu is quite large and varietal and in true Los Angeles fashion they even offer vegan (and gluten free) options. The counter at Swingers is the spot to post up should you be solo, there’s always a seat and I actually prefer sitting there anyway (alone or not) because I personally enjoy staring at cupcakes and cookies when I’m eating. A meal at Swingers is always delicious, it’s cheap, and it’s memorable – LA wouldn’t be LA without this diner, so if you’re visiting at least you could say you dined here, whether it was for breakfast, lunch, OR dinner. This is the one spot I’d say it’s acceptable to bring reading material or your laptop because it’s a diner; there’s nothing going on around you you’ll miss – you’re there for the food and the chill environment anyway! And maybe a cupcake.
3. The Izaka-ya (by Katsuya)
If you’re craving sushi, almost any spot with a sushi counter will suffice but the sushi bar at Izaka-ya is particularly perfect should you be alone. Izaka-ya is regularly busy but the sushi bar usually has space, and it offers the best view in the house as far as I’m concerned where you may watch the sushi chefs do their sushi chef thing. Come solo, enjoy some of the best (affordable) sushi this city has to offer, and leave happy! Read a past article I wrote and find out more info about The Izaka-ya HERE.
I just love this dark little cozy basement joint. So much so I want EVERYONE to come here at least once, and the good news is if you happen to be alone nothing is holding you back from enjoying this spot too. Your optimal seating options include the bar and the communal style tables by the bar – if you’re feelin crazy and they have room for you, the row of two tops along the wall aren’t a bad option either. The bar is a bit small but that would be my first choice; they serve their full menu and the bartenders are a blast to have a chat with as they are truly fun, warm and friendly people (who make crazy amazing cocktails mind you). The menu is pretty “lonesome diner” friendly as most of the dishes tend to be on the smaller side. The pizza’s can seem large, especially if you plan on trying a few things, but that’s the great thing about pizza – take it home and eat it later dummy! Read a past article I wrote and find out more info about Sotto HERE.
The Terroni bar in Downtown LA simply has to be one of my favorite bars to dine at in all of Los Angeles. You feel like you’re in New York, which is fun if you don’t live in New York and you mostly dine in LA; it’s got huge high ceilings, ornate fixtures, and a classic majestic marble bar. I recommend the bar at Terroni if you’re alone because I’ve done it before and it was perfectly enjoyable. The bar is quite large with plenty of seats, they offer their full menu, and you get to sit back, relax, and watch the bartenders be bartenders in a beyond gorgeous setting. Not to mention: the food is incredible, and again, totally caters to the parties of one. The Terroni on Beverly is also a great alternative but I’ve found that one always seems to be busier so make a note of that, either way the food remains worth the reason for going and should you go alone you certainly won’t feel totally out of place.