The 15 Sexiest Restaurants for a Romantic Date Night in LA
Treat your special someone to a night out with stunning views, an intimate space, and luxurious food and drink.
There is no shortage of great things to do on date night in LA, but there are some nights that call for a particularly sexy dinner out, like the culinary equivalent of Untitled. Maybe to you that means a rooftop with a view, or maybe your partner wants a dark and swanky throwback, or maybe you both just want to kick back and crush crisp wine and fresh seafood—this city has it all.
So whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or trying to impress someone new, we’ve rounded up a list of essential restaurants for a romantic dinner, in case you’ve got one coming up—Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, after all.
Over the past few years Hollywood has gradually shed its image as a hedonistic playground and become a destination for some of the city’s most exciting fine dining concepts. Case in point: Evan Funke’s Mother Wolf, the chef’s ode to Roman cuisine and sequel to Venice’s Felix, features dim lighting, plush velvet seating, and metal accents in the historic Citizens News building. The menu is similarly captivating, featuring the handmade pastas that propelled Funke to celebrity chef status, plus wafer-thin Roman-style pies and hyper-seasonal antipasti. A handful of craft cocktails are available to order, but the lengthy Italian wine list is also deserving of your attention.
Italian-Australian food is the specialty at the year-old Hollywood hotspot from executive chef Blake Shailes. You’ll want to put in an order for the signature Caviar Cannolis, before moving on to Mortadella and Cacio e Pepe Churros as your antipasti—that way you’re not dealing with an empty stomach as you debate which stunning pasta or wood-fired dish will act your main course. The tiramisu, which recalls the recording studio’s past with its vinyl design and shape, is the perfect way to complete your meal.
Including a place called “Soulmate” on a list of romantic restaurants seems like an obvious choice. But it’s not just the name, it’s the soft lighting, plush seating, tasty food, and candlelit tables that will have you ready to get down on bended knee. On the menu, the dishes show Spanish-Mediterranean and Californian influences, with signatures like Paella, Crispy Eggplant, and Salmon Crudo.
What better place to take your special someone than a restaurant that bills itself as Chef Michael Mina’s “love letter to the American steakhouse experience.” The restaurant’s interiors are filled with dark leather, rosewood, lots of brushed metal, and candlelit tables, with a solo pianist adding a simple and classy touch to the dining area. The menu features steakhouse faves like a wedge salad, an array of well-prepared steaks with a section dedicated to Wagyu, and an unexpected banger in their lobster pot pie.
LA Cha Cha Chá
A neon green sign in the shape of a lime draws diners to this expansive, 11,600-square foot rooftop oasis that acts as a sister restaurant to the popular Mexico City terrazza by the same name. Executive Chef Francisco Moran has created a menu of classic Mexican dishes that also draw from LA sensibilities, which means dishes like Pescado Cha Cha Chá, a charcoal-grilled huachinango with charred lettuce. With cozy booth seating and fanned palms that act as barriers between tables, it’s easy to feel like you’ve been treated to a private dining experience at a stylish Baja resort.
Angelenos have been in a tizzy waiting for Noble 33 restaurant group to unveil its newest LA concept, but the wait is finally over. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Casa Madera opens as the perfect place to bring a date. The upscale Mexican-ish restaurant has captivating city views from the top of the Mondrian West Hollywood Hotel, and takes its style inspiration from Tulum with rattan furnishings and light wood flooring. The menu trends indulgent, with lots of grilled meat and rich sauces, though there are plenty of brighter mariscos and raw bar options too.
A restaurant patio draped with bougainvillea always screams romantic. The gorgeous restaurant, which took over the old Zinque parking lot, gives guests a little bit of everything, including Italian, French, and Greek cuisine, so you skip the discussion over what type of food to get for the big date. The decor resembles some far-off island, with dimly-lit pendant lights, a lush plant motif, and plenty of heaters on the patio. The menu is long, but it’s hard to pass up their pastas.
Long considered one of the best restaurants in the city, the elegant Providence continues to serve some of the finest—and most sustainable—seafood in town. The two Michelin-starred menu changes frequently, with inventive and contemporary presentations and Chef Michael Cimarusti’s essential touch. Cocktails are fantastic, but don’t overlook the wine list, which focuses heavily on natural and biodynamic wines that complement the menu. And don’t worry—the dish called The Ugly Bunch isn’t about you, it’s about the sea creatures.
If dining beneath a curtain of twinkling lights on a rooftop in Beverly Hills doesn’t scream romantic, nothing in this town does. This is the spot to hold hands across the table and whisper sweet nothings over creative cocktails and decadent dishes. The menu is Mediterranean-focused with a heavy influence from Israeli cuisine, as in the Braised Lamb Shank with tzatziki, harissa, beet pickled turnip, and roasted onion relish.
If the sound of crashing waves and a view of cotton candy skies sounds romantic, then congratulations, you have a pulse—and also, this is your spot. Moonshadows is situated on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, activating all of your senses with its location alone. Order up a bottle of Champagne, a dozen oysters, and some tiger shrimp rigatoni on the outdoor patio as you watch the blazing sun sink into the sea.
The atmosphere alone at Crustacean is bound to have you and your special someone snuggling up on the same side of the table for hours. Dark wood, rich fabrics, subtle lighting, and richly-detailed decor detailed with a variety of Asian-inspired elements set the scene. The food is just as alluring, with creative seafood dishes like “Tuna Cigars” with instant smoke, feuille de brick, avocado silk, vidalia onion, and tobiko caviar. And you’d be remiss not to order the massive Dungeness crab atop a mountain of garlic noodles.
Go above and beyond for your date night with an experiential, exclusive dining experience at Niku X. Situated on the second floor of DTLA’s InterContinental Hotel, this is the kind of place you go if you’re looking for a truly luxurious evening with your significant other. The restaurant calls itself a “dual dining experience,” incorporating yakiniku grilled meats and a curated chef’s tasting menu from Michelin-starred chef Shin Thompson.
Horses is both classy and edgy, the ideal spot to slide into a big red booth with your boo and chew on the same noodle without judgment. The menu is eclectic, with French and Italian influences. Try the Pork Chop Milanese with a haricot vert remoulade, Pappardelle with saffron and speck, or keep it close to home with their celebrated Cheeseburger and Fries.
French restaurants can’t help but feel romantic, and thankfully, Pasjoli has it all anyway. The food is prepared with traditional French techniques, and many menu items come with a tableside experience, including the Chateaubriand: a center-cut filet mignon, carved tableside and served with a red wine sauce, and the Crêpes Suzette: thin French pancakes prepared tableside and flambéed with Grand Marnier. The vibe is intimate, with white tablecloth seating, dim lighting, lush greenery, and modern artwork.
Tacos Don Cuco
Smoke floats down a quiet sidewalk, a single street light casts a warm off-white glow enveloping just the two of you. You sit on the curb, a shared plate bowing under the weight of a half-dozen tacos, and your knees brush. You go to lift a handmade tortilla filled with carne asada, leaning forward to grab your next bite, just as your special someone does the same—suddenly, you are inches apart, only a whisper of the gentle perfume of charred mesquite floating between you; it is the truest moment of LA romance. A fancy dinner with a view is all well and good, but this is hard to beat.
Leila Najafi is a freelance food and travel writer in LA so on any given day she’s either stuffing her face or getting lost in a foreign country. Follow her adventures on Instagram @LeilasList.
Alexa Erickson is a contributor to Thrillist.