Will Valentine's Dinner Make Or Break You?

Monday, 13 Feb 2012, 1:25:00 AM

Kathy Leonardo

High Rooftop Lounge atop Hotel Erwin is one of dozens of Valentine’s Day hotspots. Show the tattooed name of a loved one, and receive a complimentary cocktail.
Courtesy Photo
High Rooftop Lounge atop Hotel Erwin is one of dozens of Valentine’s Day hotspots. Show the tattooed name of a loved one, and receive a complimentary cocktail.

Valentine’s Day can sometimes make or break a relationship. I’ve seen it all, and yes, even participated in the madness myself. For some women, Valentine’s Day is a test, while for others it’s a compromise. Let’s face it, whether we admit to it or not, most women love to be taken out for a romantic dinner.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Here are some local choices that will soothe the heart along with your pocketbook.

I was recently introduced to a charming restaurant called Fritto Misto, located at 601 Colorado Ave. in Santa Monica. With moderate prices, the food is fresh and wonderfully original, yet features subtle nuances that bring a relatively basic Italian dish to the next level.

Fritto Misto only takes reservations for special occasions, like Valentine’s Day.

Owner Robert Kerr said Valentine’s Day was its busiest day of the year.

“We take reservations on this day, because, well, we don’t think that your true love should have to wait,” Kerr said. “We provide a full meal - appetizer, salad, any entree, dessert, and beverages – for only $35 per person. Our philosophy on Valentine’s Day is the same as always: Treat our guests with love and respect while giving them the best value possible.” Call 310.458.2829 or visit www.usmenuguide.com/frittomisto.html.

Another low cost option is Upper West Restaurant, located at 3321 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica. Its Valentine’s special features a pre-fixe dinner for $35 per person, with 50 percent off all bottles of wine. Call 310.586.1111 or visit www.theupperwest.com.

For a more elegant atmosphere, Michael’s in Santa Monica is still taking reservations. Located at 1147 Third St., Michael’s is known for its tantalizing and romantically whimsical garden.

A four-course meal is offered for $95 per person, with choices including oysters on the half shell, Dover Sole, Filet Mignon, and Chocolate Raspberry Cake Ganache. Call 310.451.0843 or visit www.michaelssantamonica.com.

If you prefer a less expensive night with some gorgeous views of Venice Beach, head to High Rooftop Lounge atop Hotel Erwin (don’t forget a reservation) for its “Ink & Drink” special. Just show the tattooed name of a loved one, and receive a complimentary cocktail (up to $15 value). This special runs from Friday, Feb. 10 through the evening of Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

Sip on champagne while enjoying the sunset – or stay for a light dinner at High atop Hotel Erwin. Try High’s most popular cocktail “Lifeguard’s Lemonade,” while nibbling on its specialty tacos, micro burgers, or tomato and watermelon salad.

Created three years ago after a large-scale renovation, owner Mark Sokol remembers how the lounge came about.

“During the framing phase, we climbed a ladder onto the rooftop and were amazed by the beautiful views up and down the coastline and all over the City of LA,” Sokol said. “We realized there was no other rooftop experience quite this spectacular for people to enjoy along the coast in Los Angeles and decided to open High Rooftop Lounge.”

Reservations for High can be made online at www.urbanspoon.com. For group reservations, call the hotel at 310.452.1111 or visit http://jdvhotels42-px.trvlclick.com/hotels/losangeles/erwin.

Whatever you choose to do for Valentine’s Day, make sure to do it with someone special. We’ve all heard the stories of men who had to continue paying off that Valentine’s dinner put on their credit card long after the relationship had broken up. Ouch, that hurts. Men, keep it simple and ladies, have no expectations. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.