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First date

Looking for a romantic restaurant to go to on a first date. SM, BH,
CC. Good food is a plus.

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      1. re: kevin

        That's a rather high bar to set on a first date. Where are they gonna go for a second date? :-)

        1. re: TheOffalo

          Shit in that case the 2nd date would have to be Urasawa.

        2. re: kevin

          for some reason, i don't think of shunji's as being a very romantic first date.

          1. re: westsidegal

            You are right.

            I couldn't resist.

            It was Thanksgiving after all.

            Ok. I revoke my Shunjis rec even though it is beyond exceptional.

        3. Gyu-Kaku or Tokyo Kalbi? I think a more interactive experience would be good to break the ice. Gyu-Kaku also has s'mores to make at your table, which is fun on a date.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TheOffalo

            Or Totaraku if you can get in. But then is there a hotel or motor hotel next door ??????

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Love AOC. I didn't realize they have an upstairs at the new location.

            2. Patio at Ivy. If its cold Cappo and get a room at Shutters.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Thor123

                Room at Shutters?

                Man, and some thought Shunji was setting the bar high.

                What's the second date going to be? Meeting the parents?

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Small table in the bar room at Dan Tanas is a fun first date.

                  1. re: Thor123

                    But then you have to deal with the lovable though gregarious drunks bums.

                2. re: Thor123

                  Getting a room at the old Shutters ?????

                  It must be a pretty good first date.

                  1. I think a few qualifiers are in order.

                    But offhand - for me - a first date isn't necessarily a closer date. I used to have routine places when I was younger - Border Grill (when it was on Melrose?). Or Chianti (also Melrose).
                    Something upscale and quiet - Il Grano. n/naka and Melisse work well for me - but that'd be trying too hard for a first date (unless it's one of those things where you've know each other for a while and have been waiting for this opportunity - then you can step it up for a celebration and first date combo.

                    Emporium Thai might be a good choice if you're looking for a more reasonable (cheaper) venue.

                      1. re: wienermobile

                        Great food, but it might be a little noisy & sometimes I end up wearing my food.

                      2. do you know anything about what your date eats?
                        deep fried?
                        open to ethnic food? sushi?

                        will the date be taking place at prime time on a saturday? (if so, i'd try to go to a place that takes reservations)?

                        roughly, how much are you interested in spending? including beverages, tax, tip?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: westsidegal

                          Moonshadows, but has to be early for the sunset view, with the waves crashing.

                          Or early pre-dinner drinks at The Penthouse for the sunset view.

                        2. Had a dinner at La Botte last weekend. Between 5pm-8pm, you can get a $20/person four-course tasting (small, 2-3 bite portions each course) and includes a glass of wine. You can always order a la carte after the first 3 courses, before the dessert course, if you're still hungry. Inexpensive, romantic.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: TheOffalo

                            Wow! That's awesome. But hope it doesn't mean they might close, I like that place a lot.

                            1. re: sarahbeths

                              I don't think it's a clearance or loss leader. They're quite small portions you can almost think of then as a $20 sampler plate for one and then you can order an entree after.

                          2. I should have known better than to ask a bunch of food nuts for a romantic restaurant. Note the first q - budget. OK, I'll be more clear. Low lights, maybe music, candlelight on table, great service. If all goes well, the second date will be a midnight picnic on the bed.

                            37 Replies
                            1. re: pizzafreak

                              Guido's on Santa Monica Blvd. just barely east of Bundy has food that can be hit or miss, but the setting is definitely romantic. Comfortable booths and low lighting. If you're trying to hold the costs down then always check the prices of any specials that they offer as they can be $10 over the most expensive thing on the menu and they don't routinely give you specials prices without being asked.

                                1. re: jessejames

                                  Little Door it is. After reading about it on yelp, this is the place we are going to. Sounds just like the many intimate French bistros that used to abound NYC. And that's what I want.

                                  1. re: pizzafreak

                                    It has a great feel, very pretty, but intimate? Too big, too busy.

                                    1. re: pizzafreak

                                      After all this Chowhounding, and the OP resorts to yelp?!

                                      1. re: J.L.

                                        Some people peruse the Bentley dealership before settling in and buying a used Subaru WRX STi at the corner used car lot.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Subaru STi? That would show nerdy common sense with a wild hair up his ass. I'm thinking more like an Alfa Spider or a Citroen - common sense out the window and self-grandiose image of one's past.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            Isn't this more like settling for a used Yaris?

                                            1. re: ilysla

                                              I believe it's a crime in 35 out of the 50 states to sell a *used* Yaris.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                It's a felony to sell a Yused Yugo in all 50...(the air bags in the Yugo consisted of a package of uninflated party balloons in the open bin that serves as a glove box...)

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  The air bags used to be a bag of Cheetos but it kept distracting the hamsters from "powering" the engine.

                                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                                    a bag of cheetos you say ? now that's my kind of car.

                                                  2. re: Servorg

                                                    there was a yugo advertised in the penny saver once....it had an Alpine stereo.

                                            2. re: J.L.

                                              I wouldn't look down on Yelp. There are many hole in the wall legit places on Yelp that's never been mentioned on CH. I doubt there is some CH gem that hasn't been yelped yet.

                                              Plus, the pictures are very helpful. Sometimes I find them more helpful than reviews. Many times I can figure out if the food/restaurant is indeed what I am looking for by the pictures.

                                              Not saying CH isn't great, just saying Yelp is useful and can even be more chow-centric.

                                              1. re: Porthos

                                                Agree with you on all your points, BUT if there are contrasting opinions on an eatery featured BOTH on Yelp and CH, then I'm gonna have to go with the CH opinions.

                                                1. re: J.L.

                                                  Yelp also helps me with hours, phone numbers, and addresses, which mot people don't usually post on this site.

                                                  But for pastoral, bucolic, heartwarming prose verging on something reminiscent of a Shakespearean sonnet CH can't be beat.

                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                    ... your forgot an f-bomb in there somewhere, kev.

                                                    1. re: J.L.

                                                      I know.

                                                      I'm on thin ice, I tell you, buddy.

                                                      Thin ice.

                                                    2. re: kevin


                                                      CH is da fucking bomb when it comes to posts that are well written and aren't hip-ly ironic.... (happy, J.L.?)

                                                      I find Yelp to be more useful for more "practical" info.

                                                        1. re: J.L.

                                                          Oops, meant to add a " ;) " to my post. ;)

                                                          1. re: ilysla

                                                            Yeah. Without that smile, you just might start World War 3. :)

                                                        2. re: ilysla

                                                          Have you seen reviews on Yelp for the 10 freeway? Some irony going on there.


                                                2. re: pizzafreak

                                                  You should think about Rustic Canyon in SM possibly. The food is better, and the atmosphere is far more conducive to date intimacy. I've had some very successful first dates there.

                                                  1. re: Stravinsky

                                                    the bar there is kind of romantic too, instead of two-top.

                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                      The only thing is, while locking lips is a great date activity, lip reading not so much. And RC can get pretty intensely and deafeningly loud, depending on the time and day you are dining.

                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                        I'm presuming the guy or gal the poster here is not a geriatric or octogenarian.

                                                        Or maybe I'm presuming wrong ? :)

                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                          I think they could be tweens and still find it impossible to communicate at RC's (unless they want to text their date chatter back and forth), depending on crowd size.

                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                            now how cool would that be ??????? sitting across from one another and then texting back and forth ??????????

                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                              Cool as in icy cold by my way of thinking. I like conversation and eye contact with something other than my phone...

                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                dude, you are so last millennium.

                                                                  1. re: wienermobile

                                                                    I'll be much more likely to use shit faced time...

                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                      at least this millenium has viagra for those moments

                                                                      1. re: jessejames

                                                                        It's hard to think about Viagra when Vodka is running the show...If drunkenness lasts for more than 4 hours seek immediate medical attention...

                                              2. Lukshon would be fun and the food is interesting and delicious. Not necessarily romantic, but it is a first date

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: budlit

                                                  I agree that hugely romantic isn't necessary for a first date (unless, as foodiemahoodie points out, this is someone you've known for awhile). I think good food, good service, a place that takes reservations, and a comfortable environment are the most important....

                                                2. Via Veneto is my idea of a perfect first date spot. Also consider Catch at Casa del Mar (the views! and the live music in the lobby for the after dinner drink if all is going well), Chez Jay (there's something very romantic about it, its way), Chinois, Bar Hayama's patio by the fire, I like the Guido's idea above because of the fireplace but might be too kitsch, Il Picolo (the one on Dudley), Il Cielo,

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: yogachik

                                                    I concur about Chez Jay especially at one of the back booths especially one of the ones that they doled out the Pentagon Papers at.

                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                      Chez Jay is funky. Not sure I'd call it romantic. More like slumming. And the food is pretty mediocre stuff.

                                                      1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                        Agreed. If this was a date like Nic Cage's character Ben Sanderson would have looked for in Leaving Las Vegas Chez Jay would be a good venue. For other than a "100% liquid" dinner date - not so much...

                                                          1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                            You are right, it is slumming, but something about it is endearing.

                                                            Or mabye the drinks and 'tenders are.

                                                            The brunchy foods are good, dinner is pedestrian at best.

                                                            Foodie, you are right.

                                                      2. I would subtly ask your date what's her/his favorite food. This will show that you care. Is it a good steak, or vegetarian. A high end place if you want to impress and show you've got the means, but may relay that you're trying too hard. A good mid range Italian restaurant such as La Bruchetta on Westwood is a good choice with meat, fish, pasta, etc. please share your experience for the voyeurs on this board. Capo or Vallentino for high end. N/naka as well.

                                                          1. Here's a list on zagat if none of the suggestions interest you. Good luck on your first date.


                                                            1. I find Meals by Genet romantic, though depending on the person Ethiopian might be a little risky.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Tyus4pt8

                                                                I thought Meals by Genet offered pasta dishes, but I don't see them on the on-line menu. Odd.

                                                                I think it's a lovely place for a date, but Ethiopian might indeed be a bit risky for a *first* date, and I don't know if it's out of the OP's geographic range....