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Off the beaten path, romantic birthday suggestions?

I'm looking for a restaurant that is off the beaten path (for me) for my wife's 29th birthday. We live in Beverly Hills but are willing to drive. Ideally it would be something romantic, not too expensive (Providence, Spago, Mastro's is too much) and would be more interesting than the usual Westside spots. Can be any type of cuisine but she does not eat meat, only seafood. As an example, I'm considering going to Babita.

Any help is appreciated!

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  1. Babita's food is really good. Romantic? I wouldn't call it that.

    How about Saddle Peak Lodge? It's way off the beaten path. It's oddly romantic in a log cabin hunting lodge way. It's not cheap, but not uber spendy, either

    3 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      OP's wife doesn't eat meat... Romantic as it is, not sure a former hunting lodge with all the trophy heads on the wall and a game heavy menu would necessarily do the trick.

      1. re: FranklinJefferson

        Whoops. Neglected to read that part. Yeah, SPL is a meatatrian place.

        1. re: FranklinJefferson

          Well SPL is indeed a meatarian place, but on the other hand they also most definitely have seafood, like a nice line-caught salmon, rainbow trout, seabass, etc.

          They have a couple of vegetarian entrees also. Had a delicious agnolotti last time!
          So if the OP does not have to go with tasting menu (and also does not have an aversion to trophy heads on the wall :P ), SPL should definitely still be in the running.

          (my review here: http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com/2009/... )

      2. Off the top of my head, Firefly in Studio City, SUR on Robertson, Locanda Veneta on 3rd near Cedars-Sinai, or my personal favorite, Bashan in Glendale/Montrose. Not the billowing curtains/enormous floral bouquets romantic but more understated, and food that was better than the tasting menu at Providence for 1/2 the cost...

        1. How about Inn of the Seventh Ray? Super romantic!

          1. What about Madeline Bistro in Tarzana? It's romantic, vegan -- don't worry the dishes please even the meat eater -- and moderately priced.

            Despite it's location on Ventura Blvd it's easily and often overlooked, so to me this is "off the beaten path."

            Madeleine Bistro
            18621 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356

            1 Reply
            1. re: ReelMike84

              I too have been looking for a romantic place that would please an organic-foods-eater and Inn of the 7th ray is def. a hit. (Beautiful....) On this board, Akasha in Culver City and Grace were recommended. Outside of this board, also recommended were Chez Mimi, Brandywine, Hotel BelAir's restaurant , the Raymond House in Pasadena, even Malibu's Charthouse at sunset. For food, Melisse (but ouch dollar-wise). I personally also like Campanile and Lucques. My favorite vegetarian friend adores Madeleine's , as ReelMike recommended. Good luck!!!

            2. i think il piccolino on robertson is cozy and romantic. also, little door and chez mimi in santa monica

              1. File this under "Off the Beaten Path".

                Long Beach - Itinerary ~ (An Updated Post):
                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. They now sell some simple app combos for $3 or $5 p/p. Take the pictured tour on their website.


                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 3 posts that came up (but they're getting older):


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


                1. I've recommended it before, but my favorite is Girasole.

                  1. Don't know if it's romantic enough, but how about Palate...

                    1. Tagine in BH on Robertson is so romantic; but maybe not far enough away for a birthday? Gjelina also seems like a good fit for this; although it is crowded on the weekend. Tasca would also be a good choice.

                      Tasca Restaurant
                      8108 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                      132 N Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

                      1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                        I wouldn't recommend Gjelina for a romantic birthday. It's way too loud and crowded.

                      2. I don't know if it qualifies as off-the-beaten-path, but you can't get more romantic than the Little Door, IMHO. Tasca is also very romantic, in a more casual way. I also think the upstairs patio at AOC is romantic, but you have to be specific when making the reservation, because the frenetic main room is decidedly NOT romantic (although it's fun). That's my top three!

                        1. raymond house is meatish as well.
                          if wife won't be freaked out by trophy heads (she's not eating elephant after all), i'd suggest showing her an online menu and seeing if she'd like it. I believe there are options, and when you reserve, ask about reserving specific tables and explain the occasion and what kind of mood you'd like.
                          The winelist is fine and there are seafood and non-meat options. This isCalifornia.

                          just looked at the menu
                          THERE ARE PLENTY OF OPTIONS.