Valentine’s Day dinners in L.A.
What: Let Suzanne Goin, Caroline Styne and the wine do the talking at this cozy-yet-sleek rustic restaurant and wine bar. Goin's 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. Dishes include her cult-classic Spanish fried chicken with romesco aioli; potato gnocchi with rabbit sausage and cannellini beans; and oven-roasted Manila clams in sherry and green garlic. Finish with a cheese plate or some butterscotch pot de crème, for best results.
Price: $115 per person, with $40 wine pairing available
What: Chef Keith Corbin's playful, L.A. take on soul food already made Alta one of our favorite new restaurants of 2018, but throw in a Valentine's Day surf-and-turf menu? We can't imagine many better places to book a reservation. Corbin's special three-course menu includes a kale salad with grapefruit and avocado; grilled steak with lobster bearnaise, sautéed spinach and brown-butter mashed potatoes; and a strawberry shortcake for dessert. Of course, if you're craving those smoky, grilled collard greens or those perfectly fluffy black-eyed–pea hushpuppies, you can order from the regular menu, too.
Price: $55 per person
What: This spot is effortlessly romantic—what with the Art Deco- and Old Hollywood-inspired decor—but on Valentine's Day, you can add a little extra romance via specials such as tableside desserts. Find the full New American menu available, plus a few Valentine's-only plates like the smoked-duck salad ($21) with English tea, arugula and citrus in a spiced honey vinaigrette, and the surf-and-turf for two ($70), which involves filet with bordelaise and a lobster tail with tequila-and-lime butter. Finish with the Wheel of Love ($32), a Ferris wheel compilation of chef's-choice desserts like chocolate-covered strawberries.
Price: Prices vary
What: Hunting for steakhouse glamour befitting of the holiday? Both the Santa Monica and the Sunset Strip locations of BOA will offer a special prix-fixe menu—with two choices of steak. Opt for a 40-day dry-aged porterhouse or the 21-day dry-aged tomahawk rib eye; either way, you'll enjoy local vegetables, their classic caesar salad, and a chocolate fondant dessert. The regular menu will also be available, as will a few à la carte specials such as uni carbonara.
Price: Porterhouse prix fixe: $90; tomahawk prix fixe: $145
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 choice of a very special Valentine's Day three- or four-course prix fixe. Dish options include the likes of marinated bay scallops with English peas, cucumber, shiso and citrus; squid-ink chittara with uni, lobster, fennel and chives; and beef tenderloin with roasted carrots, Brussels sprouts and hazelnuts.
Price: $70 for three courses, $85 for four courses, with an additional $29 champagne flight option
What: This Southeast Asia-meets-California staple is offering a one-night-only menu that's ideal for sharers: Choose three appetizers for the table, two entrées to split, and one salad, one vegetable and one dessert, too. Dig into Vietnamese prawns with garlic and hot sauce; beef-cheek rendang curry; whole grilled sea bass; lobster wonton noodle soup; grilled Chinese broccoli with caramelized fish sauce and more—sharing is caring, so show your date just how much you care by giving them the last bite of the ice cream sundae.
What: Celebrate V-Day with a full-on feast at Chao Krung, one of L.A.'s longest-running Thai restaurants. The stalwart—helmed by the family behind Same Same in Silver Lake—is offering a special Khantoke dinner for the holiday. The traditional Lanna meal falls somewhere between a tower and a sampler platter of curry and sticky rice, which means this is a great bet for sharers, spice lovers and mix-and-match diners alike. Expect an array of flavors from Northern Thai chicken curry, chicken laab, Thai crudités, Thai beef jerky, Northern Thai sausage, sticky rice and more. And at only $38 per diner, it's one of the best deals on this list.
Price: $38 per person
What: Why let meat eaters have all the fun? Chef Tal Ronnen's beloved vegan bistro is starting things on a high note—with a complimentary glass of champagne—before proceeding to a five-course, plant-based menu that includes dishes such as little gem salad with vegan parmesan; tortellini alla vodka; beet wellington with mashed potatoes; bouillabaisse risotto with a saffron-and-kombu broth; and blood orange cheesecake.
Price: $75 per person
What: Wolfgang Puck's beloved Beverly Hills steakhouse is pulling out all the stops, offering a multi-course menu on Valentine's Day and a handful of gift ideas. For dinner, opt for the special three-course prix-fixe menu with items like filet mignon carpaccio with truffle hollandaise; bone marrow empanadas; grilled double lamb chops with date-and-cucumber raita; and wagyu beef in both Japanese and American varieties. Looking for more? The meal includes add-ons such as the "Grand Chef Experience" (at $143 per person), where you'll enjoy sturgeon caviar from Bordeaux, as well as the option of holiday-themed floral bouquets adorning your table ($150).
Price: $195 per person
What: Velvet-draped and dripping with luxury, the NoMad Hotel is a perfect setting for Valentine's Day—whether it's you and your S.O. grabbing a three-course dinner or it's you and your best friends descending on some large-format fried chicken with caviar. Chef Chris Flint is giving you either option: There's the special prix-fixe menu, dotted with options like the marinated kanpachi with winter citrus; the tagliatelle with Alaskan king crab; filet mignon with a bone marrow crust; and the picturesque milk-and-honey ice cream dessert. If you're looking for something a little more casual, head upstairs to the mezzanine for a V-Day lounge complete with large-format fried chicken; oysters with champagne mignonette granita; black truffle tart; cocktails; and champagne and sparkline wine by the glass and bottle.
Price: $95 per person, with $55 wine supplement available; à la carte menu and specials available separately
What: Perched high above Santa Monica Boulevard, Eataly's wood-fired rooftop restaurant and bar offers gorgeous views of Century City and Beverly Hills amid olive trees and twinkling patio lights—what we're saying is it's got romance in spades.
It's also got a four-course prix-fixe menu just for the holiday, which just so happens to include handmade egg pasta with white-truffle butter; Morro Bay oysters, served either grilled or raw and with caviar; filet mignon with lobster and peppercorn sauce; and their always-fun rolling gelato cart.
Price: $95 per person, with $35 wine pairing available