Valentine’s Day is a good excuse for a romantic evening out on the town, but who needs an excuse when there are so many great restaurants to choose from? Los Angeles has more than a few top-notch, highly rated restaurants; these five are among the best for a romantic, memorable meal.
Melisse, 1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica - Besides a perfect menu, impeccable (but unobtrusive) service, and the quiet hush of an adults’ place for dinner, Melisse serves some of the best French cuisine on the west side of Los Angeles. Awarded 2 Michelin stars, Melisse also featured French wines that the sommelier pairs very well with each chosen entree. Intimate tables for two, private dining options, and more make Melisse a top choice for special evenings out.
Il Cielo, 9018 Burton Way, Beverly Hills - It’s cozy inside Il Cielo. Outdoor dining on the patio is an option even in winter, this being Southern California after all. The outdoor lighting is very romantic and fosters a sense of privacy, even though there are several outdoor tables.The Beverly Hills wealth and snootiness are on display here, but other diners shouldn’t interfere with a romantic meal for two. The cuisine is European, and the tiramisu for dessert is exceptionally good.
Water Grill, 544 South Grand Ave, Los Angeles - This is absolutely the best seafood restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. The romantic lighting and Art Deco interior are decidedly romantic, and the booths for private-feeling seating along the walls of the restaurant provide intimacy. There is something about an upscale raw bar, with oysters on the half shell on ice, that lends a sense of sensuality to a seafood dinner. A night at Disney hall or other downtown-LA experiences go perfectly with a romantic dinner at the Water Grill.
BOA Steakhouse, 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica – Steakhouses don’t traditionally have a romantic atmosphere, instead typically gearing toward the boisterous and joyful crowd. BOA is a fantastic steakhouse, here in Santa Monica and also in West Hollywood. The Santa Monica BOA has killer views of the Pacific Ocean; sit outside if you can. The standard steakhouse fare is here; red meat galore, spinach and artichoke dip, red wine, etc. Unlike the Houston’s around the block, though, BOA lends itself more to a romantic evening based on the view and quieter setting.
Sona, 401 N. La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood - There is a complete lack of opulence at Sona, with the interior instead showcasing streamlined simplicity. This restaurant is really beautiful in it’s own minimalistic way. This is the ONLY restaurant in Los Angeles to have received 5 stars from Angeleno Magazine; the modern takes on French cuisine has really struck a chord with the LA foodie crowd. The unpretentious atmosphere fits well with the casual neighborhood of West Hollywood, and the amazing food and wine list suits a romantic dinner perfectly.
A city as spread out and diverse as Los Angeles can be whatever you want it to be. While some say it’s hard to find romance in the Southern California city of hopes and dreams, others disagree. The most romantic Valentine’s Day, or any other special date for couples, is easy to find in LA. Top it off with a dinner at one of these top restaurants, and Los Angeles will provide an evening to remember, forever.