With Valentine’s day swiftly approaching, I thought I would share some romantic dinner date ideas with you. I know it’s traditional to have the man plan the date, but let’s face it sometimes he needs a little help. I admit I can be hard to please, so it’s much easier on my poor boyfriend if I give him at least a few options to choose from.
Over the years I have had the pleasure of dining at these locations, and enjoyed my experience well enough to share them with you. If you live in Los Angeles you must give these restaurants a try, if not for Valentine’s Day on your next romantic dinner date with your man.
Located in Burbank, California near the Warner Brother’s studio lot, Smoke House might as well be a historic landmark. Open since 1946, the Smoke House has been a popular destination for producers, celebrities and families alike. George Clooney loved the restaurant so much he named his production company after it. The exterior of the restaurant looks like a charming old fashioned home, while the interior is cozy and romantic. Unlike the lighting at your typical chain restaurant, the dim lighting is relaxing (and much more forgiving). It doesn’t get much more classic than the Smoke House. During Valentine’s Day the restaurant kicks it up a notch with special seasonal decor and a special menu. The tables surrounding the fireplace are extra romantic, and can be requested when you make your reservation. The menu offers traditional steakhouse fare. You will have your choice of steaks, prime rib, seafood and chicken options, but what the Smoke House is really famous for is their garlic cheese bread. Diners who sit down to dinner between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on February 14th receive 25% off the Vday menu. If you would prefer to go for drinks, or are looking for some entertainment, the Smoke House lounge offers live music Thursdays through Saturdays. You can view the music schedule here. If you are looking for a great place for Sunday brunch stop by the Smoke House Sundays between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Located in Downtown, Los Angeles Takami holds special significance for me. It was the place where my boyfriend and I spent our first date. The views from Takami are spectacular, with large windows overlooking the skyscrapers of Downtown L.A. Whether you sit inside or outside, you will be able to enjoy the magnificent view. I prefer to dine here for dinner, because the view is more spectacular at night. I have to admit I am not a fan of sashimi, but I do enjoy a good roll. The sushi rolls were delicious, and the portion size was reasonable for the price. If you’re date isn’t into sushi there are quite a few non-sushi items to enjoy as well. You can view the menu here. If you’re not hungry, stop by for a cocktail. The cocktail menu is extensive and unique. The restaurant is offering a special Valentine’s Day cocktail and desert for patrons spending the occasion with them. Takami doesn’t come cheap, but it’s no more expensive than any other similar establishment. The spicy tuna on crispy rice is $14 for example, and sushi rolls will cost you between $6 and $15.
What can I say about this Palace in the hills. Yamashiro means “Mountain Palace” in Japanese. It was the dream of the Bernheimer brothers in 1911 to build a hilltop mansion 250 feet above Hollywood Boulevard to house their priceless collection of Asian treasures. Hundreds of skilled craftsmen were brought from the Orient to recreate an exact replica of a palace located in the “Yamashiro” mountains near Kyoto, Japan. This dream became a reality in 1914.” To learn more about the history of this one of a kind restaurant check the history page. I first came across this restaurant when I was doing a search for my boss. He wanted to take his girlfriend somewhere romantic, and I found Yamashiro. I finally ate here with my boyfriend on her 2nd year anniversary. The restaurant itself is huge, and truly looks like a Japanese palace. The view from our table was unbelievable with windows facing Downtown L.A., Hollywood, and Century City. The sparkling lights of the city made the experience magical. The menu is quite extensive, with plenty of pricey dinner options for the diner less interested in sushi. We ordered five sushi rolls to start, and the fried chicken bites. The chicken was delicious, and the breading was unlike any chicken strips I have ever tasted. The sushi was so large, we couldn’t eat anything else. The spicy tuna rolls on crispy rice were amazing, and much larger than the portions you get at other well known Japanese restaurants. Most of the sushi was topped with caviar, but if that’s not your thing you can ask to have it served without it. My favorite part of the meal was desert. I am a lover of sweets, and my dessert was amazing. We ordered the s’mores fudge brownie which consisted of a warm chocolate brownie, topped with toasted marshmallow, and accompanied by a graham cracker and cookie dough ice cream. It was insanely good. The restaurant is providing a special Valentine’s Day menu which you can view here, but it doesn’t come cheap at $99 per person. During the summer the Japanese garden and pool bar are open as well.
In the hills of Burbank sits The Castaway. A hidden gem, the Castaway also features amazing views of the city. The palm trees on the property combined with the architecture take you back to 1950s Hollywood glamour. The location is so beautiful that many couples plan to have their weddings here. I had the opportunity to have Valentine’s Day dinner here once before, oddly enough with my parents and brother. It wasn’t exactly the most romantic dinner date, but I was still able to enjoy the great food and ambiance. The menu features prime cuts of steak, seafood, and chicken dishes. Soups, salads, and pasta dishes are served as well. Dinner is naturally more costly than lunch, so if you are on a budget you might want to make it to the restaurant during lunch hour. Steak dishes are between $30 and $38, seafood dishes are between $29 and $49, and pasta is between $17 and $38 for the seafood pasta. To view their full menu visit here. If you plan on visiting the restaurant on Valentine’s Day be sure to make a reservation. The special Vday menu can be viewed here.
Check back with MeeshMe tomorrow for Valentine’s Day dinner ideas for those of you on a budget!