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Romantic yet affordable?

Hi guys, I have someone coming to visit me and I want to take her out to a great dinner. If I had the cash I would go to A.O.C or The Little Door, but I don't. My second choice was La Buca, but I've heard that it's gone downhill of late. So does anyone have any suggestions? I would like to spend between $30-40 a piece, and if it was near the Fairfax/Beverly area that would be fantastic (although it doesn't have to be.) Thanks so much!

p.s. Is Josie still doing their wed. night farmer's market dinner?

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  1. I'll take a stab at this one. Sake House on La Brea may not be what most people think of as classically romantic, but it's very cozy. Kind of Japanese/pub like if that makes sense. Plus, there are couches so you can cuddle up to your date. Lots of small plates to share, sake to sip, it'll be a nice date. The sushi is fine, but the little sharing plates are the real draw. Parking is kind of a pain though.

    I think a $30-$40 each, at a classically romantic restaurant in the neighborhood you prefer is going to be hard to do. The only other place I can think of, which still may be a bit too expensive is the "French" steak place at the Grove. Morelles? It's right next to the fountains. If you eat upstairs it's nicer than downstairs and a little quieter. Good luck on your date!

    2 Replies
    1. re: writergirl

      Thanks a lot, I'll definitely look into Sake House. I tend to stay away from the grove for various reasons, and I know the area I'm looking in is not the most affordable. I just want to be able to have a bottle of wine and not worry about driving. Maybe I'll just splurge and go to the little door...

      1. re: themook

        Definitely check it out beforehand. It may be too funky to qualify as romantic, but I think it's sweet.

    2. Have you been to Cafe Bizou? Good food and value, $2 corkage, good ambiance (esp. Pasadena and Sherman Oaks locations). Used to be one of my go to "first date" locations.


      1. Maybe Chez Mimi in Santa Monica? You can check our their menu online at http://www.chezmimirestaurant.com/mai.... Should be affordable--entrees range from $15-$24.50. I haven't been there in a while, but I remember their patio being romantic. Maybe go with a later reservation time, since I think they had pretty white christmas-like lights on the patio that enhanced the romance at night.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Nicole

          "Page cannot be found". Any advice?

          1. re: Griller141

            Nicole put an extra period at the end. Try this: http://www.chezmimirestaurant.com/mai...

            I have no experience with this restaurant; just helping out with the broken linkage.

        2. try chameau, and here's a recent chowhound posting:


          moroccan is often romantic and if find their bestilla is amazing.


          399 n fairfax

          1 Reply
          1. re: revets2

            I was going to suggest Chameau too. I think it's a great date place, and the food is terrific.

            I'd also suggest Ulysses Voyage in the Farmer's Market. It's not uber romantic, but the patio is nice and their grilled octopus is terrific.

          2. Might I suggest Monsieur Marcel in the Farmer's Market? It's right in the area you are thinking of, it's reasonably priced, it's romantic, and it's a very unique experience.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Corsica

              thanks everyone, I'll report back wherever I go.

            2. I'll second on Mssr. Marcel in the Farmers Market. Also, I have not yet been but, what about Bodega de Cordoba at 361 South Fairfax - it's tucked away across Fairfax from that hateful mini-mall (redundant, I know) w/ the Sav-On and Whole Foods. Might be worth a shot? If so, share the info.

              1. I don't know if Pane e Vino is outside of the price range, but I do like their back patio for romance.

                For a more erotic type of romance, there's always eat with your hand type places like Dar Maghreb, or cook yourself shabu shabu or korean bbq...

                1. Sake House is very good- better than half the overrated sushi/japanese places on ventura blvd. I was actaully hoping it would stay off the boards --> then come the crowds

                  best mini IKURA BOWL and mini UNI BOWL and TUNA TARTARE w/ Quail Egg- let me know what you think

                  it's romantic in a funky type of way, but good to check out one time or another

                  1. cafe des artistes
                    off vine
                    the hungary cat
                    these are all a little east but really good

                    1. dinner has probably already come and gone, but i was still compelled to respond -- this is my hood.

                      Bodega de Cordova is great, but doesn't offer much in the ways of dinner -- mostly just light tapas to munch on with your wine. great vibe for after dinner though.

                      2 other great winey romantic options:

                      cobras and matadors -- buy a bottle of wine next door (no corkage) and eat really good tapas in a space that manages to be cozy, hip, lively, and romantic at the same time. the food is tapas, but they're all pretty delicious -- I especially like the lentils. (beverly and curson-ish)

                      tasca -- another small plates place. it's on third, at crescent heights. gorgeous design, very attentive service. small and cozy and dimly lit. the food is very good -- the short ribs with gnocchi are great. http://www.tascawinebar.com
                      in spite of the 'wine bar' in the name, they don't have their liquor license yet, but i think you can bring your own (might want to call and confirm that).