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Where would you go for a romantic special occasion (anniversary)?

Looking for some input as i need to plan a big anniversary for me and the lady

if it helps:

prince range can't be too high... like $1000 high

would prefer a setting that's not overly noisy

we're not picky on food, we can eat almost anything

i'm more curious about where you would want to go on a special occasion so i can get unique ideas.


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  1. check out Sona... dave myers spot... very mellow, phenomenal food. highly recommend the tasting menu w/ wine pairings. thats my go-to. and if you tell them its a special occasion, you'll be in good hands.

    they do a VERY nice job.

    The other must-try is Bastide. Again, go for the tasting menu with the wine pairings. Be prepared though, dinner at both of these restaurants is a real production. like 3+ hours.. BUT it is worth every minute, and every penny. A meal you won't soon forget.

    If you're on the westside, Giorgio Baldi is chill and very romantic. But not in the same league as the other two.

    have a blast.

    1. Pane Vino on Beverly (and don't listen to whoever wrote they've never had a good dish there). They must not like good Italian, they probably like Chef Boi in a can. It's very romantic. The best dining experience is outside in the courtyard. Trees and little lites everywhere. Our waiter, Walter, was great.. I had the Bolognaise without the spell check and my friend had shrimp scampi, the deserts were great. I'm from NJ/NY and I know Italian and this was the best I've had in LA. The prices for the homemade pasta were extremely reasonable. Salads are big, anti pasta was great. All around successful evening, oh and the bread was good, chewy and fresh. Molti Buono? Not sure about my Italian yet.

      1. Hotel Bel Air has mediocre food, but a perfectly romantic setting (think swan pond, idyllic garden in a verdant canyon).

        Urasawa is not as romantic, but the sushi is absolutely topnotch - $300 per person (starting).

        Again, I'd have to disagree with amc..... I did not enjoy Sona at all.

        Melisse (French food in Santa Monica) does a much better job with special occasions.

        Bastide is hit-or-miss.

        For a nearly perfect romantic AND a perfect food experience, head to Yountville (I know, not in SoCal) and get yourself a table at The French Laundry. Mrs. J.L. and I celebrated my birthday there this year for $900 (just within your budget!)

        1. The Saddle Peak Lodge. About (with drinks, tax and tip) about $100 per person. Utterly distinctive with game and other wonderful dishes and an ambience that can't be beat IMO. If you go, when you make your reservations ask to please be certain that you are seated on the first floor. I think it is the most romantic part of the restaurant.

          1. Providence! Great tasting menu, this is my go-to place.
            Also Sona, Ortolan are among the same lines.

            1. Here are my favorites for occasions-in order
              Wilshire restaurant at 24th and Wilshire Santa Monica-310-586-1707
              Ask for a table outside in the Bar Patio
              Foundry on Melrose - outside 323-651-0915
              Lastly Melisse- in Santa Monica 11th and Wilshire 310-395-0881
              Wilshire is definitely the hippest.

              1. our go-to place for romance and good food is Chez Mimi on 26th and San Vicente. Ask to sit by the fireplace and let them know its your anniversary- you will definitely get special attention.

                1. Food would not be the focus, but if you have a friend or contact who could get you into The Magic Castle, that can be a really fun and special evening. Be sure to see some of the close-up work along with the bigger shows.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nosh

                    Food is definitely not the focus there. Eew.
                    Take her to Chez Mimi, Spago, Inn f the Seventh Ray, The Saddlepeak Lodge, JiRaffe, or Valentino's. Luques would be good too. So would the Little Door

                  2. The outdoor patio at Michael's Restaurant in Santa Monica. It's filled with tiny lights at night, very intimate.


                    1. I agree w/ other recs for Wilshire, Sona, and Providence. I also love the patio at Pane e Vino.

                      If you'd like a great view, try the Restaurant at the Getty.

                      1. ..."a special occasion so i can get UNIQUE ideas."

                        Long Beach - Itinerary:
                        1st) Gondala Ride - For an hour in and around Naples Island in Long Beach. Bring a bottle(s) of wine, or Champagne, with you and something to nosh on for yourselfs and give a glass to the Gondaleer.


                        2nd) Dinner at Tantalum - Seafood with exotic atmosphere (sort of a change of pace from the tradional, but your experiencing that in #1 & #3):


                        Here are the first 3 posts that came up:


                        3rd) After Dinner Drink with elevated panoramic 360 deg. city View at The Sky Room Bar: