11 Ridiculously Romantic Restaurants For When You’re Shamelessly In Love
Believe it or not, it does happen.
It’s easy to be cynical about love these days. We’re all tired of the apps, the cheesy movies, and the mind-numbing jewelry commercials that are almost certainly written by artificial intelligence. But then it happens. Maybe by luck or persistence, or finally accessing that well of vulnerability your therapist always mentions, you’re in love, baby. And you know? You’re ready to soak in all of its dumb, sappy glory. Here are 10 LA restaurants where you can do just that.
Little Beast Restaurant
There’s something intrinsically romantic about eating dinner inside a craftsman bungalow, which is why you’ll often find us at Little Beast on date night. This charming American spot is one of the most popular restaurants in Eagle Rock, with a menu of solid dishes like salmon belly mousse and sweet corn risotto, and a warm, homey atmosphere where sparks can’t help but fly. There’s a wrap-around front porch perfect for watching the sunset over the hills, an interior filled with various nooks and crannies, and a string-lit back patio that feels like you’re hanging out in a neighbor’s backyard. It’s moody, but festive, and ideal for letting your date know that you’re really into this.
This old-school Argentinian steakhouse on Melrose has been around for years, yet still feels like a total secret. There’s a beautiful enclosed back patio with lots of ambient lighting, a giant wine list filled with dozens of Argentinian reds, and a menu with no shortage of tremendously cooked meat. You can’t go wrong with any cut, but we’re partial to the prime ribeye, which comes covered in a bright, punchy chimichurri glaze. Whatever you do though, save room for dessert. The charming wait staff presents the options on a giant tableside platter—the perfect way to end an evening of unmitigated affection.
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photo credit: Cafe Stella
Candlelit French restaurant with red banquettes, teeny tiny pepper mills, and expensive steak frites? It’s a little “on the nose,” but to hell with it, this sultry Silver Lake bistro has been an it-spot on the Eastside for a two-decades-plus because it’s romantic as hell. Even if you’re just gabbing with a friend, or looking for answers in a bowl of french onion soup alone at the bar, dining at Cafe Stella feels like a date night—you could even fall in love with yourself here. With jazz on the speakers, servers who know what they’re doing, classic moules frites for dinner, and profiteroles for dessert, even those people who claim to not care for French food will be wanting to come back.
The Malibu coastline is littered with aging, romantic steakhouses that all pretty much serve the same stuff. Our favorite of the bunch is Geoffrey’s. The classic spot has been around since the 1940s, and at one point, counted Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, and JFK as regulars. With the kind of history, unparalleled views of the water, and solid enough food that even the pickiest of spouses will enjoy, Geoffrey’s is the perfect place for a splurgy, grown-up date night.
Wife and the Somm
With several interconnecting patios, exposed wooden beams, and a big triangular bar where the neighborhood congregates nightly, this Glassell Park wine bar looks like a movie set where the protagonist finds undeniable love in the end. There’s a menu full of snack-y dishes like roasted brussels sprouts and spicy tuna tartare, plus excellent rotating pastas like tagliatelle in yuzu butter. That said, the real reason everybody’s here—besides trying to land a significant other—is for the excellent wine list, which covers a wide range of regions and styles.
The Little Door
Sure, the food at this upscale European brasserie in Beverly Grove is just fine these days, but no one can deny that Little Door is one of LA’s quintessential date spots. And it all boils down to the patio: warm, brick flooring, antique chandeliers hanging from rose vines, and enough trees to qualify the space as a pocket park. Dinner at Little Door feels like eating inside an enchanted forest, or in other words, the ideal place to order decent seared salmon and stare longingly at the person sitting across from you.
photo credit: Holly Liss
Located in a quaint, two-story yellow bungalow in Venice, this tiny Italian spot is a relic in every sense of the word and one of the last remaining places to experience the old Venice—or before the tech bros got their hands on it, at least. Barrique is also a classic date spot, complete with romantic, candle-lit interiors, Italian servers with thick accents, and a cozy side balcony with just enough room for a couple of tables for two. This is your move for anniversaries or “We don’t need an excuse, we just want to go somewhere fancy” dinners.
photo credit: Jakob Layman
Oriel is basically Romance Central. So much so that if a meal here doesn’t get the gears turning for a potential relationship, it might not be happening. With a slightly hidden location under the Gold Line tracks, entering this dimly lit wine bar in Chinatown is like teleporting into New York film noir, or a scene from, well, Chinatown. In addition, the French food at this casual spot is fantastic—we particularly love the bavette steak with garlic butter and mashed potatoes—and the wine list is full of interesting and well-priced selections.
photo credit: Jakob Layman
Pace is an unofficial landmark of the old Laurel Canyon before it became everybody’s favorite cut-through to the Valley. The old, rustic building that houses this upscale Italian spot looks like a place you’d see driving around Tuscany. And even though you’re in the middle of LA, this part of the canyon feels like a romantic little mountain village where every day starts with the town singing a big opening number together. Most of Pace’s menu is decent, but there are a few highlights that’ll make the night a homerun. Namely, the squash and ricotta-stuffed tortellini, prosciutto-topped Zeus pie, and a grilled salmon that’ll make you rethink your feelings on grilled salmon.
If you’re looking for a bit of epicness on your next date night, Redbird is a place to keep in mind. This cathedral-turned-restaurant in Downtown has been around for several years, but remains one of the most impressive dining spaces in the city. The interior is cute and cozy, but if you can, snag a table in the main courtyard. That’s where a retractable roof opens nightly offering views of the historic Vibiana bell tower and juliet balconies on the surrounding buildings. As for the food, it’s a standard array of pastas, appetizers, and big plates of meat, but all of it is quite good.
Firefly is by no means hidden, but stepping onto its massive back patio feels like you’ve found a secret European resort in the middle of Studio City. There are intimate cabanas along the sides, a two-story wall of ivy rising in the back, and a giant see-through fireplace in the center of everything. It’s one of the most romantic spaces in The Valley, if not the city, with a broad American menu that is a safe bet for any kind of date night. We like the bigeye tuna tartare, mussels in a curry broth, and fried Manzanilla olives.