Research the area and restaurant. This is especially necessary if you are visiting the city or are unfamiliar with it. Word of mouth is a great way to hear about a good place to eat, but you can also look to the restaurant guides on the Internet. The Gayot and Los Angeles Restaurants websites have great listings of romantic restaurants. If you are visiting or want to have a full weekend getaway, The Hotel Bel Air and it's restaurant are a truly unforgettable romantic experience.
Determine the type of cuisine and atmosphere you are looking for. As you will see, there are a bevy of choices out there, so decide which is best for you and your date. Valentino is a magical pick with it's Italian menu and classical feel, or Max is a something more modern with it's California/Asian menu and elegant setting. There is sure to be one perfect for your appetites.
Know your budget. Be aware of the cost of fine dining, so that the stress of the check does not put a strain on the rest of the evening. Plan only what you can afford-splurging is great on the ones that we love, but you do still have to pay the rent. There are plenty of lovely restaurants, like Cicada-a glamorous Italian place, which offer a wonderful evening at a lower cost.
Reserve a table if possible. Most classy restaurants do take reservations, so phone or e-mail ahead. Ortolan, a comfortable French place takes reservations online, several others will also. You might also want to pre-order some of the menu items, such as a specific wine or specialty food item. If there is live music, know what kind and let your date know if they should wear their dancing shoes.
Enjoy the menu, atmosphere, and your special someone. Nights like these live long in our hearts, so, tune out everything else and enjoy the food and company. The best thing is Los Angeles is filled with restaurants, like the not-to-be-missed romantic hideaway Il Cielo, so there can be many more romantic dinners.
- If you are new to the city or this particular part of town, and are driving, scout out the restaurant location beforehand. This will save time and frustration later.
- Turn your cell phones off and go to a restaurant without a sports program playing-this will keep you on track for the romance of the evening.