budget's not that important. what matters most to me (the husband may or may not agree) is the quality of the food. i'm hoping there is a place that serves fresh, wonderful food in a setting where we can be comfortable and actually hear each other speak. that being said, i'd rather eat well than eat just okay food on a starlit patio.
it's funny. briganti is the place i keep hearing about. there must be a reason.
SHIRO still does it for me...the food is beautiful, the room, eh, but pretty. The service is also always wonderful and now they have a full liquor liscense...or so the rumor goes.
I've never had a meal there that I didn't adore...I've had 4 birthday dinners there since the 90's and when I went back in 2001, it was just a great as I remembered and have continued to go back without any regrets...love the desserts and the wine list too (we usually bring some of our own too.
First of all, heartiest of congratulations on the sitter.
For an extremely good and elegant dinner, moderately expensive, moderately quiet, we love Shiro's in SoPas, which was for years our special occasion restaurant. Downtown: the Water Grill remains our favorite, undiminished in our affection, though we've only been once since the Cimarusti era.
Can't help with Silver Lake (only thing I can think of is Nettie's & the Red Lion, neither of which fills the bill!).
Do you have a budget in mind? Places like Celestino in Pasadena or The Raymond, (which has a very romantic feel, but the food may not be as strong as the romance factor) or Briganti without much romance but the food has been getting strong reviews here and then there is Cliffsedge which has a terrifically romantic patio but the food doesn't live up to the setting.