It’s too hot to heat up the kitchen. You’re too tired to cook. You’ve been having too much action packed fun to plan ahead for dinner. Whatever the reason, summer is a great time to eat out. Ditch your usual dining spot in favor of one of our favorite new summer menus just for kids. Each restaurant is like a vacation in and of itself, plus there’s loads of tasty options for everyone in the family. Bon appétit!
photo credit: Meghan Rose
Sushi Roku Pasadena
Almost every kid raised in LA becomes a sushi connoisseur at a very young age. But that doesn’t mean that they’re great at the behavior required for sitting at your favorite omakase bar. Or that you’re into paying big bucks for the massive amount of cucumber rolls they can devour. That’s why we’re huge fans of the new Okosama Kids’ Menu at Pasadena’s Sushi Roku. These kid bento boxes feature protein—beef, chicken, or sushi—in addition to health sides like tempura sweet potato and broccoli, edamame, and applesauce. Every meal also comes with the chance to pick a toy from a big box of options that range from sticker puzzles to building blocks that keep kids entertained (and quiet) while they wait for their meals and you sip your sake.
Prices: The kids meals range from $8-$13.
Summer bonus: Roku has a beautiful patio for summer sipping and relaxing and listening to the Saturday night August & September concerts at One Colorado, or for dinner before the concerts a few blocks away at the Levitt Pavilion.
33 Miller Alley
photo courtesy of Stir Market
Stir Market has been our go-to spot for picking up gourmet treats on the go since opening last November. We also have become devotees of the “Re-stocking Hour” where from 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. you can get bar snacks (like Porchetta Chili Cheese Fries) and on tap beers and wines for less. Perfect for a light dinner on the way home from the park… But the one thing this gourmet market and food hall didn’t have was a dedicated kids menu. That’s no longer the case, and the new-for-summer Kid’s Menu is available all day, so you can have Meyer Lemon Pancakes for dinner, After School Cinnamon Toast for an after school snack and the chicken and brown rice bowl or cheesy flatbread anytime.
Prices: The kids meals range from $5.95-$8.95. The children’s menu also features a variety of specialty drinks ($1.95) such as Coconut Water, Organic Milk, and Housemade Lemonade.
Summer bonus: When it’s your turn to be snack parent for your kid’s summer soccer league, you can stock up on a variety of healthy delicious and unique packaged take-away snacks in the marketplace. Grape coconut water and granola snack bags get gobbled and are so much better than goldfish and juice boxes! And in addition to being right across the street from the park, you’re also walking distance to Pan Pacific Park Public Pool. (Did you know you can sign your kiddo up for a $10 summer pass that’s good at all citywide swimming pools? Good through September 7, so it’s still totally worth it for the dog days of summer.)
7475 Beverly Blvd.
photo credit: Ashley W. via yelp
We fell hard for Simmzy’s when we first tasted the gastro pub’s kids menu at the Burbank location that opened in January of this year. (Yes, residents of Manhattan Beach, we were late to your party!) The new location still has everything we love about the other spots: local, sustainable, organic, craft beer selection,yummy food and laid back atmosphere. But the Venice location that just opened at the end of June has summer written all over it, being just steps from the beach and the Venice Pier. The kids menu is short, but built for kids and parents alike. There’s a burger, cheeseburger, “awesome” grilled cheese (it is) and plain chicken tenders (which are even more awesome, and you will sneak some, just so you can try one of the dips that comes with it: garlic aioli, avocado buttermilk, BBQ or blue cheese). Kids also get to pick from green salad, shoestring fries or sweet potato fries. The adult menu is also very solid, but in the summer, for us, it’s all about the beer, and they’ve got a great selection of frosty summer sipables.
Prices: The kid meals are a steal at $5.25.
Summer bonus: Hello, beach. Simmzy’s is at the end of Washington Blvd, which puts you practically on the sand and super convenient for a lunch or dinner stop on a beach day or before a concert or movie at the nearby Marina.
37 W Washington Blvd.
photo courtesy of Mr. C Beverly Hills
Mr. C Beverly Hills
Nothing says summer like a little poolside dining, and the Mr. C Hotel in Beverly Hills has a new menu just for kids available poolside from The Restaurant at Mr. C. While pool use is reserved for guests, you can pretend you’re at the Mr C in Montecarlo or Ibiza while you dine by the sparkling blue pool on seared ahi salads and sip Shred cold pressed juices. The “Little C” menu features elegant but kid appealing dishes like Baked White Tagliolini Pasta with ham (a super fancy and to-die-for mac and cheese), Mini Margherita Pizza with Buffalo mozzarella and Spaghetti alla Bolognese. Kids also get a Little C coloring book to keep them busy.
Prices: The Little C menu items range from $5.95-$11.95, Little C drinks are all $4.95.
Summer bonus: While lovely for lunch (you can order poolside from 10 a.m.-5 :30 p.m.), our favorite meal here is a weekend lazy brunch, when kids can order Belgium waffles with Nutella and sip virgin Little C Bellinis. While you drink the real deal. And we do mean real deal: the Bellini was invented by Guiseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, great-grandfather of the owners of Mr C.
1224 Beverwil Dr.
photo courtesy of The Larchmont
Speaking of brunch, there’s a new brunch in town this summer, and they’ve got a menu just for kids. The Larchmont (on Melrose by Larchmont Blvd.) began serving brunch in June, and it’s just where and how you want to eat in summer. The dining room is light and airy, the porch is sunny yet private and it feels like eating in someone’s charming Hamptons home. A home that serves straight from the farm veggies and where you don’t have to do the cooking or dishes. Kids items are basic but delicious: Pancakes with organic maple syrup and whipped cream, Scrambled Eggs with bacon, crispy potatoes, and toast or French Toast with berries and whipped cream. This sets the leisurely tone to a weekend, while they devour the food you didn’t feel like making and you nosh on anything from King Crab with Bearnaise, veggie hash or Peanut Butter Crunch French Toast with bacon, roasted banana and foie gras. Oh yeah. Those taste great with the house made brunch cocktails…
Prices: The kid’s brunch items are all $10.
Summer bonus: Sunday is the perfect day to visit Larchmont! The Farmer’s Market is open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Sam’s Bagels stocks you up with east breakfasts for the rest of the week, and you can do a little back to school shopping at Bluebird or Flicka.
5750 Melrose Ave.
Have you discovered a new kids menu this summer? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments!