Food Foreplay: Tempt Your Valentine With L.A.’s Best Valentine’s Day Dining

Valentine’s Day is upon us and it’s time to make plans. For the couples looking for a romantic night out or the newly committed who want to impress, there are plenty of options in our beloved city. Here are our choices of the best Valentine’s Day options.

Le Petit Paris
If you can’t swing that romantic trip to Paris this year, at least you can pretend to be there at downtown’s Le Petit Paris. The gorgeous new restaurant will let you celebrate in style with their $85 three-course menu that also includes complimentary amuse bouche and a glass of sparkling wine. Start with a lobster cassolette and foie gras followed by an herb-crusted lamb.

Terranea Resort
Start Valentine’s Day early for an extraordinary weekend at Terranea Resort. Kick off with the resort’s inaugural Valentine’s Ball on Saturday, Feb. 13. The black tie affair will take guests back to the roaring 20s complete with a swing band. There will be a three-course dinner, dessert and truffle buffet, and open bar. Stay the night at this oceanfront property for various activities the next morning including couples yoga and “kayaking for lovers.” The resort’s multiple dining options will also feature special menus on the big day itself.

Dine at the romantic outdoor area of the newly revamped Estérel at the Sofitel. The $75 four-course menu includes options such as spiced duck breast, pan seared Steelhead salmon, followed by Valrhona chocolate cake with strawberry butter cream for dessert. Pair it with the French Kiss cocktail (champagne, fresh raspberry puree, rosewater and rose petal) or a bottle of champagne. Best yet, you can combine the dinner with a romantic package at SoSpa that includes a couples massage and private steam. Prepare for dinner with a new hair style at the salon while enjoying chocolate covered strawberries and a glass of bubbly.

Inn of the Seventh Ray
The Inn of the Seventh Ray is worth the trek to Topanga Canyon for its undeniably romantic atmosphere. The brick pathway will transport you and your date to an enchanting night of dining under the stars among waterfalls and sycamore trees. Valentine’s Day prix fixe dinner by candlelight will consist of five courses priced at $130 for the land-based option and $115 for the vegetarian option. Wine pairing would be available for $45.

The Little Door
Dive into the “Sea of Love” at The Little Door with their prix fixe menu at $145 per person. Start with a choice of wild mushroom and black truffle velouté, poached Maine lobster, or duck and foie gras ravioli followed by grilled filet mignon with bone marrow bordelaise sauce. For dessert, there’s the classic bittersweet chocolate molten cake or spice it up with a saffron and cardamom crème brulee.

This West Hollywood mainstay is a cozy and romantic restaurant for a dinner date any day of the year, including this Feb. 14. There will be a prix fixe menu for $125 per person. Highlights include blinis with caviar, Dungeness crab salad, and diver scallop.

1 Pico
Of the few restaurants that boast the beach vibe, 1 Pico is one of the few that is literally on the sand and it’s the perfect start to a staycation at Shutters on the Beach. The $90 Valentine’s menu will be available on both Feb. 13 and 14. The three-course menu includes poached whole lobster, grilled Angus filet mignon and more. Take a romantic walk on the beach after dinner, then settle into one of the beachfront rooms at the hotel.

The Polo Lounge
Dine with the stars – the Hollywood stars, that is – this Valentine’s weekend at Polo Lounge. They have created both a black truffle tasting menu and a Valentine’s Day dinner menu so you can treat that someone special. The four-course black truffle dinner menu will consist of choices such as black truffle grass fed beef tenderloin or half Maine lobster with black truffle-lobster jus. You don’t have to sacrifice the truffle by opting for the Valentine’s menu, though, since the course options include dishes such as Maine diver scallops and black truffle tagliatelle.

The sumptuous black truffle dinner series is back at Jose Andres’ SAAM, the hidden restaurant inside The Bazaar, and just in time for Valentine’s Day. The 18-course menu goes until Feb. 20 so you better grab your seats fast and treat your lucky Valentine to a luxurious dinner, perhaps follow it up with a night stay at SLS Beverly Hills. The dinner is $250 per person with additional wine pairings available.

Why wait until dinner time to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Viviane at the Avalon Hotel will be starting off with brunch. There will be a menu inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s famous lovers. The Marlon Brando is a plate of marinated pork tenderloin or chow down on the JFK, a corned short rib sandwich. Viviane will also be offering a Valentine’s Day dinner at $72 per person where the rose-scented pavlova is sure to seal the deal.