Love is a little more freeform at Suzanne Goin’s restaurant and wine bar this year. For $98 a person, guests are encouraged to choose five savory dishes per couple including choices like lomo and chorizo with manchego and quince paste; buckwheat blinis with smoked salmon, cr?me fraiche and caviar; rosemary-grilled scallops with green garlic soubise and tangerine; duck confit with beluga lentils, jamon Serrano and blood orange butter; braised beef shortrib with carrot puree, tomato confit and tapenade; and a delicious side of faro with cavolo nero, pinenuts and currants, among other dishes. Forget sharing for dessert, though, since each person gets their own plate from choices like bittersweet chocolate torta with crushed honeycomb and coffee whipped cream. After all, love only gets you so much!
8022 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048, (323) 653-6359; AOCWineBar.com
Asia de Cuba
This Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetheart to sweeping views of the city from the Sunset Strip while enjoying a special prix-fixe menu and half-bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne at the Mondrian hotel’s Asia de Cuba. The four-course menu begins with cocoa-vanilla butter-poached lobster or an achiote-rubbed salmon tamales. Next is organic beet salad and coffee-grilled quail, then a choice of the red miso seared ribeye, “pecking-style” duck, or miso-cured Alaska butterfish. Finally, for dessert, there’s the “passion de coco” marsala semifreddo with coffee sabayon, white chocolate, dark chocolate mousse, milk chocolate ganache, coconut tapioca, passion fruit sorbet and sesame tuile. The 6:00pm seating is $89 per person, and the 8 p.m. seating is $109 per person.
8440 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, (323) 848-6000; mondrianhotel.com
Berekat at Royal/T
For an unorthodox take on the holiday of love, come to Royal/T in Culver City — the Japanese pop-culture gallery — for a decadent menu courtesy of Berekat, L.A.’s Ethiopian supper club. The seven-course meal is a multi-layered love story that takes guests through the stages of love including “playing hard to get” with potato, onion and lentil fried sambusa; a “commitment” salad of ancient grains and fresh spring greens with shaved pecorino in almond-fig vinaigrette; and a “broken heart” of steak tip brioche sliders and one-week pickled cauliflower with yellow and orange split peas, among the other courses (and mental states!). The menu costs $75 per person, or $95 including wine pairings.
8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, (310)-559-6300; Royal-T.org
The Thompson Beverly Hills Hotel’s new restaurant is run by Chef Cody Diegel, and he’s devising a special three-course Valentine’s Day menu sure to whet your appetite for love. Among the choices will be a butternut squash soup to start, lobster tail, filet mignon or spinach and roasted tomato lasagna for a main, and a chocolate pot du cr?me with whipped peanut butter and peanut brittle, among other choices. There will also be a special Strawberry Honeysuckle cocktail with 23-year aged rum, fresh strawberry and lemon juices and honey syrup with a champagne float on the menu. Cheers to love!
9360 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, (310) 388-6860; CaulfieldsBeverlyHills.com
Treat your love to a three-course prix-fixe feast for $70 a person at stylish Cecconi’s. The meal will include a choice of appetizers such as cream of cauliflower soup with winter black truffle or beef tartare with quail egg and pecorino; wood-roasted spicy lobster with clams and saffron, and Kobe filet mignon with potato gratin and peppercorn jus among the mains; and for dessert, choices such as rose flower panna cotta, and dark chocolate fondant with preserved cherries. Add on the champagne and oyster special for $50 as you groove to the strains of a live jazz band.
8764 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90069, (310) 432-2000; CecconisWestHollywood.com
Chef Mirko Paderno is serving up a veritable festa di amore inspired by his native Italy at Oliverio this Valentine’s Day that will include choices like Sonoma foie gras over akaushi tenderloin carpaccio, homemade garganelli pasta with akaushi Kobe brasato; roasted Caribbean lobster tail with akaushi beef reduction, and black pepper panna cotta. The $65 per person includes coffee or tea and a glass of prosecco for toasting to la romanza!
9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, (310) 277-5221; AvalonBeverlyHills.com
One of L.A.’s most exciting new openings lately has been Papilles, Chef Santos Uy’s new “bistronomy” restaurant concept in East Hollywood; and to keep things interesting, he’s preparing a set tasting menu for $60 of dishes like Pacific oysters with caviar and champagne, frog’s legs with turnip velouté, butter-poached lobster with heart of palm and parsnips, and a surprise seasonal sweet dessert or cheese course. Who knew romance could be so delicious?
6221 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028, (323) 871-2926; PapillesLA.com
Mixing Latin flavor with European sophistication, Chef Ricardo Zarate is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special truffle menu featuring Perigord black winter truffles in dishes like a traditional Peruvian oyster chowder with truffle essence, sea scallop causas with Perigord truffle aioli and micro herbs, and a shooter of maracuya fruit and truffle pisco sour. The special six-course prix-fixe menu includes a cava toast and costs $79 per person with $24 optional wine pairings.
9575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035, (310) 277-0133; PiccaPeru.com
Chef Nyesha Arrington hasn’t been in the kitchen at Wilshire for too long, but she’s wasted no time crafting a four-course Valentine’s dinner for lovers that’s perfect for progressing a new courtship or putting a spark back into your old romance. Some of the special dishes include a chicken liver terrine with Fuji apple and cranberry chutney, blood orange-glazed beets with Cana de Cabra cheese, pistachio and mache, lobster risotto with uni butter, Meyer lemon and chervil, and dessert choices such as Meyer lemon soufflé with Chartreuse ice cream. The dinner is priced at $78 per guest with an option $35 wine-pairing supplement.
2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 586-1707; WilshireRestaurant.com
Eric Rosen lives in Los Angeles and writes about food, wine, travel and adventure... usually in some combination of the four. He regularly contributes to Los Angeles Confidential Magazine, Condé Nast's HotelChatter and Jaunted, TravelAge West, Palate Press, Frontiers, Edge and Wandermelon. His work has also appeared in the L.A. Times. When he is not exploring the Los Angeles dining scene, Eri...(Read More)