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Dark...Booths...Quiet Conversation...help!

Hi all

First post here...Have a date on Friday night and am looking for something particular. This isnt about scene or trends..i just want a nice dimly lit, semi-quiet, booth laden place where not only is the food good, but i can have a nice conversation without screaming.

I'm westside local, but willing to go as far east as downtown, but no valley, or southerly drives.

Date prefers fish

thanks for your help

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  1. If you find a place like that can you let us know? (g). If you take a look at your requirements, good food, comfortable booths, flattering lighting and yet a smallish turnout so that you can have an intimate conversation - all on Friday night which tends to be one of the biggest dining out nights - it seems like a contradiction in terms.

    If you want a comfy booth and nice lighting, and if you can get seated in the back of the room on the upper deck, then maybe Bandera in West L.A. would fit your criteria. It will also have some nice fish choices.

    But the noise factor is still going to be something you will have to deal with. Although if you think about it maybe it will cause you and your date to have to put your heads close together and that can be nice too.

    1. I would suggest Le Boheme in West Hollywood. It's really a unique, delicious, and romantic dining experience. Here's the Opentable link to it:


      1 Reply
      1. re: Bria Silbert

        I like LaBoheme very much but it's one big room with two levels and is likely to get loud anytime after about 730 . . . IF Friday nights are anything like Saturday nights, anyway.

      2. Il Cielo in Beverly Hills. Do the patio as it is very charming and quiet, and secluded in a very unique way.


        1. If you can reserve a booth -- and it's not easy -- The Grill in BH would work. Good fish. The Pacific Dining Car downtown also has a lot of cozy booths. Or you could to to Musso's in Hollywood, but on a Friday night the patrons look like they've stepped out of the Wax Museum.

          1. Water Grill downtown is nicely lit, a quite room, great seafood. Sure to impress a date.

            1. while they are not booths, opus on western and wilshire has these huge armchair things that you sit in.
              dinners are usually at a "relaxed pace" and it may be a good option. dim lighting. modern good food at reasonable prices... im not sure if the volume goes up on friday nights or if there is a concert at the wiltern which might bring up the energy level.

              1 Reply
              1. re: modernist

                I was just at Opus on a date last Friday night, and while the food was great and the overall noise level was not too high, I thought that the huge armchairs and big table made it feel like I was miles away from my date -- we had trouble hearing each other, and I sort of felt restricted and isolated in my giant chair. Now, if the chair had been big enough for two, that would be a different story....

              2. No booths, but Michael's in Santa Monica fits the bill, too.

                1. they don't have booths, but what about lou on vine and melrose? good lighting, intimate, pretty quiet, interesting wine list.

                    1. re: jcwla

                      Your on the same train of thought as I am. When I hear booths, dark lighting, & quietness, it sounds like an Old World Italian place. Peppone can turn out to be pretty expensive though. Another option, with less fish choices & $$$$, would be Guido's which has it's distractors, but I've never been disappointed after going there. If you really into getting the "right place", then why not visit either or both before trying to make a reservation for Friday. If it's this Friday, it's might be getting awfully late for Peppone. Peppone Warning - Be careful, every seat is a booth except they have one 2-top in the bar which you definetly DON'T want!

                      Peppone - Brentwood

                      Guido's - W.L.A.
                      11980 Santa Monica Blvd. - near Bundy and a little tricky/confusing to find
                      (310) 820-6649

                      For some reason, only the Malibu one has a website.

                      1. re: JBC

                        I've only been to the Guido's in Malibu, and if it's the same setting in SM, then I second this option. The seating is only booth, the lighting is so dim (I had to bend backwards to read the menu from a lamp behind me last time), and the atmosphere quiet and romantic. Food-wise, it's ok, but a killer Caesar salad (all salads, actually), veal, and tiramisu.

                    2. What about Dan Tana's? Might be a bit of a scene on a Friday night tho.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Obessed

                        Dan Tana's is good only if you want to talk to the people at the next table.

                      2. not alot of people know about this place. it's TART attached to the Farmer's Daughter Hotel on 3rd and Fairfax. The outside patio seating is SO perfect for what you are looking for. call them and ask for a heated booth outside and you will NOT be disappointed.
                        when you're there order the bbq ribs or the pork tenderloin. mmmmmmmmmmmmm so good

                        1. The first place that came to mind was Tantra, an eclectic Indian place in Silverlake. Very dark lighting, very sexy and romantic with great food, too. My sister and I laughed about how it was too bad we were with each other. Read a review here:


                          I also tried a place on Friday that would be a great spot for a date: Yatai on Sunset, west of La Cienega. Asian tapas bar. No booths, but nice dim lighting and atmosphere. Pretty new and undiscovered, so you may have the restaurant all to yourselves. Again, I was with my sister, and my 18-month-old. We promise to not go when you're there.


                          I went on a first date a few weeks ago to Bistro de l'Hermitage in Culver City, after perusing these boards for a romantic spot in Culver City. No booths but it was a very quiet, romantic restaurant with great food and made for a wonderful first date (alas, that would be our last good date...)


                          Monsoon in the Third Street Promenade has nice booths and you can usually get a quiet, romantic dinner, although one time there was a loudmouth in the booth next to ours. That was just bad luck.

                          I also recommend Dar Maghreb for a date. Comfy couches, great food you eat with your hands, nice ambiance. Quiet except for when the belly dancer comes out.

                          Another cozy, romantic spot would be on the patio, on the comfy chair next to the fire pit at the Fish Company off Main Street. However, as there is only one such spot and you can't reserve it, it might be better for a drink after dinner, if you could come up with a restaurant on Main Street.

                          Have fun, good luck!

                          1. Matteo's on Westwood...hands down.

                            They have the same old classic menu but a great new more modern menu with a new chef.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: SCmike

                              I tried it after the La Times wrote up the chef. It's still preety bad.

                              1. re: Hunter

                                What did you have? Its not A+ food but it is solid with exactly what the poster was looking for.

                            2. Have not had the food in a while... but the Little Door on 3rd is always great for a date. Very romantic. No booths, but cozy. The Tower restaurant at the Argyle hotel is also a nice spot. Food isn't bad. May be a little more upscale for what you were originally thinking. Went there for cocktails and apps and loves the ambience.

                              1. Chameau, a Moroccan restaurant on Fairfax, would be perfect. It's dimly lit (perhaps a touch too dimly lit -- I like to have a better view of the delicious food). The food's great: make sure you try a tagine, or the lamb chops with eggplant, or the b'stilla.

                                1. i'm not a big fan but...mccormick and schmick's in beverly hills fits your description. i was just there a few nights ago (on a gift certificate) and we sat in a booth, it was dim, and totally conducive to conversation. and they specialize in fish.

                                  1. moun of tunis off of sunset near the guitar center. Another Morrocan restaurant. They have several private rooms with any level of lighting you choose. They are usually for medium size parties but a moderate amount of begging will get you one. I'm taking my family from out of town there this weekend

                                    1. Well, a few years ago I would've said Chianti, our go-to place for a corny romantic evening - dim lighting, booths, etc... I'll be following this post with interest, cause we still haven't found a real replacement.

                                      We like Water Grill a lot, but it isn't exactly romantic. I agree, though, that if it's fish your date wants, you might consider it...

                                      1. You may want to check out Brentwood Restaurant and Lounge in Barrington Village on Barrington just south of Sunset, across the street from Strarbucks and next to Brent-Air Pharmacy. Very dark. Your conversations dont travel. Good dishes and great desserts. Probably the best background music in the city.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: MichaelS

                                          Sad to say that my last 2 recent visits were very disappointing. Ambiance has taken a turn for the worst. Service now very inconsistent. Place now seems to be run by a bunch of amateurs.

                                          1. re: maudies5

                                            Concur... My shrimp cocktail was so rubbery that minutes of chewing did not ready the little guys for swallowing... Baked potato was crisp on the outside and raw inside. However, dark and seductive the ambience is... assuming that a band isn't playing over your conversation...

                                            1. re: Emme

                                              I just do not understand why this place is so popular among some people. My husband and I went there twice with our friends but I just could not find any reason to go back, food or otherwise. Our first visit was the worst. We left because we could not hear each other at all.

                                          2. re: MichaelS

                                            It's still dark but is on a downward spiral. Sad. The background music used to be phenomenal. Now boring. What has happened to the formerly hip and fabulous neighborhood place? Food is boring, music is ordinary, service is a disaster. The entire place seems to have fallen apart. Can anyone explain how a terrific,happening restaurant could change so dramatically for the worse? Even the celeb quotient is non-
                                            existent . Now over-run by the early birders and desperate singles at the bar Too bad. I used to LOVE this place.

                                            1. re: maudies5

                                              Obviously we missed its heyday. Too bad.

                                          3. I suggest Bel Air Bar and Grill on Sepulveda at Moraga.

                                            1. The best place for good food and a great private booth is the Olde Ship in Fullerton. They have high back booths, dimmed lighting, great food/drink and an outstanding staff. The atmosphere is comfortable a person can't help but make converstion and enjoy each others company. I recommend the fish and chips...the best on the west coast!!

                                              1. Thanks everyone for the suggestions - still going to noodle this one for a bit...ill update after the date


                                                1. Peppones
                                                  Chez Jay
                                                  Dan Tanas

                                                  1. How about old school? Taylor's Steaks on 8th street. Very dark and quiet and generally not too crowded on a weekend if you sit upstairs. Not sure about fish there, I usually stick with the beef.