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Date night restaurants

Any suggestions for a good date restaurant (relatively inexpensive - around $$-$$$) with a nice bar and ambience in the following areas:

San Fernando Valley
Calabasas
Thousand Oaks
West Hollywood
Sant Monica

Thanks!

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  1. What does $$-$$$ translate to, $30/pp to $60pp?

    West Hollywood or thereabouts: Hatfield's
    Santa Monica or thereabouts: FIG (50% off) between 5 PM and 6 PM, Blue Stove (in Nordstroms, seriously), Tokyo Kalbi
    In Between SM and WeHo: Red Medicine in BH

    Will add more as I think of them.

    16 Replies
    1. re: PeterCC

      As good as the food is at Blue Stove, (and I like it) I would not consider it a date night venue. The problem is that a lot of tired shoppers with tired, hungry and cranky kids are in there in droves during the evening. And that makes for a decidedly "unromantic" ambiance in my opinion.

      1. re: Servorg

        Well, I've only been at lunch, and it was quiet and intimate. It was that environment that I was recommending. If you're correct, then I withdraw my rec for that place.

      2. re: PeterCC

        <Blue Stove (in Nordstrom, seriously)>

        Seriously? It's been a long, long while since I've dated but Nordstrom? To take a date?
        No.

        1. re: latindancer

          I don't see it as any different than recommending a place that happens to be in a mall or shopping plaza. There are great places that aren't standalone buildings, so I wouldn't not consider it just because it happens to be a restaurant within a store, but if it is crowded with tired shoppers with hungry/cranky kids, as Servorg said above, then, no, it wouldn't be a great place for a date.

          1. re: PeterCC

            It has always been 'crowded with tired shoppers with hungry/cranky kids' when I've been....with a line to get in.
            The food's good and the restaurant is fine but it's just a place where unpredictability is a factor. Regardless of where it's at.

            1. re: latindancer

              The line to get in is there. But I have to give them credit for honoring our reservation without any wait at all. The biggest problem I had (added to the cranky tired children and overwhelmed parents) was the absolute traffic gridlock around there on a Saturday night. That was not fun. Good thing I always allow plenty of extra time to get to where I'm going or we would have been late by more than a little bit.

        2. re: PeterCC

          if you go to Fig, know that anything you order after the 6pm witching hour will be regular price.
          also, know that starting about 5:45 everyone in the place will be trying to get their remaining orders placed before the witching hour and it may be difficult to get your server's attention.

          1. re: westsidegal

            Not that anyone should expect to get the discount outside the 5PM to 6 PM hour, but we've been given the discount on desserts we've ordered after 6 PM. Probably wouldn't work for ordering more entrees, but for a potential loss of $6-$12 dollars (assuming two or three desserts in the $6-$8 price range) when we've already ordered a ton of food, it's a great way to generate more good will.

            1. re: PeterCC

              may not be restaurant policy, so i wouldn't count on it.
              that said, i've not had a problem getting all my orders in before 5:45.

              1. re: westsidegal

                Last time I was there I unfortunately DID have a problem getting our final order in...the waiter we had was slammed and we barely saw him. Fortunately another server who came by said she's honor the lower price.

                This isn't said to discourage anyone from going to FIG, but rather to let you know that you are really at the mercy of how busy they are/how many tables your particular waiter has, etc.

                My advice: watch the clock and be assertive if need be.

                1. re: sablouwho

                  wow, has dining at fig turned into the next olympic sport?

                  1. re: linus

                    Since we've always been seated after 5:30 PM the several times we've been to FIG, we just order everything at once, except dessert. Sometimes not all the food has arrived by 6 PM, and we feel kinda ... cheap ... asking for the dessert menu before our main courses, so we don't.

                    But when we have ordered dessert after 6 PM, they've still honored it. As both westsidegal and I have said, don't expect it, but it seems like they have some leeway.

                    1. re: linus

                      LOL--at least as far as FIG @ 5 is concerned, I would say that the answer can sometimes (unfortunately) be yes. Last time I was there at this time the service was exceedingly slow. Fortunately the great eats were still good, though.

                      1. re: linus

                        linus:
                        there is absolutely no "sport" to it if you get a reservation and start ordering after six.
                        you will pay their very reasonable regular prices at that time.
                        you will also, still get the benefit of the three hours of free validated parking they offer patrons.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          sounds like the competition ends at six then. damn that scalper who sold me the tickets...

                          i've been to fig. i didn't go because of the parking.

                          1. re: linus

                            as long as i've been going there, fig has always validated for three hours of parking.
                            of course, i tip in addition. . . .

            2. Haven't been, but the cocktail team behind Bow & Truss in North Hollywood is pretty well regarded. No idea how the food is, but I'd give it a shot if I had to go somewhere in the valley.

              1. are we talking first date or are we talking about a date with someone with whom you are already comfortable?

                are we talking about a meal that is part of a "larger" evening (i.e. play, movie, etc) or are we talking about the dinner table being the main location of the date?

                what dollar amount do you consider to be "relatively inexpensive?"
                are you including tax, tip, and beverages in that dollar amount?

                1. Never been there to eat (have only toured the space and got their insance bacon carmel corn popcorn to go) but may the "back patio" at Tar and Roses? It's a very nice space back there (I am considering it for a private event). It looks to be more romantic/intimate than the front part of the restaurant.

                  I've heard good things about the food--can't wait to go myself.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sablouwho

                    OP, if you're considering Tar & Roses, definitely make a res. We tried to do a walk-in (walk-up?) and were turned away because they were full. And this was a Monday at like 5:30 PM or something.

                  2. Um, I go out for "Date night" quite a bit. I am not sure if you are the guy who is planning the date, or the gal who is trying to steer her man in the right direction (I myself am the latter :). As westsidegal said in her own post, if you could give more info on what kind of date this is, that would be helpful.

                    For example--is this a first date/blind date/online date? Second date? Or is the "date night" with someone you've been seeing for a while? Additional info would help us give you a more customized recommendation. :)