HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


1 st date recommendations for Saturday afternoon

Any suggestions in the S. Bay, or Downtown LA for 1st date? Something fun and different but not too extreme. I am generally looking for a intimate environment that will help conversation to flow.

Looking to make an impression and have a good time and trying to avoid chain restaurants or 3rd street promenade, old town pasadena places. Too many date memories there!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you want to dine in the South Bay then maybe Restaurant Christine. Nice setting, food and service. It would make a good impression.


    1. How about Belacan Grill in Redondo Beach for some Malaysian food. You can get exotic if you like, but they've also got your standard set of noodles and curries and fried rices.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SauceSupreme

        I was thinking the same thing... very unique - definitely not a chain - just the food can make for conversation... not a really romantic setting, but it's a nice dining room and they're usually not busy at all on a saturday afternoon, which could lend to a somewhat intimate setting in a corner. Hmm... my only concern would be if they are still open between lunch and dinner?

      2. Le Creperie

        2nd Street

        Long Beach

        Crepes are sexy!

        1. I would recommend Chez Melange in the South Bay

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bria Silbert

            ugh, old, outdated and high unromantic. perfect for say a 50yr anniversary though! =)

          2. How about checking out the Museum Of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, and then walking the 200 feet to Bottle Rock for a glass of wine or Belgian ale?

            1. I would warn against Chez Melange if you are younger than 40. But you might like it otherwise.

              Food at bottle rock is NO BUENO, but the vino is nice.

              Meditrino on the Hermosa pier has a nice ambiance, if the weather is warm especially.

              Or downtown, a trip to the flower market followed by sushi lunch, or Mexican from the Grand Central Farmer's market is casual, different, inexpensive and fun.

              1. great suggestions thank you all. I am in my early 30's so may have to shy away from Chez Melange if what elissa said is true.

                The downtown was an option in my back pocket and agree about the market, fountain, near grand.

                Now I have a few ideas if we stay in S Bay. Please keep this up. I am cataloging and researching every place for 2nd and 3rd dates as well. Thanks again everyone.

                1. If you are headed downtown, I can't think of a better place than the rooftop at the standard hotel, if the date sucks, than at least you have some grade A people watching. It's even better if stay to watch the sunset glisten off the highrises.

                  1. If sushi is not too "extreme", there is R-23 in downtown. Ciudad (from the Too Hot Tamales) is a fun spot and not bad - just avoid it at happy hour time where all the after-workers swarm and stick with the apps and small plates which are better than the entrees.

                    You could also try an izakaya like Izayoi, Ebisu, or Haru Ulala and order as safe or extreme as you want. =)

                    1. thanks all for these great ideas. I am taking notes like crazy. Now the date has shifted to dinner time (at my request, i didn't want to compete with her friends calling during lunch to schedule dinner plans), I think this is better since that leaves more room for restaurants and activities afterwards without a time limitation. r23 I''ve heard good things about and would be my choice for downtown. For s. bay, I like la creperie (better for Sunday brunch?) or christine's. I know no matter where we go, conversation and vibe is most important, but I definitely want to try a unique place tht neither of us has been before. THANKS!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kf2avs

                        I went to r23 for a birthday dinner back in December and I enjoyed it. Since dinner was with a few people I was un-familiar with, the decor (cardboard chairs! plates on the wall!) and the interesting mix of people and the good food were nice conversation pieces to fall back on. I'd recommend for a date for sure.

                      2. In Downtown: Windows or Prime
                        Long Beach: Sky Room (dancing), or L'Opera

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: SoCalMuncher

                          I like the desserts at L'Opera, but I prefer dinner at the Madison. :D