Food & Drink

The 12 Best New Date Spots in LA

Published On 03/09/2015 Published On 03/09/2015
Dylan & Jeni
Neon Retro Arcade
Dylan & Jeni
Julian Latif
Shanghai Rose
Jesus Banuelo
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1. Odys & Penelope 127 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Odys and Penelope, from the married couple behind Hatfield's, is a casual grill named after the protagonists of The Odyssey. The move here: dry-rubbed smoked short ribs and grilled Snake River Wagyu tri-tip.

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2. Redbird 114 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Located in a refurbished church, Neal Fraser's Downtown LA restaurant is the ultimate high-end date spot. Redbird's food is next-level creative, like the signature Rabbitchetta dish, aka rabbit wrapped in porchetta. Aside from the gorgeous open-air dining room, there's also a beautiful outdoor patio for those SoCal nights.

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3. aestus 507 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

This upscale SaMo spot is part of a culinary renaissance by the beach; in this case, it's doling out grass-fed beef with sunchokes, kale, and lemon, plus grilled octopus salad with fennel, radish, and clementine.

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4. Neon Retro Arcade 28 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

For $10 per hour, you get unlimited play on this new-but-old-school-leaning arcade, which has classics like Altered Beast and The Simpsons game (!!!).

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5. Now Boarding 7746 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

This reservations-recommended, live-jazz-and-cocktails-and-oh-man-it-looks-kinda-like-an-airport-lounge bar's bringing back the good ol' days with drinks from a former Roger Room guy, decor featuring 60s-era photos, and a massive retro air map.

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6. Spaghettini & The Dave Koz Lounge 184 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

"Self", you may have once said to yourself, "what if there were a place I could get, like, really great Italian food and then hear some incredible jazz??" Ok, you've never said that to yourself. But that place exists. And that alone is pretty cool.

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7. Pok Pok LA 727 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Anyone who's eaten at Pok Pok in Portland or New York knows how lucky we are that Andy Ricker's insanely popular Thai restaurant made its way to LA. The bi-level Chinatown spot is spacious and casual, and includes a bar and outdoor seating plus plenty of festive tablecloths. The family-style menu is an eclectic display of Ricker's Northern Thai expertise, and you can expect plenty of fried meat dishes and spicy salads. Be sure to order the signature fish sauce wings -- they're based on a recipe from a Pok Pok Portland employee's home in Vietnam.

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8. Ramen Champ 727 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Eggslut guy opened up this ramen restaurant in the same center as Chego! in Chinatown. If you're not excited by that, you 1) are dead, 2) have never been to Eggslut, or 3) don't like ramen. In any of those cases, we are very, very sorry for you.

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9. Shanghai Rose 12229 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91604

Shanghai Rose is one of the only East Valley spots for dim sum, 7 days a week, with cart service on weekends. Bam.

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10. Terrine 8265 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Nostalgic French fare is given the expansive brasserie and a fairytale garden it deserves in Terrine, with chef Kris Morningstar masterminding elegant chicken confit salad, garlic-butter bathed escargots and a steak frites with smoked bone marrow that can be paired with an impressive French wine list. The namesake terrine, made with foie gras and served with apricot compote, proves worthy of the honor. Yet, a visit is utterly incomplete without sampling the charcuterie boards: with truffled chicken liver, terrine de campaign, liverwurst, andouille sausage and smoked beef deckle arranged with pickled morsels on a sturdy wooden disc. Dreamy and casual, the dining room is filled with bistro chairs, distressed brick and umber-hued leather banquettes with ornate mirrors propped behind them. The best part awaits behind an archway in the back, revealing an outdoor lounge with a giant illuminated tree as the centerpiece. The spot is more than an ideal perch for star-gazing, a well-balanced classic cocktail by Ryan Wainwright making you question your balance.

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11. Augustine Wine Bar 13456 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91423

The Valley's wine bar game is TOTALLY upped with this marble-bar-topped vino paradise. The spot has 75 by-the-glass options (including selections from the 1800s!!!) and food like charcuterie and braised octopus.

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12. Cascabel 10717 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake, CA 91602

Hit up Cascabel for margaritas and smoked bacon guacamole. Oh yeah, and fried chicken, lobster, and duck confit tacos aren't a bad idea either.