My Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day is what you make of it. Whether you are single or in a relationship, you can enjoy February 14th, instead of dreading it. Some of my best Valentine’s Days were spent with my best girl friends. Now that I’m in the right relationship, the special holiday provides us with a way to show each other how much we appreciate having one another.

This year we spent the night having dinner at the Smoke House in Burbank, then watching Robo Cop of all things. A romantic movie? Not necessarily, but fun nonetheless. We watched the remake of the 80’s classic at the MGN Five Star Cinema in Glendale. The new luxury theater is one of our favorite spots, due in part to the reclining chairs, and clear picture quality. Wait staff also serve both drinks and food. I will warn that the food isn’t exactly up to par with theaters like Ipic, but the menu beats out AMC dine in theaters.

Looking to give MGN Five Star Cinemas a try? Click here to search movie times, and/or purchase your tickets.

Here are some pictures from my Valentine’s Day 2014

Here at Meeshme.com we hope that you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day, and want to hear from you. Let us know how you spent your Valentine’s Day below.

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The Holiday For or Against Singles

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Happy Vday

The longer I am in a relationship the more I realize how overly dramatic I was while single.  I was single for a while before and after my previous long term relationship.  Single in that I wasn’t in a committed relationship.  I dated, and I “saw” people for long periods of time, but went without calling someone my boyfriend for about three years.  You can imagine how traumatic that first relationship was.

When that relationship was done I was left with a feeling that I wasn’t good enough.  When the holidays came around I remembered that feeling, especially on Valentine’s Day.  I felt that I had to do something or else I’d be at home questioning myself all evening.  How ridiculous! Now that I’m in a healthy relationship, I remember what most holidays are about.  When we’re kids we’re not thinking about the fact that no man/woman loves us romantically during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years Eve.  We’re excited to see our family, play with our cousins, our toys.  On Valentine’s Day we pass cards to all of our friends.  Why as adults do we put so much pressure on having love during the holidays?

As Valentine’s Day approached this year I couldn’t think of anything I necessarily cared to do.  My boyfriend, in fear of disappointing me, threw a bunch of ideas at me.  They were sweet and thoughtful, but I kept thinking about the crowds, the overpriced menus, the wait times, and I thought why? I have a great relationship I don’t need a dinner to tell me that.  I’m fine with staying home, and getting a card.  Then I think back to the Valentine’s Days I spent crying, or dreading, or caring way too much about.  Funny how the holiday is no big deal now.

When you’re dating someone new or you’re single there’s a lot of pressure felt on Valentine’s Day.  Just remember that even if a man or woman hasn’t said I love you yet, your family and friends have.  You do have people who love you every day, celebrate that!  One of the best Valentine’s Days (if not the best) I ever  had was when I spent it in Las Vegas with two of my best friends.  We bought sweets for ourselves, my brother bought me flowers, and we spent the night dancing away.  Enjoy where you’re at in life right now, don’t worry about where you should be.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day: Done Disney

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Anyone who has known me for even about five minutes, knows that I love Disneyland.  My very first birthday was celebrated there, and pretty much every year since.  My mom has worked for Disney for the past 17 years, and my boyfriend now works there as well.  Maybe it’s the fact that I never want to let go of my inner child, or that my love of big ball gowns makes me resentful that I wasn’t born a Disney Princess, but I always feel happy when I spend a day in or around the parks.

All my time spent at the parks have made me somewhat of an expert.  It’s no secret that many girls love Disneyland, many men however dread walking past that turnstile.  That being said, Disneyland is truly a romantic place.  It’s the reason why so many girls want to be taken there on a date.  Why not treat your girlfriend to a Valentine’s Day at the park? If you work on during the week, you can always celebrate a weekend before or after.  Can’t pay the hefty admission ticket price? No worries, Downtown Disney offers plenty of romantic dining experiences, and parking is free for five hours with validation.

So without further ado, here are some romantic dinner options Disney style:

The Blue Bayou

Blue bayou

The Blue Bayou

Ever taken a boat ride on the Pirates of the Carribbean? Then you have seen the Blue Bayou.  Yes, it’s that restaurant you can see from your boat before you take that first drop.  I had seen this restaurant over and over again for years, and always wanted to try it.  I just never got around to it.  I mentioned this to my boyfriend when we were first dating, and on my birthday he took me there.  I was so surprised, and excited.  The restaurant is much more magical than it appears from the ride.  The dining area is designed to look as though you are eating outside in the bayou region of Louisiana.  The entrance and waiting area are set in the facade of a New Orleans home.  When you walk past the doors into the “patio” you see what looks like outdoor dining.  The trees, twinkling lights, and bayou backdrop truly transport you to Louisiana.  Our table was positioned close to the water, but don’t worry you can’t even see the Disneyland tourists floating by on their boats.  The food was delicious.  They serve traditional Louisiana fare with choices of Jambalya, gumbo, and more.  See the full menu here.  As we finished our dinner my boyfriend said I love you for the first time.  He later referred the restaurant to his friend who purposed to his girl friend there.  The Blue Bayou is a truly a place for romance.

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen

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Jazz Kitchen

If you like the sound of a Louisiana inspired dinner date, but can’t afford to splurge on theme park tickets, then visit Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen.  While I’ve never been on a date here, I have dined here with a close friend of mine.  The restaurant is beautifully designed with lots of attention to detail.  The fountain in the center of the dinning room ads a dramatic touch to the scenery.  The food and portion size are great, and the beignets  are to die for.  View the full menu here.  If you’re on a budget, you can visit the quick pick up location next door.  They offer many Louisiana favorites, and you can pick up a bag of the delicious beignets with powdered sugar.  Take your bag to go, and snack with your loved one as you walk down the strip and take a look at the shops.

Carthay Circle

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Carthay Circle

Located near the entrance of Disney’s California Adventure theme park, Carthay Circle is one of the newest additions to the theme park.  The restaurant depicts the same theater Walt Disney premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs all those years ago.  The original theater is now gone, and the restaurant pays tribute to the movie that started the animation studio.  The restaurant is an ode to old Hollywood glamour, and the architecture is similar to the Spanish style reminiscent of that time.  The bar located on the first floor of the restaurant serves delicious cocktails as you wait to be seated.  The dining room itself is glorious.  The menu is varied with many California inspired dishes, and a few Asian inspired as well. To view the full menu visit here.  The ambiance is very romantic, and will impress any date.

Napa Rose

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Napa rose

Located inside Disney’s California Adventure Hotel, Napa Rose is a romantic dinner destination.  Entrance to this restaurant does not require an admission ticket.  The menu was created by the same Chef responsible for the menu at Carthay Circle.  Napa Rose has received several accolades since it’s opening in 2002.  The ambiance is very contemporary, but the dim lighting ads a touch of romance.  The wine selection is quite extensive, so wine connoisseurs take note.  With thick cut steaks, and fresh fish to choose from, you can’t lose at this modern restaurant.  To view the full menu visit here.

Other downtown Disney options include: The House of Blues, Catal Restaurant, and Naples.

Disney romance on a budget: Flo’s V8 Cafe. Great views of the Car’s Land Canyon.

No matter where you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, I hope it’s a magical one.

Valentine’s Day: Dinner

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.

Smoke House

Smoke House

Smoke House

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.

Takami

Takami

Takami

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.

Yamashiro

Yamashiro Hollywood

Yamashiro Hollywood

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.

The Castaway

Castaway

The Castaway

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!