HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Romance help

g
Gettin off the pot Mar 5, 2002 07:15 PM

OK, I know you're all tired of romance posts after Valentine's day, but I really need some help on finding a place to ask my girl a big question.

I've got 3 places in mind, 1. Bel Air Hotel, 2. Four Oaks, and 3. Saddle Peak Lodge. Of the three, I've only been to Saddle Peak, but that was a few years ago. What I'm looking for is:
1. A table where we aren't sitting too close to those around us (heck, I'm gonna be nervous enough already, without worrying about having an audience. 2. A romantic setting obviously, 3. Great service (attentive and helpful, but not too obtrusive). 4. good food would be a plus too, but on this night its gonna have to take a little bit of back seat.

I've read a lot of posts from people who advocate the Bel Air Hotel, but I'm a litte worried it might be a little to "foo-foo" for us.

Thanks in advance for the help!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. f
    Filmfreaketta RE: Gettin off the pot Mar 5, 2002 07:40 PM

    My husband and I got engaged at Beaurivage which was lovely.

    However, I think Melisse would be absolutely perfect! Ask for one of the booths along the perimiter of the restaurant. They are spacious and also very private feeling. When we ate their for our anniversary, I honestly don't remember hearing or seeing anyone in the booths surrounding us.

    Have a lovely evening and much happiness to the new couple!
    It's a little fru-fru, but not stuffy. You can even make your reservation via OpenTable.com

    Link: http://www.opentable.com

    1. t
      Tom M. RE: Gettin off the pot Mar 5, 2002 08:26 PM

      My vote is the Bel Air. I did not perceive it as too foo foo, just incredibly romantic.

      1. p
        Phurl RE: Gettin off the pot Mar 5, 2002 08:29 PM

        I might be biased, but I think the Bel Air Hotel is an excellent choice. I proposed to my wife there a few years back and it was almost perfect.

        The Hotel and its grounds are gorgeous. You might want to check it out before you make a decision. Even if you don't pop the question there, it is worth a trip. You wouldn't even think that you were in a city.

        The restaurant has an inside and outside. The outside patio is definately the way to go. The food is excellent as is the service. It is generally less crowded and more intimate than most restaurants in LA because it is not trendy and a little harder to get to.

        My only complaint was that they have several tables that are set off by themselves overlooking a little pond that are the perfect little romantic nooks. I specifically asked for one of these tables when I made the reservation. I was told that they couldn't guarantee that we could be seated in one, but they would try. I asked again when I got there and was told that they were being held for someone else. I didn't want to make a stink so we took an inferior table and then I silently fumed as the table that I wanted stayed empty the entire night.

        Despite that minor glitch, I cannot think of a better restaurant in LA to spend a romantic evening.

        Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Phurl
          j
          Just Larry RE: Phurl Mar 5, 2002 10:08 PM

          The setting is very romantic and Hotel Bel Air would be very nice. I personally will not go back there because the do engage in alot of the elitist, holier than thou, nose in the air, snobbish behavior. The table sitting empty all night is just par for the course. I spend my money where I am appreciated and treated like a guest. Of the places you mentioned, Saddle Peak has the least attitude but how romantic is it to propose among dead animal heads? Fenix has recently become my favorite restaurant. The patio with the breath taking view and the dining room with its Art Deco decor are great. The food is spectacular. We always have Alex as our server. It is also fun to look at the pictures of Fanny Brice, Gloria Swanson era celebs. in the lobby. You can't go too far wrong at Melisse either. It is about the same price as Bel Air but without the attitude. Also without the romantic setting.

        2. m
          mc michael RE: Gettin off the pot Mar 5, 2002 08:45 PM

          I second the nod for the Bel Air patio. If you feel constrained at the table, you could always walk on the grounds by the pond with the swan to ask the question. Another romantic choice would be Il Cielo but unless it's a slow night, the tables are kinda close. Just occurred to me the patio at Fenix at the Argyle is nice looking out over the city lights and when I was there the tables were well spaced.

          1. r
            russkar RE: Gettin off the pot Mar 6, 2002 12:46 AM

            Everyone is right! The previous suggestions are fantastic and I've been to all of them many times but I really have to go with Michael's in SM because the Garden is just too special to miss and I was there in my Tux with the F&W Society about 3 months ago when someone proposed and Oh my....... what happiness. Second choice is Bel Air but it won't be as special, God knows my friend that got married there 5 years ago is now divorced. Go to Fenix for the View and food, not the bent knee thing.

            1 Reply
            1. re: russkar
              j
              Just Larry RE: russkar Mar 6, 2002 08:18 AM

              I wish I has thought of Michael's garden. That is the perfect place. Good luck. I love the Steak Frites.

            2. f
              Fun Hog RE: Gettin off the pot Mar 6, 2002 12:54 AM

              Go Bel Air. It's a very lovely setting. :)

              Link: http://www.swine-and-dine.com/Larest.htm

              1. j
                jesse RE: Gettin off the pot Mar 6, 2002 10:40 AM

                What about the Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon? It's a bit new-agey, but the patio is beautiful and romantic- by the stream, in the woods... (don't remember the proximity of the tables to one another, but the staff seems pretty friendly and would probably try and accomodate you)

                1. j
                  john gonzales RE: Gettin off the pot Mar 6, 2002 10:48 AM

                  First, good luck to you. I proposed to my wife at a Paris restaurant so know what it's like. I actually had to scramble for the spot because the Eiffel Tower (my original idea) was jammed with people, windy, cold, and drizzly. Luckily I found this beautiful Belle Epoque room to do it in. I might suggest that wherever you go, you tell them of your plans ahead of time and remind them once you arrive. You may end up with a better table & service.
                  Both Michaels & B.Air are great. I'd have to give my slight nod to B.A. because I think the food/service are a tad better but mostly because the grounds could enhance the evening. One other different option is Geoffreys in Malibu, while the food is pretty good, not fantastic; they have a table they call the "crows nest". I don't even know if they still serve at it but, it is perched up a flight of stairs all by itself with an amazing view of the Pacific. The view is world class, and the privacy factor is big.

                  1. k
                    kc girl RE: Gettin off the pot Mar 6, 2002 02:31 PM

                    I agree, the posted choices are wonderful choices. And how about another idea (to add to your confusion)? It might take the "edge" off for both of you. She may not even suspect you are going to propose!

                    Try the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown LA (you know -- the one made of five silver cylinders?). The restaurant on the very top floor overlooks the city and on the floor below, there is a cocktail lounge that revolves. The restuarant is A New York style steakhouse that also offers fish, chicken, and lamb. Try the T-Bone for two!

                    LA Prime Restaurant
                    in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel (213) 624-1000
                    404 S. Figueroa
                    Los Angeles (Near 4th and Flower)

                    Other considerations for this location is that the hotel has a few floors of specialty shops inside (kind of like a mini-mall without the Dept. stores). And, the location is just three blocks from the Music Center!

                    Best wishes!

                    1. j
                      Jeff Shore RE: Gettin off the pot Mar 6, 2002 03:58 PM

                      What do you consider "foo-foo"? If you are thinking of overly fussy, pretentious service, I would declare the Bel Air innocent as charged. It has always seemed to be the most comfortably formal place L.A. has created. I suppose it could become overbearing/consdescending, but that's never happened to us. We spent our honeymoon night there, and go there on every special occaision.

                      If you do decide to go with the Bel Air, I would definitely include the staff in the experience. One additional option to consider at the Bel Air itself is the Bar, which has always been our favorite place there; if you like plush leather hotel bars, it doesn't get ANY better than this. (Check out http://www.hotelbelair.com/dining/ind... and click on the Bar icon to see in side...)

                      Oh, and, I suggest this knowing nothing about your relationship, but if you feel like going for broke, they've got a nice special on rooms right now... (http://www.hotelbelair.com/specialoff...)

                      1. g
                        Getting off the pot RE: Gettin off the pot Mar 6, 2002 07:18 PM

                        Thanks for all your great suggestions.

                        For once, I've given myself enough time to investigate options. I think I'll take someone's suggestion and probably visit a couple of places ahead of time, and see what feels right.

                        I'll probably post back in 3-4 weeks after the hopefully happy event.

                        Thanks again.

                        Show Hidden Posts