Who needs Paris? Whether you’re looking for a dinner lit by a candle or the dying embers of a sunset, Los Angeles has plenty of places to set the mood. We’ve come up with a list of top notch eateries from French-meets-Californian to creative Asian fusion. There are restaurants with garden patios under twinkling lights, cozy tables by a crackling fireplace, and places that give off sexy Mad Men vibes.
Terrine (Photo via Facebook)
Terrine serves stellar French cuisine with a Californian twist. Its ambiance is romantic and intimate yet lively. We love dining outdoors in their patio, which is covered by the leafy arms of a massive tree. Twinkling, strung lights and heat lamps give this brasserie a warm and inviting vibe. Expect seared foie gras, butter and garlic escargot, and roasted duck on this menu. And don’t skip out on the cocktails here—a Winter Daiquiri or Mr. Menottis Hot Buttered Coffeemight just get you and your date to let loose for a bit.
Terrine is located at 8265 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Grove, (323) 746-5130
Yamashiro Hollywood (Photo via Facebook)
Sometimes Yamashiro gets overlooked as a destination spot for romance because it’s been around for so long (and it just seems so obvious!). But this is a place that continues to deliver: when you pull up in your car at the valet and walk to the front gate of the Japanese palace-style restaurant, you can’t help but be in awe of how grand the whole place looks. High up above Hollywood, you get a perfect, unobstructed view of the skyline. The perfect time to get seated is during sunset. Make sure you get a table by the windows so you can watch the sun set and the city light up from above. The real winners on the Asian fusion menu are their shoyu glazed black cod and spicy tuna on crispy rice. They have a refreshing Moscow Mule served in copper mugs. After dinner, make sure to take a stroll through the Japanese gardens on the property. Take a seat on the garden benches for some intimate chats. And take in the 600-year-old pagoda outside that hails from Japan.
Yamashiro Hollywood is located at 1999 N Sycamore Ave., Hollywood, (323) 466-5125
Estate restaurant (Photo by Ryan Tanaka, courtesy of Estate)
If you want to go to a place to impress your date, head on over to Estate, which is dazzling both in its decor and cuisine. Downstairs, you’ll find a gorgeous restaurant: dimly lit with hanging exposed-filament bulbs and white brick walls, lined with bookshelves and plush banquettes. The Asian-fusion-meets-California-cuisine from chef Hisashi Yoshiara is playful and creative. You can make a whole meal out of the shareable appetizers, like the natural Canadian scallop, crispy spun potatoes covering a ball chock-full of juicy scallops; and the crab slider, a peekytoe-blue crab cake sandwiched between pillowy-soft squid ink buns. Do splurge for the lamb chops or the whole branzino. After dinner, head upstairs to Estate’s The Guest Room, a speakeasy lounge that you enter through a hidden door. This is a cozy and intimate bar with plenty of comfy couches and bar stools. For some refreshing cocktails, try the Eastside or Miami Vice. The Guest Room is normally open Thursday through Sunday nights, but make sure you check with the restaurant before you go if you want to visit it because they sometimes book it for events.
Estate is located at 1519 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 394-7722
Commissary (Photo via The Line)
Where else in L.A. besides Commissary can you get the magical experience of eating some Roy Choi dishes inside a greenhouse? The restaurant is upstairs at The Line Hotel in Koreatown right next to the outdoor pool. You can wine and dine in a glass building filled with potted plants and a sleek bar. The menu arrives in a stamped, addressed envelope, and the music is always fun. The pan-Asian and New American dinner fare is on the healthier side, with appetizers that focus on veggies and fruits. But you can still get heartier dishes like veal short rib stew and New York strip. And it’s a great spot to toast champagne to hopefully, a successful date.
Commissary is located at The Line Hotel at 3515 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown, (213) 368-3030
Shojin (Photo via Facebook)
Don’t let the fact that Shojin is inside a Little Tokyo mall near an arcade and Korean BBQ spot fool you, this place is legitimately romantic. The black-out curtains keep out the harsh lighting from the mall, and once you step inside, you’re transported into a classy, candlelit restaurant with chandeliers, floral arrangements and paintings decorating the space. The last time I went, jazz music was playing in the background, if you need the mood to be perfect. And here’s the kicker, this place is an organic Japanese vegan sushi and macrobiotic restaurant—and the food is delicious. You really can’t go wrong with any of their items, from a spicy “tuna” on crispy rice to a Dynamite Roll. Even for the meat eaters (like myself), the vegan dishes are tasty and approachable, and there are also gluten-free options.
Shojin is located at 333 S. Alameda St., Suite 310, Little Tokyo, (213) 617-0305
Little Beast (Photo via Little Beast)
Little Beast is a little slice of heaven in Eagle Rock. This unpretentious and casual neighborhood spot is a place where you can go on a date or even a double date. Little Beast is housed inside a 1911 Craftsman bungalow with a throwback vibe. For ultimate X’s and O’s, request a table in the restaurant’s back patio, which feels like you’re in someone’s backyard. Wooden tables, colorful and distressed metal chairs, and strung lights decorate the space. The food is killer, too. Their menu changes seasonally, but some of the kinds of dishes you can expect are of the comfort-food variety, like coq au vin and braised short ribs. They also cater to the vegetarians with dishes like mushroom risotto.
Little Beast is located at 1496 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, (323) 341-5899
Perch (Photo via Facebook)
Up above the hustle and bustle of downtown L.A., you can find a chill French bistro and bar overlooking the city’s skyscrapers. It’s the kind of place where you can have dinner first or even some appetizers to share, and then hang out at the bar on the patio, which is decked out in trees decorated with little twinkling lights. Cozy up together on the couches by the fireplaces and fire pits on chilly nights.
Perch is located at 448 S Hill St., downtown L.A., (213) 802-1770
Viviane (Photo courtesy of Viviane)
Although the recently opened Viviane is better known for brunch, we love the nighttime vibes of this Mad Men-esque restaurant. The eatery is situated inside of the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills, but it spills outside to the pool area. This is where we’d choose for a quiet, romantic date. Stay warm by the outdoor heat lamps, and dine by candlelight on the mid-century modern furniture. Try Chef Michael Hung’s complex and flavorful dishes, like the delicious filet mignon carpaccio, and handmade linguine with geoduck and Manila clams in a white wine sauce. The Old Fashioneds and Manhattans are worthy of Don Draper himself. And, hey, if things go really well, just remember you can always get a room at the hotel afterwards.
Viviane is located at Avalon Hotel at 9400 W Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills, (310) 407-7791
Kristy’s (Photo via Kristy’s Wood Oven & Wine Bar)
Kristy’s Wood Oven & Wine Bar
Nothing spells romance like a dinner with views of the ocean. The quaint Kristy’s Wood Oven & Wine Bar in Malibu sits on a bluff. The restaurant’s large windows face out to the beach and the eatery’s garden, making it the perfect spot for a sunset dinner. It’s really a wonderful way to end a day at the beach. While you can get at least seven kinds of pizza at Kristy’s—from a prosciutto with mascarpone to scallops with spinach and applewood smoked bacon—you can also get other heartier dishes like rack of lamb and grilled ahi tuna. They also have plenty of wine to help you and your date unwind.
Kristy’s Wood Oven & Wine Bar is located at 6506 Westward Beach Rd., Malibu, (310) 457-2602
Cliff’s Edge (Photo via Facebook)
One of our favorite Silver Lake date spots is Cliff’s Edge. The outdoor and tranquil dining area is where it’s at, an area shrouded by different kinds of trees and bamboo. There are plenty of Moroccan-style pillows decorating the cushioned benches throughout the patio. At night the restaurant is the most charming, with little lights strewn above diners turning on, and candles lighting up the tables. The heat lamps keep you cozy and warm. The menu has a wide range of our favorite star items like burrata, crispy octopus, duck and scallops. They also have a lovely cheese selection.
Cliff’s Edge is located at 3626 W Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, (323) 666-6116
Faith & Flower (Photo via Faith & Flower)
Faith & Flower
We’ll just say it: Faith & Flower is a very hip and classy establishment. The design is a modern twist on Art Deco. There are sparkling chandeliers, cozy midcentury modern booths and tables, walls with golden sunbursts and lit candelabras. The food and cocktail program is spectacular here, featuring inventive creations that meld together different cuisines, from Asian to Italian and Spanish.
Faith & Flower is located at 705 W 9th St., downtown L.A., (213) 239-0642
Daily Dose Cafe (Photo via Facebook)
Daily Dose Cafe
If you want a more casual yet romantic spot, head on over to Daily Dose Cafe. This restaurant serves more of your usual cafe fare—like organic sandwiches and coffee—but we mostly go there for the ambiance. Order your food at the counter, but make sure you secure a table out in their red-bricked alleyside patio. Little yellow lights are strung across the top under the stars. It’s a refreshing hideaway in the Arts District.
Daily Dose Cafe is located at 1820 Industrial St., downtown L.A., (844) 932-4593
The Lobster (Photo via The Lobster)
Even though it’s in a touristy area, the Lobster is still a romantic hotspot for couples since it overlooks the Santa Monica Pier. As the sun dips into the ocean, you can catch a nighttime view of the glowing Ferris wheel as you nosh on butter-poached lobster and steamed mussels. And since the beach is so close, you can have a nice stroll along the water’s edge after dinner.
The Lobster is located at 1602 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 458-9294
The Little Door in Santa Monica (Photo via The Little Door)
The Little Door
The blend of French, Moroccan and Mediterranean decor at the Little Door offer a magical setting for romance on the Westside. Inside the cozy restaurant, you’re met with crackling fireplaces. Outside in the garden patio Moroccan tiles line the walls and lights hang up above. As sexy as the restaurant is, the food is just as enticing. Scallops are wrapped in bacon, seared foie gras serves as the filling for a savory-sweet baklava, and cod is crusted with porcini mushrooms and brioche.
The Little Door is located at 246 26th St., Santa Monica, (310) 310-8064
Article courtesy of the LAist