Romantic Restaurants in L.A.

Here are our picks for Valentine's Day spots that fit the bill for romance.

Updated: January 14, 2010

Where Love is in the Air


Il Cielo

9018 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Serenade your lover at this lush, twinkling Italian courtyard. But be sure to call in advance for reservations as many in L.A. desire one of their tables underneath the stars in Beverly Hills. Just remember: This place is not cheap, so consider yourself warned.


Pace

2100 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Burrow down into the hills of Laurel Canyon for a dim and delightful Italian meal. There is so much character to spare in the restaurant's several tiny dining areas where murmuring couples linger over buzzworthy California-style pizzas. Exposed brick and great lighting set the mood here.


The Little Door

8164 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

If you <i>really</i> want to impress your loved one, we implore you to make a reservation this second at what might be the most romantic spot in town. Candlelit gardens, flickering fireplaces, and ethereal fountains await guests behind the two large antique wooden doors facing Third Street. French and Mediterranean dishes represent the menu, which focuses on local, organic and seasonal ingredients. Expensive but worth every dollar.


Josie

2424 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Special occasion or just really trying to impress? Aim high with the corner booth in the back room of this luxurious American eatery. If that's not enough, order the decadent chocolate pudding for dessert. Your date will thank you later.


Cafe Del Rey

4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Whether you request a window seat by the dock or get tucked away by the piano and fireplace, you're in a great position for romance. The whitewashed ceiling and moss green walls create a modern ambiance that, alongside innovative Mediterranean cuisine has helped put this Marina staple on the romantic-dining map.


Cliff's Edge

3626 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

This Silver Lake courtyard was made for, well, courting. A beautiful old tree sits centerstage amidst a glow of candles. Revel in all of the location's secluded sexiness while you and your date devour Mediterranean inspired dishes--and maybe each other.


Osteria La Buca

5210 1/2 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

What was once a rough-around-the-edges hangout has undergone a nice, glossy remodel thanks to Kris Keith's Spacecraft Group. It still retains its snuggly, Old World orld charm and was recently given a favorable review by the Times' dining critic after years of impressing locals. Escape with your date into their ski lodge-esque environs for some rustic Italian fare and order a glass of red from their refined wine list.


Inn of the Seventh Ray

128 Old Topanga Canyon Rd, Topanga, CA 90290

Tucked away high up in Topanga Canyon, this find remains one of L.A.'s hidden gems. If ambiance takes precedence, this rustic eatery will be your fairy tale destination. Dine on their organic-leaning menu while outdoors under a canopy of twinkling lights. Then, sneak off to one of their secluded gazebos to steal a kiss (or even better, head down to the stream below the restaurant).


Cafe Pinot

700 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

An outdoor table is the most romantic choice at this downtown staple. The Cal-French fare on the menu will please picky palates and the BYOB policy is an added bonus. Surprise her when you pop the cork on her favorite bottle. (Or maybe even pop the question!)


The Bazaar By Jose Andres

465 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Why not impress your significant other with a table for two at one of the (still) hottest dining scenes in town? Blindfold her (or him) and say you're taking her to Barcelona by way of La Cienega. The sophisticated vibe and fantastic Spanish fare here lends itself well to sharing--make sure to ask for the foie gras cotton candy... it'll wow your date and is a playfully sexy snack to share.


Takami Sushi & Robata

811 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Want to raise things to the next level with your lover? How about getting her high on more than love via reserving a table on the 21st floor of a downtown office building? The views of Downtown L.A. are inspiring and will make her feel special (if you get the right table, that is).


Lazy Ox Canteen

241 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

A slightly offbeat choice for romance, but perhaps an inspired one nonetheless. This new downtown eatery is softly lit, sultry and somehow sets the mood for love with good music and varied appetizer choices from around the world. If your partner is a foodie, consider a night out here that won't break the bank.


Stk

755 N la Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

This sexy steakhouse sizzles in more ways than one, but it just might be the food that gets you points here. There's also always plenty of celeb-spotting, so if your significant other is a devout TMZer, this is the place to be.


Il Sole Restaurant

8741 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

What's more romantic than a small, cozy Italian restaurant? This longtime Sunset Strip favorite is a hit with celebrities and couples alike, thanks to dishes such as lenticchie and a fantastic wine list. It's <i>amore</i> at first sight at Il Sole.


West Restaurant & Lounge

170 N Church Ln, Los Angeles, CA 90049

The 405 looks a lot more glamorous when you're not sitting in rush hour traffic. West is the perfect spot for lovers to get away from it all and get lost in each other while overlooking the city.


Bouchon Bistro

235 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Easily the hottest reservation in Los Angeles right now, Thomas Keller's Bouchon does not disappoint. Expect top quality service and French fare that will instantly transport you and your loved one to Paris-via-San Francisco. The decor alone here should be enough to seal the deal for lotharios and longtime lovers alike.


Cafe La Boheme

8400 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Awash in red hues with multiple plush booths, elaborate chandeliers and a grand piano, this Gothic bi-level WeHo hideaway is an inspired choice for lovers. Oh, and who could forget the roaring fireplaces both inside and on the outdoor patio?


Baleen Los Angeles

260 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Is there anything more romantic than looking out over the water? Baleen combines both cozy (a fireplace roars inside the restaurant) and cool (views of boats gently moving while docked) for a romantic experience. A can't-miss spot for beach cities couples.


Elements Kitchen

37 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

This classy newcomer to Pasadena radiates romance. Order from the extensive menu (offered with wine pairings, if you like) and make sure to save room for desert--the white chocolate and coffee mousse is exquisite.