Top Ten Romantic Restaurant Picks

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.

$$$ Josie/ Next Door by Josie 

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.


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