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Romantic Restaurant in west LA?

Looking for a romantic, nice restaurant for an anniversary dinner. We'll be staying in the Marina Del Rey/Venice area, but certainly wouldn't mind a bit of a drive for a great place. We're not familiar with the area so any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Very open on type of cuisine...looking for a great dinning experience more than anything.

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      1. re: Thor123

        Can one really do Capo at 150 for two?

        I suppose if you ordered for one, and shared everything between the two of you.

        Sort of romantic in an "Al Bundy takes out Peg" kind of way, I suppose.

      2. Contrary to what another posted, it is possible to dine at Capo for $150 if you only order wine by the glass or one cocktail pp. Capo's wine prices are over the top.
        If you are looking for a romantic restaurant with attentive, professional service and wonderful food in your designated area, then you will adore Capo. Capo is a very romantic restaurant.

        1. Capo seems really tough at $150, even before alcohol, if you want to order meat or seafood. It's been a while since I was there but my recollection is the steaks run in the $50s and most of the apps in the $20s.

          If Italian interests you, this recent thread has lots of ideas.


          1. Don't know if your budget is all in, including tax, tip, alcohol, valet....

            If not, you can probably do the omakase at Nobu Malibu and squeak in just above $150...... Most beautiful restaurant in LA right on the beach.

            If that's not an option, you can go to Geoffrey's further up the coast from Nobu...very nice setting, much more reasonable prices, but honestly I haven't been back in years, so I cannot say if the food is still decent. It was when we went but that was quite a few years ago, perhaps some other hounds who have been there more recently can chime in.

            1 Reply
            1. Michael's in Santa Monica - in the patio/garden area.

              Villetta on 26th in Brentwood. (not sure if they're open. Heard they've been sold to the French bros who own The Little Door.)

              1 Reply
              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                Villetta was bankrupt and closed about a month ago. The Rambaud Group was the successful bidder. They do own The Little Door.

              2. dunno exactly what you consider makes a restaurant "romantic" or not.
                i'm not familiar with some of the places that have been suggested upthread, but i've been very happy with Cafe del Rey in marina del rey for romance because:

                1) they will happily seat you at a table at which you can TOUCH YOUR PARTNER without having to reach over plates of food or wine stems (i.e. they will NOT seat you at a two top that forces you to practically be in another zip code from your partner. they will seat you at a table so that either you are sitting on the same side of the table as your partner or you are sitting at right angles from your partner, neither of you will be seated facing a wall. both of you will have a view of the boats)

                2) the tables are spaced so that you will actually be able to have a private conversation.

                3) the food is better than solid across the board and the wine program, including the wine-by-the-glass program is extremely good with the wines being very reasonably priced.

                4) the servers are all professional and the place is CIVILIZED in every way up to and including the parking set up. (when last i went to geoffrey's the parking lot was insane with an army of attendants unable to keep up).

                5) the building is beautiful and virtually every table has a view

                6) you will EASILY be able to accommodate your budget WITHOUT having to do the contortions associated with "careful" ordering. (to me, "careful ordering" is "anti-romance." ). the entree portions are big enough to actually be entrees.

                7) their reservation system works well and you will be seated seamlessly.

                3 Replies
                1. re: westsidegal

                  Great definition of many of the elements which make a restaurant romantic. Lucques would also meet the standards you describe. I hope to reserve cafe del Rey soon based primarily on your positive feedback

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    +1 for Cafe del Rey. My go to place for out of towners. Never had a bad experience here. You're treated like an important guest...and that to me is romantic.

                    1. re: Baron

                      yes that kind of service is important i agree

                  2. Salt Air. Very casual but the room is warm and bright. Just the right sound levels, you can actually have a conversation. http://www.saltairvenice.com

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: wienermobile

                      Salt Air would be a great choice. It's a gorgeous space with good food, and wienermobile is absolutely right about the sound levels.

                    2. Josie http://www.josierestaurant.com/ (especially on a Tuesday when they do free corkage) would be a good choice.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Servorg

                        Guessing if you recommend it for a romantic dinner, it is probably quiet as it looks. Worth trying if so.
                        Are you watching the Tour de France, Servorg, or too busy with your own cycling in the early AM hours? It is very steep going right now

                        1. re: VenusCafe

                          I record the Tour and play it back at hyper speed...It's always the last few km's that are the interesting parts.

                          Josie is not too noisy, especially the front room. Sometimes the room in back where the bar is can be a bit on the noisy side if they set up a larger party there.

                          1. re: Servorg

                            We watch in real time. My guy was once an avid cyclist, and as an ardent Francophile, i absorb the countryside.
                            Very interested in what they eat besides the protein bars, what is their diet at mealtimes. Their endurance is remarkable.

                          1. Not your typical sit-across-the-table-and-stare-longingly-into-each-others'-eyes nauseatingly romantic setting, but consider Shunji (Japanese in West LA). Yes, there are tables, but you'll want to sit at the bar and order one of the tasting options. The space is small and quiet, so the atmosphere will definitely feel intimate, the food is spectacular, and watching Shunji-san at work is a treat. I had an anniversary dinner there a couple years ago and the dining experience we shared was unforgettable and certainly felt romantic as hell.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: phamschottler

                              Does a dinner there come it under the OP's budget?

                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                wildly varying reviews and couldn't find ANY online source of their prices.

                                no prices, even on menupages!

                                every other restaurant has SOME obvious and easy way to find out their prices.

                                1. re: westsidegal

                                  "every other restaurant has SOME obvious and easy way to find out their prices."

                                  Just read every thread on the LA CH board about Shunji and then remember what you read. Easy! (g)

                                  Shuni for omakase starts at around $85 pp and can achieve $200 per person (or more), depending on ingredients and rarity of fish, pretty easily. That is food only.

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    to me, omakase is in a different category.
                                    ever changing content doesn't make for stable pricing nor does the tremendous volatility of wholesale prices for much of the high end sushi-grade fish.

                                    the food served at most italian restaurants doesn't seem to fall into that category though.
                                    the fact that the majority of italian restaurants in town seem to be able to post prices, seems to support my view.

                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                      I'm in complete agreement about omakase being in a different category, but since it was Shunji under discussion I just wondered why you posted your comments above saying the following?


                                      "wildly varying reviews and couldn't find ANY online source of their prices.

                                      no prices, even on menupages!

                                      every other restaurant has SOME obvious and easy way to find out their prices."

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        i screwed up.
                                        my comments were not meant for shunji.
                                        they were meant for Via Veneto on main (an italian restaurant).

                                        gotta pay better attention

                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                          Good. Because I don't get Shunji as being remotely romantic. It's quirky. Fun for a first date, but romantic? Should be a certain cozy elegance to it and table where you're farily intimate - that is, you're not in one of those banquets with chairs on the one side and a row of small tables jammed together. (I kinda hate that). A place where you can talk, be convivial, and hopefully close enough to share a kiss or two. Being candlelit is nice, Subdued lighting is important (not the bright glow of a sushi bar). To me it's all about making the woman feel comfortable and beautiful. A bottle of champagne would be nice. To start. And a slightly formal place - women have lots of clothes they rarely get to wear - so take them to a place where they can dress up and feel pretty.

                                          1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                            Sure can't fault that terrific summary, foodiemahoodie!
                                            Unfortunately that kind of attention to detail and romance
                                            is considered kinda old school by those who live to text.

                                            1. re: VenusCafe

                                              fwiw, VenusCafe
                                              my daughter is at the age where she lives to text (early 20's).
                                              she STILL LIKES TO DRESS UP AND LIKES TO FEEL SHE'S BEAUTIFUL.
                                              sitting at a counter is NOT considered ROMANTIC at her age.
                                              there is nobody that considers her "old school."

                                1. re: wienermobile

                                  Good question. But it is pretty romantic....

                                  1. re: wienermobile

                                    Depends on if the $150 is all inclusive: drinks, tax, tip.


                                    It is very romantic though.