Cara Restaurant

This might be the prettiest restaurant in all of LA.

Tucked away on the edge of Los Feliz and Thai Town border, a new boutique hotel recently opened call Cara Hotel along with a restaurant sharing the name. This used to be Coral Sands Motel in years past. The chef, Michael Patria, hails from Atlanta, but was most recently the EC at Four Seasons Santa Barbara before taking the role of EC at Cara Restaurant. His menu will focus on local seasonal ingredients along with a very heavy french influenced wine list, mostly from Provence.

This place first caught my attention because of how beautiful the space looked. The restaurant space essentially takes up the middle courtyard of the small hotel. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves (not my pics).

Now onto our meal (apologies for the bad pictures)

The menus

We chose a bottle of the De La Coste sparkling rose, which was really tasty.

Our dinner started with an amuse bouche of radish with butter and sea salt. Ate a few before taking the pic.

Smoked spaghetti. Pasta is made in house. Had a nice chew. Slight smokiness, was very good.

SB snapper ceviche. This dish would have been a home run except it was slightly heavy handed on the salt. Was served with home made chips which were really good.

Smoked trout salad. I love smoked fish anything, so this was really tasty. Really fresh greens to go with the nice meaty fish. I like that the fish wasn’t sliced too thin.

Whole roasted branzino comes out deboned and butterflied. Can’t tell from my picture, but it was much smaller than I expected. Liked the flavors but would have liked a crispier skin.

Charcoal roasted chicken. I’m torn about this dish. I was expecting some char from the charcoal but it’s really more of a smoked chicken. It had heavy smoke flavors and no crust on the chicken whatsoever. The chicken itself was tender and juicy but wasn’t really what I was expecting. Also, at $39 for half of a smallish chicken, I probably won’t order this again. But it did come with a side of crispy potatoes that were to die for. It’s worth ordering it on it’s own if you don’t want the chicken.

And not pictured, we had the raspberry galette for dessert which everyone loved.

Wasn’t a cheap dinner but given that it’s a hotel restaurant and the beautiful setting, we left very happy. I would happily return to try some new dishes. The GM said that the chef is already working on an updated menu to showcase the fall produce.

Also, if you’re seeking a COVID friendly outdoor restaurant where it’s not a makeshift dining room in a parking lot, this place can’t be beat.


Sounds expensive.

Not by your standards. For us mere mortals, yeah it’s not cheap, but I didn’t find the prices offensive.

“Cara” means (fem. form) expensive in Spanish. ;-D

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LOL. Actually it’s “caro”. Cara means face.

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Corrected. Yes. Or impudence.

Back to the place: Crowded?

There were decent amount of people given how little marketing they’ve done in 2 weeks, but there were still plenty empty tables. I’m sure Fri and Sat nights are busier.

Only open for dinner right now but will be starting Sunday brunch service in a week.


Thanks for the thorough report. Prices certainly don’t seem unreasonable for a hotel restaurant, and there are worse things nowadays than a pretty courtyard setting w/ promising food that may let you leave the crazy world behind for a few hrs.

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wow— what a turn-around. Amazing what can happen.

Warrior: I do not recommend this restaurant. The food is not as good as it looks. I think it is a waste of a meal compared to the large majority of restaurants, ethnic or upscale, reviewed on this website. None of the dishes showed anything beyond basic cooking ability and food sensibility. The branzino was mushy and tasted like it was steamed too long and/or not fresh. Several dishes, including the mushrooms and the squash salad, were too salty. Sometimes on this site I am critical of good dishes like the onion tarte tatin at Bicyclette, but that restaurant is far superior to Cara and that dish is far superior to any dish at Cara, and I hope the difference been critiquing an excellent restaurant and criticizing a mediocre restaurant comes across in my posts. On the positive side, Cara’s avocado, beet, and grapefruit salad, while not impressive, was fine and would pass for a unremarkable dish at a good restaurant. The Fireside Chat cocktail was superb and definitely the highlight of the meal for me. The atmosphere is lovely. Servers were nice.

Peony: This is a very cute restaurant full of romantic atmosphere. I feel it is good for dates, girls’ night out, etc. I find the food has light flavors. The ingredients are fresh and good quality. It’s a cute place, I don’t want to be harsh. Overall, the dishes are pleasant, but being critical, I would say the dishes are generic and there was no creativity, and they were not very memorable. For a lovely place like this, I expect the food to be a little bit more special and unique. Also, the mushrooms were a little bit salty and the carrots were slightly overcooked.