71Above Los Angeles | A Delight of All Your Senses

Most of us remember our first flight and viewing the earth, perhaps even our own neighborhood or house from above.  Being high in the air inevitably gives us an instant feeling of peace, puts life in perspective and transports us to another world.  Encounter a similar feeling as you take an exhilarating elevator ride to 71Above Restaurant and Skylounge, at 950 feet above ground it is the highest restaurant west of the Mississippi, located in the US Bank Tower in Downtown Los Angeles.  

Transported away from the car horns, construction noise and all the other sounds of a bustling city you are immediately aware that what you are about to enjoy is not an ordinary occurrence. Too often the food at “sky-high” venues pales in comparison to the view.  71Above in DTLA proves to be the exception. This total experience is one to be savored; led by the food and enhanced by the atmosphere, it will be to the delight of all your senses.

Dining Area  | Photography by Wonho Frank Lee

A native Angeleno, Chef Vartan Abgaryan pays homage to LA’s diversity by pushing the boundaries of elevated modern American Cuisine.  While difficult to upstage the views, chef Abgaryan successfully competes with his creative, globally influenced flavors and stellar presentation.  The 3-course tasting menu, with optional wine pairing, offers a variety of creative dishes that challenge the palate in an interesting and pleasant way.  Perfectly timed service allows you to delight in each course.

Yellowfin Tuna | Photography Noted Media

The menu changes seasonally with few exceptions. Two permanent dishes are the Poached Oyster, with uni, caviar, tarragon and champagne, try to eat just two; also, the Farm Egg with crispy potato, chorizo, raclette, finger lime and cilantro, a refined breakfast for dinner!  The menu continues with a variety of seafood, meats and pasta created with California ingredients that reach to East Asia, the Mediterranean and Latin America for inspiration. The amuse bouche presented before the main menu is always vegetarian demonstrating chef’s outstanding way with vegetables and allowing all to enjoy, a variety of house-made desserts is also offered with an optional wine pairing.  The wine list is international in scope, with a strong presence of wines from Santa Barbara, LA’s backyard wine region.

Heritage Pork  | Photography Noted Media

The restaurants’ circular design is elegant and luxurious.  Entering a dimly lit gold paneled corridor you are drawn to the 71Above logo beautifully rendered in marble and metal on the floor.  Moving forward the area dramatically expands outward as the entire restaurant is revealed. The space was aesthetically arranged based from a compass, signifying the city’s diversity.  The cities mélange is undeniable as you gaze out at the infamous Hollywood Sign, breathtaking ocean views from Malibu to Laguna Hills, iconic Dodger Stadium, Korea town, East LA, along with a spectacular view of the entire Los Angeles basin and the surrounding mountain ranges.  

Strawberry and Elderflower Dessert  | Photography Noted Media

The sophisticated contemporary décor is both warm and inviting. Local craftsman and vendors were used in the fabrication and installation wherever possible. The windows have been specially designed using a high-tech glass that magically changes opacity as the sun moves across the sky, offering to shade in day and lightening as dusk and nightfall arrive, eliminating the need for view-blocking window coverings.  The 200 self-shading windows lurch forward at the molding line and accentuate each window table aperture. Due to the innovative layout, if you are not fortunate enough to sit against a window you are still able to enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of Los Angeles.

Bar and Lounge  | Photography by Wonho Frank Lee

Focal points include a geometric honeycomb-like ceiling, wood wall columns clad with mirrors, eye-catching gold handmade ceramic tile installed on the walls of the entry lobby and bar counter, 800-pound gold cast iron chandeliers, and curvilinear booths facing the windows.  In addition, glass enclosed walls of wine serve to further enhance the overall design and provide maximum wine bottle storage. Keeping with the theme, a compass playfully caps the tabletops of polished white oak along with flight patterns on each column naming the closest local and farthest international destinations.   

Bar and Lounge | Photography by Wonho Frank Lee

The Sky Lounge also clad in understated earth tones, features low-slung Levitt leather sofas designed by Ludovica & Roberto Palomba.  The bar area contains a large bar counter and two high-tops twelve seat communal tables. The bar shelving is artfully positioned so as not to obstruct the view.  Mid-century modern elements such as wooden wall slats that hold a metal sculpture of a flight pattern also complete the space. Reservations for the lounge area are not required; access is based on availability and capacity.  LA’s variety is again reflected in the a-la-carte seasonal bar menu and handcrafted cocktails. Each cocktail is named and inspired by a different LA neighborhood; two favorites being the Echo Park (pisco and mescal) and the Hollywood (jalapeno-infused vodka).  A drinkable representation of the city!

Chamomile Lemon Drop Cocktail | Photography Noted Media

Whether indulging in lunch or after-hours drinks with coworkers, a tourist in search of a unique location, or a local looking to celebrate a special occasion for a superb dining experience, 71Above is a perfect choice as it provides several dining experiences. Guests may choose to dine in the buzz of the bar or in the adjacent lively main dining room. The Chef’s tables offer a view of the open kitchen and transitions into a semi-private dining area, offering a quieter more intimate dining environment. This establishment is sure to deliver a truly memorable meal from beginning to end!

Header Photo by Wonho Frank Lee