Valentine’s Day dinners in L.A.
What: Let Suzanne Goin and the wine do the talking at this cozy-yet-sleek rustic restaurant and wine bar. Her cooking seductively whispers I value you, I wouldn’t have brought us here otherwise, also you look great in this candlelight and seriously how gorgeous is this patio?, and her four-course prix-fixe Valentine’s Day menu was made for lovebirds. In addition to selections like ricotta gnocchi with Maine lobster, smoked tomato and pea shoots; soft polenta with wild mushrooms, mascarpone and swiss chard; and oven-roasted Manila clams in sherry and green garlic, guests can warm up to shared plates such as lamb shank for two or roasted chicken for the table.
Price: $115 per person, with $40 wine pairing available
What: Who among us wouldn’t want a steakhouse dinner that finishes Valentine’s Day with a bourbon cart? Michael Mina’s signature L.A. spot is serving a special menu of oysters with black truffle dashi; truffle tagliatelle with Italian black truffles and parmigiano-reggiano; 12-ounce racks of lamb with artichoke, fava hummus and chickpea croquettes; 16-ounce boneless rib-eye steaks with blue cheese and bordelaise; and grilled salmon with rice, broccoli and white soy. End the night with golden chocolate cake with peanut butter ganache; marscapone cheesecake with lavender and mint, or that beloved bourbon cart.
Price: $95 per person, with $35 wine pairing available
What: Those searching for a fairytale ending—or at very least a fairytale-like ambiance—should pick Café Pinot, where DTLA’s secret garden awaits with twinkling lights and a very special Valentine’s prixe fixe. In one of L.A.’s most romantic courtyards, enjoy three- and four-course menus featuring uni spaghetti with oyster fricassee, leeks and bacon; braised lamb shank with risotto, peas and wild mushrooms; and oysters with a rosé mignonette.
Price: $65 for three courses, $75 for four courses, with an additional $29 champagne flight option
What: This year’s menu from Curtis Stone leans on the old “sharing is caring” adage, offering guests oysters with champagne granita; market greens and flowers in buttermilk dressing; and handmade farfalle pasta with artichokes and creamed spinach, before placing a main course for two onto the table. Choose between a shared whole lobster or 24-ounce, bone-in New York strip steak, then finish with a chocolate-and-Earl Grey pavlova, basking in Gwen’s open fire pit and candlelit dining room all the while.
Price: $125 per person
What: Conveniently situated a mere two blocks from the beach—perfect for a little moonlight stroll—Santa Monica’s Herringbone is serving a four-course prix-fixe menu that skews, of course, seafood-centric. Look for oysters; scallop crudo; kampachi sashimi; lobster dumplings; and pan-seared mahi mahi, in addition to meatier fare such as dry-aged rib-eye and some foie gras torchon. Note: There’s even a vegetarian option for each course, if you’re in the mood for foraged-mushroom crostini or pumpkin risotto.
Price: $95 per person
What: Inside the vibe is humming and candlelit, while outside, you’ll be dining on one of Century City’s best—and most romantic—patios. Wherever you wind up sitting, you’ll be treated to a special three-course menu featuring artful Hinoki highlights such as brown butter miso tortellini, beef tenderloin and Kusshi oysters with rose petals. Bonus: There’s also a vegetarian Valentine’s Day menu, upon request.
Price: $105 per person
What: What’s more stunning, your date or chef Kevin Meehan’s plating? (It’s OK, your secret’s safe with us, and yes, a tie is definitely an option.) This Valentine’s Day, enjoy a special tasting menu that’s just as locally sourced and thoughtfully prepared as it is visually arresting. From the kitchen of one of Melrose’s top fine-dining restaurants, Kali’s California-inspired menu includes artful displays of uni with polenta and kelp; foie gras with black walnuts and sorrel; rib-eye steak with broccoli; chocolate cremeaux with cocoa soil, and more.
Price: $95 per person, with $45 wine pairing available
What: Looking for something intimate along Sunset? Kettle Black’s new executive chef, Peter Macias, is whipping up a rustic Italian-inpired three-course prixe fixe, complete with broccoli rabe Caesar with parmesan, garlic breadcrumbs, anchovy and egg; beet caramelle pasta with walnut, beet-green pistou, scallions and ricotta salata; duck breast with arugula, hazelnuts, roasted celery root, pecorino and apple saba; and a decadent triple chocolate cheesecake with chocolate ganache, chocolate pearls and sea salt. The space is sleek, modern and predonimantly lit by those romantic hanging bulbs in mason jars, perfect for casting a soft glow over your date (and all those beautiful dishes.)
Price: $48 per person, with $32 wine pairing available
What: Want to wow your date? La Boucherie sits on the 71st floor of the InterContinental, offering sweeping views of DTLA that are perfect for sweeping someone off their feet. On Valentine’s Day, find a three-course, prix-fixe French-inspired steakhouse meal that features 42-day-aged steak with lobster, cress coulis, blood orange, garlic pomme au gratin and foie-thyme essence; and citrus cured scallops with sweet prawns and jamón Ibérico.
Price: $85 per person
What: Dine on a Valentines Day-only menu—while perusing Nerano’s collection of more than 200 wines—in this modern, romantic Beverly Hills hideaway. In addition to the regular menu, find à la carte specials that include roasted scallops with celery root purée and trumpet mushrooms; house-made pappardelle in wild boar ragú with crispy rosemary and 24-month-aged parmigiano reggiano; and beef tenderloin with sweet potato purée, chanterelles and winter truffles. Finish with dark chocolate mousse topped with blackberries and a chocolate heart, naturally.
Price: À la carte, $15 to $55
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