The 26 Sexiest Restaurants for a Romantic Date Night in LA
From stunning views to intimate spaces, these spots are sure to impress.
Love and romance have long inspired great artists, from painters to musicians (read: the entire genre that is ‘90s R&B). While there are a number of ways to express your feelings, our love language happens to be food—namely—a vibey, romantic restaurant. Think of these restaurants as the culinary equivalent to a ‘90s slow jam. From beachside bungalows to rooftop views of the city skyline, there are endless romantic dining options across the City of Angels. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or want to impress a first date, we’ve rounded up a list of long-time favorites and trendy newcomers to celebrate your love life. Here are 26 of the most romantic restaurants across LA just in time for Valentine’s Day:
Hollywood is gradually shedding its image as a hedonistic playground and quickly becoming 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 most deserving of your attention. Sober dates will appreciate the N/A-Groni with Lyre Aperitif Rosso, London Dry, and Italian Orange soda.
How to book: online.
The Botanical Group that’s behind E.P & L.P. and S.O.L cafe brings us Grandmaster Recorders, a new day-to-night spot in the heart of Hollywood that’s perfect for dates you don’t want to end. Italian-Australian fare is on offer courtesy of executive chef Monty Koludrovic and head pastry chef Jaci Koludrovic, allowing you to impress your special someone with a blend of cuisines they’ve likely never tried together before. You’ll definitely 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 woodfired dish will act your main course. The tiramisu, which recalls the recording studio’s past with its vinyl design and shape, is a must-order to complete your meal. Expert wine director Devon D’Arcangelo is ready to answer any questions you might have about the restaurant's expansive wine selection of 2,000+ bottles, or order one of Mixologist Milosz Cieslak’s craft cocktails at the speakeasy-inspired 71 Studio Bar that's tucked away from the main dining room. Afterwards, cozy up on the rooftop and enjoy one of the cocktails on tap. The Valentine's Day menu includes three courses with an optional wine pairing and highlights like Grilled Westholme Wagyu Denver Steak and Glazed Cheek for $120 per person.
How to book: online.
Located in the historic Hotel Figueroa, Sparrow is a delight for both your tastebuds and eyes. The European and Mediterranean-inspired architecture features cathedral-like arched entryways, marble, tile insets, wood elements, and soft lights. The menu helmed by chefs AJ McCloud and Jan Claudio features updated Italian and Mediterranean classics, with standout creations like a Wagyu Alla Vodka Pizza, Lamb Shank Osso Bucco, and meatballs that will have you ready to say, “‘Til death do us part.”
How to book: Reservations via Sevenrooms highly recommended; walk-ins accepted.
Located in the Downtown LA Proper Hotel is Portuguese-inspired, California-refined gem Caldo Verde. The building itself is beautiful and historic and the interiors are updated, lush, and vibrant with tropical murals adorning the walls. We’re partial to their take on the traditional Portuguese dish of spicy Piri-Piri Chicken and their eponymous Caldo Verde, a hearty seafood stew with local rock crab, grilled linguiça sausage, kale, mussels, and potato. This Valentine’s Day they’re offering Oysters with Piquillo Mignonette, Blinis and Caviar with local miner’s lettuce, Diver Scallops with patatas panadera and jamon butter, duck with preserved citrus peel, and Slow-Roasted Westholme Wagyu with traditional Portuguese broa (cornbread) stuffing.
How to book: via Opentable.
This open-air restaurant in the newish Cara Hotel that sits near the base of Griffith Park and feels like you’ve been transported to white sand beaches along the European coast, with a shallow pool that acts as the property’s centerpiece and California palm and olive trees sprinkled throughout. Choose between the courtyard in front of the hotel and two patios for dining, but don’t worry about packing an extra jacket or scarf as each table gets its own heat lamp—or just cuddle up with your date. The menu is European-inflected and seasonal, with plenty of options regardless of your dietary preferences. Vegetarians will love warming up with a bowl of Roasted Butternut Squash Soup before digging into the Lemon Pasta with 48-month aged parmesan, while pescatarians will go wild for the Hamachi Crudo, Yucatecan Ceviche with red snapper, and Mediterranean Branzino. If you’re a meat eater, you’ll be stumped by a craveable selection of dishes that includes a 16-ounce Tasmanian New York Strip steak and Grilled Australian Rack of Lamb. Dessert presents additional decision fatigue in the form of dishes like Olive Oil Cake, Warm Apple Pie, Hot Sticky Toffee Pudding, a Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie served a la mode, and more.
How to book: online.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
This over 150-year-old pizzeria that was originally founded in Naples is a tucked-away gem in the heart of Hollywood that instantly transports you to Italy with century-old family recipes made with imported Italian ingredients. In addition to pizza dishes like their Caserta with basil, rapini, Italian sausage, and Calabrian chili, they serve classics like Cacio e Pepe and Branzino. The restaurant has a cozy feel, with two fireplaces, comfortable seating, and is open late (until midnight) for those dates you don’t want to end.
How to book: online or by calling 323-366-2408 between 10 am–6 pm; Bar area available for walk-ins.
The Tasting Kitchen
This Abbot Kinney restaurant is designed around an olive tree in its front entrance. To us, that’s beautiful poetic symbolism for a restaurant that lets Mother Nature inspire its menu by using farm-to-table heritage and seasonal produce. The Italian/New American spot creates handmade pastas, in-house cured meats, and an impressive portfolio of wine. During Valentine’s Day weekend (February 11-14), eat to your heart’s desire with a three or five-course tasting menu.
How to book: online; walk-ins accepted.
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 have us wanting to get down on bended knee. On the menu, you can find food with Spanish-Mediterranean and Californian influences, with signature dishes like Paella, Crispy Eggplant, and Salmon Crudo. For Valentine’s Day, they’re offering a prixe fixe menu of six courses (plus amuse bouche) with highlights like Diver Scallop Ceviche with yuzu, cucumber, jalapeño, and avocado mousse; Uni Toast with rock shrimp, butifarra sausage, chili, honey, and piquillo pepper aioli; and Arroz Cremoso with Maine lobster, bomba rice, black truffle, and saffron.
How to book: Reservations strongly recommended via Opentable.
E.P & L.P.
Rooftop drinks automatically ups the romantic ante, making L.P.’s expansive 5,500-square-foot rooftop a must for our list. You can grab cocktails and snacks while gazing out and admiring the sparkling lights. For a truly romantic night, grab drinks before or after dining downstairs at E.P. The Modern American restaurant is favored for its seasonal menu featuring the best California ingredients. For Valentine’s Day, head chef Nick Russo cooked up a special menu which includes Kingfish Tartare, Pan-Seared Scallops, Wood-grilled Kerwee Angus Ribeye with peppercorn sauce, and more.
How to book: L.P. doesn’t take reservations and is first-come/first-served. Reservations for E.P. are strongly recommended and can be made online or by calling 310-855-9955.
This quaint neighborhood restaurant and wine bar dishes up Northern Italian cuisine with a California twist, featuring handmade pastas and sustainably raised fish and meats that are butchered in-house. All of their dishes are simple, fresh, and absolutely delicious. Make a date with your beloved and share the Truffle Fettuccini with an order of their Pork Meatballs, paired with a bottle of Italian or Californian wine from their extensive list. The dim lighting in the intimate interior makes for a romantic ambiance, however the restaurant is known to get a little lively and noisy.
How to book: Reservations strongly recommended via Resy; walk-ups available.
What better place to take your special someone than a restaurant that’s described 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, a selection of well-prepared steaks with a section dedicated to Wagyu, and an unexpected offering of Lobster Pot Pie. For Valentine’s Day, order dinner for two with the Dry-Aged Prime Tomahawk or First Date Pasta with capellini, caviar, and preserved Meyer lemon.
How to book: online; Walk-ins accepted.
Cha Cha Cha
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. Mexico City-born and longtime LA transplant Alejandro Guzman (Sqirl, Eggslut) helms a menu of classic Mexican dishes and well-guarded family recipes, drawing from California sensibilities along the way and resulting in shareable dishes like charcoal-grilled huachinango with charred lettuce, and a NY strip steak with charred tomato, spring onion, and cactus that’s drizzled with a red wine salsa. 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 an all-inclusive Baja resort.
How to book: online. Walk-ins welcome.
This beloved neighborhood gem with several locations throughout Los Angeles expanded to the eastside, taking over the former Cliff’s Edge space in Silver Lake. Reminiscent of an old Tuscan farmhouse, the dreamy patio space adorned with string lights and two fire pits is built around an enormous Ficus tree. Mediterranean cicchetti-style dishes are meant to be shared and include dishes like Oaxacan pasta with handmade Oaxacan cream, glazed pork belly, and lamb-stuffed eggplant. But what will keep you lingering is the late-night bar program, available daily until 2 am, with standouts like a Mad Mango Sour with mezcal, jalapeno pepper, juiced carrot, lemon, mango, egg white, and black salt. Take a tour of the world via their carefully selected small production wines, available by the glass.
How to book: online, at least one week in advance. They always have a set of tables for walk-ins and room at the bar. We heard from a little bird that they always have no-shows on Valentine’s Day and give those spots to walk-ups.
Located on a quaint, tree-lined street in Old Town Pasadena, a romantic destination in itself with its brick alleyways and historic buildings, Agnes was transformed from the Pasadena Fire Department’s former horse stable into a spacious restaurant with a secluded, plant-filled patio and a stunning dining room that’s centered around an open hearth. Helmed by Vanessa and Thomas Tilaka Kalb (Flour+Water), the attached takeaway market has convenient grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, cheeses, and wines for a romantic picnic in the nearby Angeles Mountains, or you could opt to dine-in and enjoy wide-ranging plates like loaded baked potato dumplings, a gnocchi-inspired dish that heaps bacon lardons, cheddar, roasted broccoli salsa, and crispy shoestring potatoes on tender potato dumplings, all served on one-of-a-kind floral plates that look like they’ve been plucked straight from your grandmother’s fine china cabinet.
How to book: online.
Tree of Wishes
For a more casual date night, reserve a table on the outdoor patio of this neighborhood spot off of Melrose Avenue. The Turkish owners wanted to bring the flavors of the Mediterranean to the city with a menu filled with grilled seafood, light salads, and lots of seasonal vegetable dishes (read: vegetarians will love this place). Start with a mezze plate and choose from a variety of flavorful dishes, including a beet hummus, muhammara (a roasted red bell pepper dip), and mutabel (an eggplant dip), but the charcoal-grilled chicken skewers and fried zucchini with tzatziki are also worthwhile options. Don’t forget to make a wish at the tree on the back patio—perhaps for a second date?
How to book: online.
Ardor’s lush green interiors and jungle vibes are an indication of what you can expect to find on the vegetable-forward menu, thoughtfully crafted by chef John Fraser. The menu is Fraser’s love letter to vegetables, although that’s not all you’ll find here. Order the Milk Bread with beefsteak tomatoes and Yellowfin Tuna Tartare to start, and then work your way through the copious vegetable options like Tandoor Carrots with eggplant and hummus and Raw Cauliflower Cacio e Pepe. For mains, the Greek Orata imported from Greece and Lamb Cooked Under are great options, or go big with the Tomahawk Steak for Two. Pair your meal with a drink from the inventive, produce-heavy cocktail menu and don’t forget to save room for the Gooseberry Phyllo Pizza with 25-year-aged balsamic for dessert—but note that you’ll have to pre-order it when you start your meal.
How to book: online.
First opened by Wendy Leon after immigrating from Hong Kong to Lima, Peru, over 40 years ago, Chifa serves a mix of Peruvian, Cantonese, and Taiwanese-influenced dishes. Wendy Leon still helms the menu, with the help of her children Humberto Leon and Ricardina Leon, as well as Ricardina’s husband, John Liu, who modernized the menu and turned the restaurant itself into a luxurious, jade-hued palace. Enjoy dishes like Peruvian Tiradito with fresh Japanese sea bream that’s chilled in a spicy orange and lime sauce with garlic, and topped with salsa criolla, sweet potato, and toasted Peruvian corn, in a setting that feels like you’ve stepped into a chic modern art museum, with luscious velvet seating, gold accents, and trippy teal and black wallpaper, plus heart-shaped windows that overlook Eagle Rock Blvd. The restaurant has a rotating dessert menu that features one-of-a-kind delicacies from local bakeries and pastry chefs, and to add to the artsy vibes, has begun displaying gorgeous, hand-built sculptures by artists from around the world. If you’re looking to miss the Valentine’s Day crowds, Chifa is a perfect place to dine the weekend before as they’re closed on February 14.
How to book: via Tock; Walk-ins accepted.
Yamashiro translates to “mountain place” in Japanese, which acts as a literal description of this historic hilltop mansion that was first built in 1914 and meant to be a replica of a palace located in the “Yamashiro” province mountains near Kyoto, Japan. Enjoy expansive, sparkling views of the city as you munch on globally-inspired dishes like Sushi Pizza, Roasted Bone Marrow Bruschetta, and a variety of specialty rolls. Before or after dinner, take a hand-held stroll in their spacious garden courtyard and watch the koi fish swim, some of which are over 60 years old.
How to book: online.
Rooftop By JG
Sweeping views of the city can be seen from every corner of The Rooftop by JG at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills—it’s al fresco dining at its finest. Make a reservation just before sunset so you can see the views during both day and night, eight stories above the city. In addition to panoramic views, you can expect elevated dishes including a Lobster Burger, French Fries and Caviar, and a Wagyu Beef Tenderloin.
How to book: Reservations required online.
Few chefs in LA can boast earning two Michelin stars back to back and a restaurant that has kept its doors open for 20 years. Chef Josiah Citrin has made his mark in LA, and after more than two decades since opening fine dining establishment Melisse, he knew it was time to revamp the concept to keep up with LA’s evolving food scene. He turned Melisse into a smaller, intimate tasting experience and used the remaining space to open up Citrin—the eponymous younger and sexier sister restaurant and bar. Diners can choose between a prix fixe menu or order a la carte. But don’t fret, iconic dishes from Melisse, like the lobster bolognese have made their way onto the Citrin menu. For a more casual date, grab a seat at the bar and enjoy an extensive happy hour menu which includes food and drinks and runs on Wednesday and Thursday from 6-7:30 pm and Friday–Sunday from 5:30–7 pm. From February 11-14, order from their Valentine’s Day menu, which includes mouth-watering courses like Truffle Risotto and Slow-Roasted Lamb Ribeye.
How to book: online; walk-ups accepted.
In a city filled with creatives, it’s no surprise that we’d have a restaurant concept that merges food and music together into a dual sensory experience. The eclectic menu led by chef Oscar Torres includes a range of surf and turf dishes like Lobster Tagliatelle with squid ink and a Tomahawk Steak for two, all of which are backed with music by ten-time Grammy Award-winning mixer Manny Marroquin, providing the soundtrack to your evening through a state-of-the-art acoustic system.
How to book: online; walk-ups accepted but reservations for weekends and special occasions are strongly recommended.
This spacious, 300-seat restaurant features an indoor dining room, as well as a separate lounge area that’s perfect for pre-or post-dinner drinks, but the most coveted seats are in the garden patio where a fireplace and string lights set the scene for a romantic night out. Sit amongst kumquat, pine, and ficus trees while you linger over the California-meets-Amalfi Coast seasonal menu, which features a selection of raw dishes like yellowtail soaking in leche de tigre, table-side Italian Chopped Salad, Housemade Cavatelli, Grilled Corn with shaved black truffle, and Charcoal-grilled Lamb Chops.
How to book: online; walk-ups accepted and the bar serves the full menu.
Tucked away in an alley on Vermont Avenue is Atrium’s brick-walled dining room with high, wood-beamed ceilings, a skylight, and a big olive tree in the center. The menu is eclectic with dishes like Charred Cabbage, Tokyo Turnips, a vegetable Tagine, and Grilled Duck Breast, but don’t skip over the Dark Chocolate Tart on the dessert menu either. There’s an appealing U-shaped bar at the heart of the restaurant, but the plush booths are where you’ll want to cozy up to your date.
How to book: online.
Perched atop a hill in Burbank, Castaway provides stunning views of the city that make it well worth the drive. The lively, 12,500-square-foot, multi-level restaurant uses seasonal ingredients, with meat as the central focus, offering special cuts like a buttery Tomahawk Steak as well as build-it-yourself Charcuterie Board. Couples can head to The Green Room, the restaurant’s speakeasy, for a post-dinner cocktail and to nibble on whimsical dishes like Steak Tartare “Cigars.”
How to book: online; Walk-ins accepted.
Nic’s On Beverly
Catering to a city that’s often considered the epicenter of plant-based eating, the menu at Nic’s on Beverly is a nod to the city’s iconic dishes and melting pot of cultures, all with a plant-based twist. Look out for items like the Avocado Crispy RIce, Chinois On Beverly Salad (paying tribute to the Chinese Chicken Salad), Tempura Maitake Mushrooms, and of course, an Impossible Burger.
How to book: online or call 323-746-5130.
Blink an eye and you might just miss Il Cielo off of Burton Way, but the romantic Italian restaurant has been around since 1986. Twinkling lights and ivy vines drape the walls, making it feel like you’ve just stepped into a fairytale. The cozy, country-style house features different rooms, including an outdoor garden with a skylight to dine under the stars. Forget you’re in LA for a few hours as you enjoy classic Italian fare like Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Milanese, and Grilled Branzino that will remind you of a hillside restaurant in Italy.
How to book: online.