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Cassia in Santa Monica
Photograph: Courtesy Cassia

Where to have a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner in Los Angeles

Did the Hallmark holiday sneak up on you this year? Relax. We’ve got your Valentine’s Day dinner plans all figured out.

By Stephanie Breijo

Cooking a three-course meal at home sounds romantic, but clean-up duty—not so much. Skip the dishes and head out for a Valentine’s Day dinner at one of L.A.’s most romantic restaurants, where prix-fixe menus abound and meals are made for sharing. This year, some of L.A.’s best restaurants are pulling out all the stops with gelato carts, champagne and oysters, and some of the best views in the city. As of publishing this guide, all of these restaurants have reservations available, and some are even taking walk-ins (you know, if you're really down to the wire on making plans.) Whether you’re clinking glasses on a rooftop bar or cozying up by the fire, these dinner deals will have you falling in love all over again.

Of course, if you’re still searching for love—or at the very least, Singles Awareness Day specials—we’ve got you covered there, too.

RECOMMENDED: See more Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles

Valentine’s Day dinners in L.A.

Fried cauliflower, laksa and kaya toast at Cassia
Photograph: Rick Poon


Restaurants South Asian Santa Monica

What: This Southeast Asia-meets-California staple is offering a one-night-only menu that's ideal for sharers: Choose two appetizers for the table, two entrées to split, and one salad, one vegetable and the restaurant's signature dessert, too. Dig into Vietnamese prawns with garlic and hot sauce; beef-cheek rendang curry; grilled lemongrass pork ribs; hamachi crudo; 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 Vietnamese chocolate pot de crème.

Price: $95 per person

Reserve: 310-393-6699 or book online


Restaurants Vegan Melrose

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 bubby—before proceeding to a five-course, plant-based menu that includes dishes such as almond milk burrata with poached pears; black risotto with braised leeks, lemon cream and toasted pine nuts; sun-dried tortelloni alla vodka; and chocolate brownie ice cream sundae with brandied cherries.

Price: $75 per person

Reserve: 323-782-9245 or book online

Massilia restaurant in Santa Monica
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Massilia


Restaurants French Downtown Santa Monica

What: This charming restaurant serves the flavors of Marseille: a blend of French, Italian and Moroccan fare, so if a last-minute flight out of the country is too far-fetched, this might be just the ticket. The plant-dotted, tile-floored space transports you to Southern France, where house-made French-leaning rillettes exist side by side with rigatoni bolognese and Spanish tortilla. On their four-course Valentine's prix-fixe menu, look for dishes such as papardelle with oxtail, white bean and parmesan; cacio e pepe bucatini; duck confit with pickled cherry and caramelized fennel; bouillabaisse with saffron aioli; and endive salad with poached tangerine. Finish with either a flourless chocolate cake, or fresh berries topped with whipped goat cheese and raw honeycomb.

Price: $115 per person

Reserve: 310-319-1995 or book online

Photograph: Courtesy Melody


Bars Wine bars Virgil Village

What: Skip the pomp and dive into some natural-wine circumstance at Melody—one of our favorite wine bars in the city—which just so happens to be a hosting a no-stress Valentine's plan. Their third annual Valentine 69 event involves fresh pasta from the Adia pop-up, love songs on play, and a killer special: one dozen oysters and a bottle of wine for $69. Nice.

Price: À la carte, with specials available

Reserve: 323-922-6037

Michael's Santa Monica
Photograph: Courtesy Michael's Santa Monica


Restaurants Californian Santa Monica

What: One of the Westside's most romantic patios is remarkably still available for Valentine's Day reservations, but it won't be for long—especially considering executive chef Brian Bornemann's holiday prix-fixe menu. Share two starters, including options such as yellowtail aguachile and a flowering pea tendril salad, then move on to pastas and mains such as black truffle risotto; his phenomenal caviar cappelletti; and a show-stopping dry-aged prime rib with barolo jus, local polenta and blistered mushrooms. End the night on a sweet note with either passion fruit pavlova or dark chocolate mousse.

Price: $99 per person, with $55 wine pairing supplement available

Reserve: 310-451-0843 or book online


Restaurants American Downtown

What: After a hand-held stroll through the Broad, head to Timothy Hollingsworth's neighboring restaurant, Otium, where lovebirds can splurge on a four-course prix fixe that includes hamachi; ravioli with black truffle; veal ossobuco with preserved-orange risotto; and lychee mouse. Reservations are almost entirely booked, but Otium is reserving space for walk-ins, which is music to our ears—as is the band who'll be on hand with live music throughout the evening.

Price: $125 per person

Reserve: 213-935-8500; walk-ins available

Muffaletta board at Preux & Proper
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Preux & Proper

Restaurants Cajun Downtown Historic Core

What: There's inherent romance in the South, so why not spend your evening over a table of some of the city's best New Orleans-inspired cuisine? Bask in the glow of a lowcountry seafood boil, some house-made charcuterie and some bourbon-tinged chicken liver pâté, with a full menu of à la carte dishes to choose from, and if you're thirsty this holiday, opt for a few of the restaurant's cocktail specials: we've got our eye on the Love Potion #9, made with gin, house grenadine, egg white, fresh lemon and Luxardo cherries.

Price: À la carte, with specials available

Reserve: 213-896-0090 or book online

Tres by José Andrés

Restaurants Contemporary American La Cienega

What: If you want luxury and ambiance in spades, José Andrés's Tres is setting the mood with a fireside four-course couples' tasting menu. The couples' package, at $325, includes the prix-fixe meal at the tables next to SLS Hotel's fireplaces, for an ultra romantic atmosphere. What says "love" more than a firelit evening? How about a meal from a humanitarian celebrity chef and his so-talented team, plus an included bottle of wine and some to-go bonbons? (And if you don't manage to snag one of the fireplace packages, don't fret—the main Tres dining room will be offering the same menu at $95 per person, sans wine and bonbons.)

Price: $325 per couple, fireside package; $95 per person

Reserve: 310-246-5552


Looking to impress and splurge on a meal?


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