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special occasion SF Valley

have been lurking and see almost no recommendations for restaurants in western SF Valley, or points west... I need something for a special occasion, romantic or classy, where you can actually have a conversation... way too many places these days have become so frenetic that you can't stay for more than an hour (which is what the restaurateurs love)... we love to dine leisurely... appreciate the visual/surroundings and service as much or more than the food itself... (live music would be a plus)... help would be appreciated

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  1. How far west you want? Max, Il Tiramisu, or Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks, Brandywine in Woodland Hills... there aren't as many fancy places in the western valley proper, but head up the canyon to Saddle Peak...

    1. Riviera Wine Bar in Calabasas in the center across from the Commons is nicer than most in the west Valley.
      Saddle Peak, per Emme, is the best, at 419 Cold Canyon Road, 818.222.3888
      More info here:

      1. Ruth Chris's in Woodland Hills: great steaks, great service, and nice atmosphere...you will not be rushed

        Fins Creekside in Calabasas: food is okay, but atmosphere and service are pretty good

        Never been to Max or Saddlepeak, but chowhound has some great reviews for them.

        1. Saddle Peak is romantic.

          Inn Of the Seventh Ray on Topanga Canyon in Malibu, but within 10 or 15 minutes of the west SFV is both romantic and classy, and also is easy for conversation and a liesurely meal.

          1. For another choice, try Kate Mantilini's in Warner Center, on Owensmouth. Very pretty (used to be a Huston's) with nice menu choices.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Golem

              Have to disagree... Kate Mantilini is not worth the prices for the quality of food. It is convenient only in trying to please larger groups with bland palates. If forced there, stick w/ egg white omelettes, pot pie, or mac'n'cheese.

              1. re: Golem

                By all means AVOID Kate Mantilini. It is neither romantic nor classy, the food and drinks suck and it is extremely overpriced.

              2. Inn of the Seventh Ray is beautiful... it's very romantic. Its set outside right on a creek. There's white light everywhere, heater lamps to keep you warm and the food is amazing. Its not a fast place, so go only if you have no time restrictions.

                1. Mediteraneo in Westlake Village, attached to the Westlake Village Inn. Beautiful property, refurbished interior and new menu (as of last fall).

                  1. thanks to all... many are places we know or have tried (although not Chris)... classy/romantic in SFV seems almost an oxymoron... happy to receive any further recommendations, we still have a week to nail it down

                    FYI Mediterraneo new interior quite a change, upscaled, almost nice Parisian tone, blacks/whites high-back chairs, etc. The patio facing rear/golf is enclosed and matches the interior.

                    Was at Inn of 7th years ago, and frankly was disappointed... nice surroundings but the food and service didn't match up... maybe better now.

                    If Kate Mantilini's took over Houston's but did not renovate, then I'd consider this definitely not a romantic place... mostly aimed to service the surrounding office building crowd, and spill-over from adjacent hotel.

                    Anyone have thoughts re either Sterling's or Roy's, both on Topanga Cyn Blvd? Haven't been to either, and generally am not big on chains.

                    Again, thanks.

                    1. I'll add, for what it's worth, there are a number of newer places 'out west' that are at least in the same class as many of the city places I see mentioned here a lot...

                      Allessio, in Thousand Oaks would definitely fit the comfortable/romantic category, and have been there several times... very nice interiors, excellent food all around and very accomodating, gentile service... long, leisurely space-out meal, never rushed... very reasonable prices for what you get, and a low corkage fee (if I recall it was $10, and they never charged it)... they also have a bar/lounge with piano and live entertainment weekends, no cover (and they allowed us to bring our own wine there as well)...

                      If anyone is interested in other 'far west' listings, I'll chime in when I have time.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: gottaeat

                        chapter 8 or p6 in westlake
                        fins in calabasas
                        roys, flemings or ruth chris - in woodland hills
                        cafe bizou in sherman oaks
                        alessio's in northridge