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Beach Nation
A dune that's not buggy.

In a happy switch from SoCal’s rampant construction, West Hollywood restaurateurs have just un-paved paradise and put down sand in a parking lot.

Beach Nation is a new dining spot encompassing 3,000 square feet of outdoor space complete with sand, deck chairs, tables and flowing dune grasses. Though it’s on the corner of busy Santa Monica and Sweetzer, diagonal to the hamlet’s city hall, the place still seems as relaxing as chilling surfside in Venice.

But as much as we love the landscape, including designer Thomas Schoos’s wacky oversize lamps and blowfish arrangements, we’ll be coming back for the food. Until later this summer, when an on-site kitchen is constructed, there’s a limited--but great--menu.

Order a fresh Röckenwagner pastry or a cold salad ($9), such as black rice (with sweet potatoes, dried apricots and balsamic) or farro (with carrots, peas, dried cherries and vanilla-bean vinaigrette). Wash it all down with a cup of iced Barefoot Coffee and you’re good to go.

Beach Nation’s wine-and-beer license is forthcoming, but we’re not waiting till then to come back for dinner at dusk. After all, what’s better than spending sunset with your toes in the sand?

Beach Nation, 8289 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hollywood; 323-654-0020 or

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