Here are some of my pics for the big V-Day or any romantic occasion. Ranging in less pricey to bring-your-sugar-daddy … If you’re looking for a romantic dinner and a movie kinda night, check out one of these awesome local restaurants for some grub.
$$ Red Hill, Echo Park
An underground fresh dinner spot brought to you by the guy who gave you Local in Silverlake. A new favorite among neighborhood residents, your date will think you’re soooo hip for knowing about this cozy little Echo Park gem. It focuses on local farmer’s market inspired dishes, features a full bar and free parking. Check out my review on it, here.
$$ Sunny Spot, Venice
The newest Caribbean inspired incarnation from Kogi Chef, Roy Choi. This upscale Latin-fusion should get you in the mood for a little salsa dancing. Mofongo, Yucca and the tastiest double-fried jerk chicken wings this side of the border. Get the GOAT or Diablo prawns. You’ll thank me later.
$$ Son of a Gun, West Hollywood
A hip, casual seafood inspired alcove from the guys who brought you the notoriously carnivorous, Animal. Not the most romantic spot, but definitely, fun. If you’re on a budget, but still want to do something relatively trendy, check it out. Local favorites include the chicken sandwich and lobster roll.
$$ Sotto, West Los Angeles
Dimly lit, sexy and romantic. This cozy Italian spot features favorable wines and strong cocktails. Grilled pork meatballs and tomato-braised octopus were table favorites when I last paid them a visit. Also worth a go for their soft and authentic brick oven pizzas. Oh, and the Bittersweet Chocolate Salted Rosemary Crostata…. Just get it. Read my review on Sotto, here.
$$$ Erbe Matte, Beverly Hills
A very new, virtually unknown, Italian restaurant with a Korean twist. Work up an appetite as you walk in hand, window-shopping on Rodeo Drive. Then get ready for amazing pasta dishes like you’ve never had before. Full bar and great wine selection.
$$$ Takami Sushi and Robata and Elevate Lounge
Located 21 stories high up above downtown Los Angeles it’s definitely the best way to see the city. Come early and have a drink at the bar, then sit by the window for the best views. Sleek, modern and very hip, have some sushi and then stay for the dancing at Elevate Lounge.
Chef and owner Josie Le Balch has been serving up her Santa Monica farmer’s market inspired American-contemporary cuisine for over 10 years. Looking for a little something more casual? Check out the hip “Next Door by Josie” (which is literally, next door). It’s got a more youthful, trendy gastropub feel. Read my review on it, here.
$$$ Picca, West Los Angeles
This Peruvian little gem is known for it’s little plates and big tastes. If you haven’t been here yet, you must!
$$$$ Ink, West Hollywood
For a hip and stylish date, check out this innovative and unexpected dining “adventure” from season 6 Top Chef winner, Michael Voltaggio. Ink is a casual place with a cozy, yet edgy decor and a small plates format. Perfect to share and sample, dishes are unique but at the same time accessible and affordable.
$$$$ Providence, Hancock Park
No better place to say those three special words: “let’s charge it.” Known for its seafood, this place is faaaaancy and a fantastic example of what fine dining should be. Classy refined, French-style cooking with elegant and beautiful dishes. No wonder it’s got, not one but two Michelin stars.
Other Potent Potable Notables:
$$ Lou Wine Bar, Hancock Park
Hidden in an unassuming little strip mall. A cozy little gem with great wines and good eats.
$$ Chic Wine Bar, West Los Angeles
Once known for its amazing rotisserie chicken, Chic is now a popular wine bar with delicious French-inspired affordable dishes. And yes, you can still get the rotisserie chicken.
$$ The Next Door Lounge, Hollywood
Like a mini version of the Edison downtown, Next Door Lounge is great for a few drinks, to set up the night. A sleek, speakeasy inspired place reminiscent of the 1920’s. It’s great as a precursor to the evening’s festivities or a nightcap.
$$$ Eveleigh, Hollywood
Come for a drink during sunset, it sets up the mood. Gaze into each other eyes and whisper sweet nothings in her ears. This place is trendy, but also romantic. Sample a small plate or two and, and perhaps even stay for dinner. The wine list hails from Australia or New Zealand or thereabouts and is a good sampling of the three young Australian owners’ native potables.