Making plans for Valentine’s Day can be stressful. It’s one of the busiest nights of the year for restaurants.
Taking time to plan ahead is a sure way to set the tone for the big
day and avert any drama. The Westside offers an array of choices for any
Here's a look at five top dining destinations.
1) Vito in Santa Monica offers old world charm with classic
Italian cuisine. This family owned establishment has been a prominent
dining locale for more than 30 years. You won’t find a prix fixe menu
here. Owner Giovanna Somma explains, “We don’t like to limit what our
customers can eat on Valentine’s Day, and we don’t want to charge more.”
Vito has a strong fan base and caters to many local residents who are
frequent diners. Along with specialty services such as Caesar salad
being freshly prepared at your table, Vito is also known for its
Spaghetti Della Casa (shrimp with cognac sauce).
“People come from all over for our Catalina Sand Dabs,” said Somma.
Each day, Vito offers several specials of the day. Due to the
overwhelming response, the sand dabs have become a signature dish of the
Romance will be in the air this special day – rose petals will be
strewn throughout the restaurant and each woman will receive a rose.
2807 Ocean Park Boulevard, Santa Monica. Reservations: 310.450.4999, vitorestaurant.com.
2) Manchego on Main Street in Santa Monica is a Spanish tapas
restaurant that recently moved down the street to a larger location.
“We serve small plates that are accompanied with Spanish wine… simple, fresh, yet elegant,” said owner Ashkan Amir.
Amir said Manchego was previously a food only establishment.
“We can also impress our Manchego fans with our carefully picked and reasonably priced wine selection,” he said.
The four-course prix fixe menu created by Amir runs $50 per person
and will include a complimentary glass of champagne. There will be two
seatings. 2518 Main Street, Santa Monica. Reservations: 310.450.3900, manchegoonmain.com.
3) Barlo Kitchen + Cocktails, located in the Hotel Erwin, celebrates the holiday with an un-Valentine’s Day menu.
Barlo’s Chef Adam Steudle is speaking up for all the single ladies
(and men) with comedic dubbed dishes such as “Forever Alone Frites,”
"Bitter Greens,” and more.
Top it off with Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream served for one at your
table (no sharing here). This dessert comes with a complimentary romance
novel. 1697 Pacific Ave, Venice. Reservations: 424.214.1063, www.hotelerwin.com.
4) Tavern LA in Brentwood has cornered the market on romance with its popular dining atrium beneath a glass ceiling.
Co-owner Chef Suzanne Goin has created a four-course prix fixe menu
for $95 per person. Sommelier and co-owner Caroline Styne has put
together a wine supplement perfectly paired with each dish for an
additional $40. Tavern LA is located at11648 San Vicente Blvd, Los
Angeles. Reservations: 310.806.6464, tavernla.com.
5) The Culver Hotel opened in 1924 and has been beautifully
refurbished. The Grand lobby offers a spacious romantic setting with a
vintage accent. The Culver Hotel celebrates Valentine’s Day with a
gourmet four-course dinner priced at $58 per person.
The evening will feature live music with the Leslie Nesbitt Jazz Band.
The regular menu will be available as well as the happy hour (from
4-7 pm). High tea is another option between the hours of 3 pm to 5 pm,
with a reservation (24 hours prior).
Here, several dining areas are available such as the Crystal Dining
Room or the bar area known as the Velvet Lounge. When making your
reservation, be sure to request your desired dining location. 9400
Culver Boulevard, Culver City. Reservations: 310.558. 9400, www.culverhotel.com.
Whatever you decide, be sure to call the restaurant of your choice to
confirm the desired menu and to make that very important reservation.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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