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Maple at Descanso Gardens

Maple at Descanso Gardens’ fresh asparagus salad.

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Top 5 Cultural Restaurants in Places You Wouldn't Expect

By Lesley Balla

Photo Courtesy of Maple at Descanso Gardens

04.03.17

Restaurants popping up in museums and gardens make strolling and eating a new favorite L.A. pastime.

Drago Ristorante at the Petersen Automotive Museum
With racing stripes, Ferrari-red accents and sleek modern design, this Italian restaurant from the Drago brothers is as sexy as the cars sitting right outside of its windows. The menu of housemade pastas, wood-fired pizzas and seasonal dishes is fitting for both daytime and nighttime visits. Mid-Wilshire, 323.800.2244

Freshwater Dumpling and Noodle House at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
Susan Feniger and her Street cohort Kajsa Alger now offer dumplings, noodles, spring rolls and more that draw inspiration from China. Located in the middle of the gorgeous Chinese Garden at the famed San Marino grounds, the eatery is an idyllic spot to enjoy traditional tea. If that wasn’t enough, Feniger and her Border Grill partner Mary Sue Milliken have a taqueria counter in 1919—the expansive restaurant located near the main gate. 626.405.2100

Kendall’s Brasserie and The Boardroom at The Music Center
The long-standing restaurant at The Music Center has an updated French brasserie decor and revamped menus from chef Jean-Pierre Bosc. Whether there’s a show or not, sit in the big booths, communal tables or on the patio for classic cheese-covered onion soup or coq au vin. The Boardroom, a new lounge, features specialty cocktails, light bites and live music. DTLA, 213.972.7322



Maple at Descanso Gardens
This urban oasis tucked in the foothills of La Cañada Flintridge has long been a favorite place for strolling among seasonal blooms and other flora. The gardens’ Craftsman cottage restaurant from the Patina Restaurant Group adds the only thing that was missing: brunch. Whether in the woodsy dining room or on the patio, the gorgeous setting is perfect for classic dishes with a twist, like fried chicken and beignets, bacon brioche French toast and a decadent burger. 818.949.4200

Restaurant 917 at the Porsche Experience Center
For a real adrenaline rush, the Porsche Experience Center in Carson is the place. After test speeding around the track, stop in the slick eatery for seasonally inspired dishes like Thai curry clams with chorizo, a grilled gem salad, or an Angus beef burger with mushroom aioli. There’s also an impressive tasting menu if your looking to have multiple courses. 310.527.0917