Romantic Restaurants in LA

Romantic Restaurants in LA

Low lights. Warm, delicious food. A cozy atmosphere that’ll make you want to linger for hours.  It’s all so cliche but oh so true.  If you’re looking for a romantic night out, those are the essential ingredients. Oh, and the right person to join you doesn’t hurt either.

We all know about the dozens of little Italian joints in Beverly Hills and Brentwood, but if you’re in the mood for a little love (or at least a good meal with some tasty ambiance) elsewhere, check out this list with some of the most romantic restaurants in LA, handily displayed in alphabetical order.

ADOAdo - Venice
This ridiculously adorable space has a lot going for it. For one, it’s a bright yellow two-story house that was originally built in 1908 to board railroad workers. Two, the guys behind it–Paolo Cesaro and Antonio Mure–are prototypes of suave Italian men who know how to cook and charm their way into your good graces. Three, the entire space fits only about a dozen tables, all lit by flickering candles.  Four, there’s a balcony! And five, delicious handmade pastas and all manner of meat dishes. (Goat, quail, veal, rabbit, buffalo, lamb, boar, what more?!) Carnivorous romantics, this place is for you. Veggies in love, head elsewhere.

Cafe BohemeCafé La Boheme - West Hollywood
Admittedly, I haven’t been here in a while, but anytime I’m asked for a romantic restaurant rec in WeHo, I inevitably default to this place (and Little Door, of course). That’s because I’m a sucker for a fabulous fireplace. And this place has two. One inside the slightly gothic-like castle aglow with huge cascading chandeliers hanging from vaulted ceilings, and one outside on the charming little patio that might be connected to a parking lot, but makes you feel as though you’re a world away from the boulevard madness.

Malibu Cafe at Calamigos RanchCalamigos Ranch Malibu Cafe - Malibu
If your idea of romance leans more toward rugged than refined, Calamigos Ranch–a sprawling 130-acre space hidden in Malibu wine country–is your place. Beyond the crackling fire and wedding office at the entrance, beyond the mini waterfalls and horse-shaped tire swing, and over the bridge that crosses a pond with quacking ducks is where you’ll find Cafe Malibu, an open-air, two-tier dining deck lined with wicker chairs and sunbrellas, a bar and an eeeeeenormous, tree-lined lawn scattered with day beds, cabanas and even a pool table. This place is great for couples, but feel free to bring the fam along–little ones (and four-legged ones) are allowed to run around leash free.

Cliff's EdgeCliff’s Edge – Silver Lake
Sitting on the edge of Sunset and Edgecliff without so much as a sign is where you’ll (try to) find this Silver Lake hideaway that’s been keeping the romance alive since 2004. Although there is ample room inside, there is no other place you’ll want to sit than on the tropical outdoor patio. Yes, the place can get loud, but who can argue with candle-topped tables, rattan chairs, hanging bulbs, and a huge tree in the middle of the room? You’ll feel like Robinson Crusoe dining on French-Med fare.

Little DoorLittle Door - Mid-City
It’s literally a little door that leads the way to the most romantic restaurant in LA. The first thing you see is the charming courtyard which looks more like an enchanted garden covered by a canopy of bougainvillea entwined around knotted branches, ferns and trees twinkling with lights, candelabras casting shadows, and tiled fountains gurgling among the din of guests celebrating a special occasion or hanging at the bar for some late-night mezze and wine. If you can pull yourself from the patio, there’s also the Winter Garden, Piano Room (yes, there’s a piano) and Blue Room with its inky indigo walls, fireplace and furry pillows. As for the Mediterranean fare, Little Door was doing the seasonal-organic-farmer’s market thing way before it became de riguer, so everything’s super fresh. Save up and get ready to splurge.

Naya Sunset's main dining roomNaya Sunset – Silver Lake
This Eastside restaurant and lounge on Sunset Blvd is all about love and lust (respectively), so you’re covered no matter what your mood. The restaurant, with its billowy white curtains, white walls and red accents is a romantic backdrop for the modern Indian cuisine (smaller portions and rich sauces) while the adjacent Moroccan lounge aims for a sexy vibe with dim lighting, dark nooks, music and live entertainment. (Think fire breathers, Indian burlesque and the like.) There’s also a lush canopied patio that’s perfect for a little postprandial cocktail by the fire.

Osteria La BucaOsteria La Buca – Los Angeles
Part of the appeal of this Melrose osteria is the contrast it provides to the slightly sketchy scene right outside its glass walls. Glowing lights that make everybody look good, wine bottle chandeliers plunging from high ceilings, a cool bar, and an elevated loft space (with a fireplace, of course) that looks out over the bar and main dining room all make for a romantic scene. If you don’t fall in love with your date, don’t worry. There’s always the homemade potato and fig ravioli. True love, indeed.

PacePace Laurel Canyon
No, this place isn’t named after that cheap picante sauce. It’s pronounced “pah-chay.” And it means “peace” in Italian. Which makes perfect sense since this romantic gem is hidden along the winding, leafy road of Laurel Canyon, where hippies live in boho bliss. Think rustic, tapestries and flickering candles. Pizza, wine and cedar plank salmon. And a lovely, crowded bar. Come here to conjure up the glory days of pace, love and understanding.

Restaurant at Sunset MarquisRestaurant @ Sunset Marquis - West Hollywood
It might seem odd that one of the most romantic restaurants in LA is found in the city’s most rock ‘n’ roll hotel, but consider that part of its laidback charm. The Marquis’ simply named Restaurant is an oasis from the city, surrounded by a narrow moat and the hotel’s lush landscaping, creating an indoor-outdoor experience that provides a lovely backdrop for Chef Burlion’s seasonal takes on French fusion.

Saddle  PeakSaddle Peak Lodge – Calabasas
Deep in the hills of Malibu, amid the overgrowth of wild flowers and along the drying canyon creek, is where you’ll find this creaky 100+ year-old lodge that once served as a Pony Express stop, hunting lodge and even a bordello. Sound romantic? It is. With massive log walls and numerous rooms with countless nooks, Saddle Peak exudes romance, albeit with a slightly musty air. There’s hunting and fishing gear, Old West relics and years-old paintings hung in the salon. There are books lining the library shelves, crickety wicker furniture in the cramped upstairs chambers, and stone terraces overlooking the  mountains. It’s history right in front of your eyes: a welcome sight in a city obsessed with what’s new.

WP24WP24Downtown LA
Wow, what a view. Wolfgang Puck’s maze of a restaurant and lounge that weaves along the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton not only affords incredible views of the Downtown LA skyline, but it also offers delicious Asian fusion and haute Chinese cuisine. (And yes, you’re gonna pay for it.) Call to reserve a table in the shmancy main dining room where you’ll impress your date with stunning views, great service and a pricey gourmet meal.
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