Arguably the biggest dining night of the year, Valentine's Day is a spectacle to be seen by diners both seasoned and amateur. Dates dress up in their fanciest garb, flowers in hand, perfume sprayed, hair curled and ready for a night on the town. Restaurants know their part — pricey prix-fixe menus that make it easy to choose the evening's array of aphrodisiacs. Lovers and would-be-lovers toast to Champagne cocktails and awkwardly slurp raw oysters. Main courses are often more ordinary, but sometimes come with truffles or caviar. Desserts feature plenty of chocolate, naturally. Here now, Eater presents a handy guide to Valentine's Day Dining in Los Angeles. Reservations are most definitely recommended.Read More
Restaurants to Make You Randy on Valentine's Day in LA
This expansive Downtown restaurant is doing an ode to San Valentino, with a four course menu offering the likes of Chef Celestino's signature garganelli, grilled swordfish, braised osso buco, and chocolate olive oil terrine topped with salted caramel gelato. $68 per person.
Chef Alain Giraud is doing a special six course tasting for Valentine's Day in Pacific Palisades, featuring red endive salad, mushroom ravioli, arctic char with lemon confit, or beef tenderloin with gratin dauphinois and black truffle sauce. If that's not enough, end with choux harmony, followed by mignardises. $85 per person.
Vertical Wine Bistro
This swanky wine restaurant in Pasadena is doing a three-course dinner serving pappardelle pasta, shrimp bisque or arugula and burrata salad, then an entree course of roasted chicken breast or filet mignon, then petit four for dessert. $59 per person and an additional $27 for wine pairings.
Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack are preparing a $65 four-course dinner for Valentine's Day at this rustic Italian restaurant in South Beverly Hills. Along with regular menu dishes, there are a few specials that will be offered that night.
Nick & Stef's Steakhouse
This modern steakhouse in Downtown is offering both a three and four course menu for V-Day, including a kale salad, pan-seared diver scallops or oak-grilled filet mignon. End the meal with a S'more Kiss with a dark chocolate center and graham cracker crumble. $65 for three courses, $75 for four.
La Sandia Santa Monica
A nice, flexible Valentine's Day at this Santa Monica restaurant means a special menu offered from the 14th to the 16th, which will serve a $29 prix fixe menu that includes fundido de queso, shrimp and crab empanadas, surf and turf with hangar steak and grilled shrimp, and a pasilla lava cake for dessert.
At the pleasant Shutters on the Beach, experience an $85 prix fixe that focuses on market-fresh ingredients and seafood, like fluke sashimi, dungeness crab cake, black truffle bucatini, and whole lobster with Israeli cous cous. Dessert comes out as a trio of chocolate.
Those with a literary slant can check out the Valentine's Day at Cafe Pinot, situated right next to the LA Public Library. Prepared and conceived by chef Sydney Hunter, the Waldorf Salad (think Gatsby) starts the meal while Gnocchi and Truffles and a Cowboy Steak (Brokeback Mountain) continues into the meal. Dessert is a trio of custom Compartes chocolate truffles.
This expansive Italian restaurant in Santa Monica is offering a $90 prix fixe that offers a wide selection of antipasti like vitello tonnato with bottarga, then a choice of pasta like crabmeat cannelloni, and perhaps an entree of grilled branzino. Wine pairings run an additional $50, definitely recommended.
In addition to the regular menu by chef Carolynn Spence, this Hollywood haunt is preparing some romantic specials like caviar and oysters served on a bed of roses, or a lady and the tramp-style pasta for two.
The Strand House
Looking for a grand place to dine in the South Bay? This $125 menu boasts a caviar croque madame, seared dayboat scallop with truffle risotto, a duo of beef that includes a Wagyu NY strip and braised beef cheeks, and a raspberry macaron with meyer lemon cream to finish.
Scratch | bar
A relatively affordable multi-course tasting in the heart of Beverly Hills' restaurant row, Scratch Bar is doing three seatings, the first two of which offer 6 courses for $55, and the last, which starts at 9 p.m., going for $65. Dishes include pork belly & raw oyster, dry-aged hangar steak, and a dark chocolate cayenne pepper candy bar.
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Chef David Myers is preparing a $59 prix fixe called Sweethearts, inspired by the memories of Julia Child and her husband Paul. Enjoy dishes like coq au vin, rolled omelet with caviar ($15 supplement), lobster thermidor, and a gateaux Paris-brest for dessert. The regular menu is also available.
For an over the top, no holds barred Valentine's Day, Melisse is doing an eight course, $275 dinner (though it's a mere $150 the day before and after V-Day) that includes chef Josiah Citrin's trademade egg caviar, Perigord truffle risotto, and crispy Atlantic bass with swiss chard.
Little Next Door
This romantic annex to the celebrated Little Door is doing a more casual approach to Valentine's Day, with a "lovebirds" special by chef Patrice Fournel, and live music by Jean Paul Monsche. An ideal pick for those living in Mid-City.
Post & Beam
For something catering to South LA or lower Mid-City residents, check out Govind Armstrong's affordable $43 dinner at Post & Beam, which starts with a bibb lettuce salad, hangar steak with lyonnaise potato, wild grouper, and devil's food cake for dessert.
This New American restaurant on Sawtelle is offering a $55 prix fixe that includes cripsy brussels sprouts, hen of the woods mushrooms with creamy polenta, oven-roasted duck with coffee citrus powder, and a walnut banana gratin with vanilla gelato for dessert.
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For a quiet escape from the bustle of the city, this Italian steakhouse in Long Beach is doing a four course, $90 dinner that starts with grilled razor clams, then moves to a squid ink spaghetti with uni sauce, and finally an 8 oz. prime filet mignon or grilled half-rack of lamb. Dessert is a salted caramel and chocolate tart.
Hinoki & The Bird
While there isn't a prix menu here, chefs David Myers and Kuniko Yagi are making some special Valentine's Day dishes. The arresting, modern room and the fantastic cocktails are alone a fine enough draw for the romantic holiday.
Suzanne Goin's signature restaurant on Third Street is doing a four course menu for $100 with market-driven dishes which can be paired optionally with the biodynamic, organic selections. The romantic patio is certainly a great place to escape from the city.