When it’s Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or another occasion where you want to boost the romance (maybe even pop a big question), a regular restaurant just won’t do. Instead make a reservation at one of the most romantic restaurants in Los Angeles, where you can be confident that the food will be great and the sparks will fly.
Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s a.o.c. is romantic through and through. The service is top-notch, the food and wine are fantastic, and the settings–elegant dining room, lovely patio, or cozy upstairs wine room–are rich in European-style details but free of fuss. 8700 W. 3rd St., Beverly Grove.
This new spot offers plush, over-the-top decor with a real sense of occasion. Another romantic plus: Olivetta is 21-and-up only, meaning there’s no risk of a little one crying or running into your chair at a romantic moment. 9010 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood.
A popular spot for weddings, Inn of the Seventh Ray is also a perfect venue for your romantic night out. The Topanga retreat was founded in the early ’70s, and still highlights local and organic offerings, in twinkle-light-bedecked gardens and gazebos. Valentine’s Day is a big event, with advance tickets required, so be sure to book ahead. 128 Old Topanga Canyon Rd., Topanga.
Find a spot under the stars at the open-air rooftop terrace of Harriet’s. The new hotspot is a perfect vantage point for gazing off at the twinkling city skyline with your beloved while sipping a classic cocktail. 8490 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood.
It is impossible to go wrong with République. The rustic French menu is perfection, the wine list is stellar, and the ambiance is all romance. Plus the folks behind the project, Chefs Walter Manzke and Margie Lorenzana-Manzke, are an adorable couple themselves, and the love shines through everything they bring to the table. 624 S. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park.
From the moment you walk up to the hidden, plant-covered entrance, Cascabel will transport you and your dining companion on a mini trip to the tropics. The vibe is informal but sexy and the food is perfection. 10717 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake.
Not every “romantic” resto has to be super fancy. If you’re more in the mood for a more casual, effortless kind of romantic, then Parisian-y wine bar and bistro Marvin should fit the bill. It’s like the Charlotte Gainsbourg of date spots. 8114 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Grove.
The Art Deco-inspired environs of Gwen are among the most beautiful interiors in town. Shifting your gaze from the decor to the plate, you’ll be treated to a luxe array of celeb chef Curtis Stone’s perfectly cooked meats and sophisticated accompaniments. 6600 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.
The downtown location of Inko Nito has the feel of a cool, underground supper club, with exposed-brick walls, dim lighting, and an exposed robata kitchen at the center, where your eyes will be drawn to the flickering flames. 225-227 Garey St., Arts District.
The Little Door
The Little Door is a classic, but if something works, why fight it? The cozy, bistro-lit space has indoor and outdoor areas to enjoy. A lengthy menu touches on French and Moroccan flavors. 8164 W 3rd St., Beverly Grove.
Rooftop vantage points are rare on the westside, which makes the elevated Pacific Ocean views from Élephante all the more special. Share the beach house vibes your sweetie and watch the sunset while sipping cocktails and nibbling small plates and house-made pastas. 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica.
Sip on some sherry and enjoy Chef Teresa Montaño’s Spanish fare. It’s not quite a romantic European getaway, but if you squint as you dig into your shared paella, you might be able to pretend. For Valentine’s Day, the team is offering a special one-night menu mixing Japanese and Spanish flavors. 5715 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park.
Once you’ve settled into your plush banquette at this dim, loungey spot, your natural inclination may be to go straight for the steaks. We would also draw your attention to the seafood tower (we even named it the best in L.A.!) and swanky cocktails. 9200 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood.
From a greenhouse on the roof of Line Hotel, Chef Josiah Citrin (who picked up two Michelin stars at his other restaurant, Mélisse) turns out dishes that reflect the melting pot of L.A., from “caprese” steamed buns to steamed fish with papaya kimchi. 3515 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown.
One of the Valley’s favorite gems, Firefly is a perfect place to take a date who doesn’t feel like trekking over the hill. And, really, with its velvety curtains, cozy fireplaces, dimly lit nooks, and famous patio, maybe it’s a destination in itself. 11720 Ventura Blvd., Studio City.
Opened in November, 2019, Ardour is the vegetable-centered creation of California chef John Fraser. The stunning space has sleek furnishings and plants galore for a modern-tropical vibe. 9040 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood.
The breezy garden setting of this Wolfgang Puck restaurant offers a fresh alternative to more dark, clubby spots. Under the lattice roof, you’ll be dining on locally-sourced, Mediterranean-inspired fare. 701 Stone Canyon Rd., Bel-Air.
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