Need a restaurant with all of these things-
-very romantic (or just great ambiance...some candles maybe, not too loud, good room)
-interesting wine list
-perhaps the "hip new thing" or a "hidden gem"
I need to make some suggestions that fit these criteria for a friend of mine who is fresh from Italy, so the standards are pretty high. I had a few ideas:
ick, Cheebo does not meet any of those requirements.
I would nominate Lou for sure.
The other restaurants on your list are also good choices, although Cafe Stella and Little Door are so full of um..how to say...Eurotrash...that your Italian friend might not feel like he or she has even travelled to L.A.
While I enjoy Lou for what it is, I would hesitate to endorse it wholeheartedly. The food is fine, but would I take someone fresh from Italy? Probably not. And while I applaud the folks at Lou for making the room as inviting as possible under the circumstances, the windowlessness of it feels more than a bit claustrophobic to me. For a romantic evening, I'd much rather sit outside at Chateau Marmont. Or what about Pace in Laurel Canyon?
Canele's food may be ok, yet not inventive in the slightest, and the wine list is one step from dreadful.
I just hope they do something about that list, or make it verrrrry user-friendly regarding bringing in your own wines.
I like the place a lot, yet it does need a bit of help in some small kinds of ways.