Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent lifting of the stay-at-home order, Angelenos have a plethora of dining options to celebrate Saint Valentine. VDay 2021 may not resemble the lover’s days of old, but thankfully there are many restaurants offering al fresco dining that exude romance. So, whether you’re in the mood for a Mexican cantina, Mediterranean delights, or New England-style seafood, here is our list of some of the best of the best outdoor restaurants for a romantic meal in LA.
(Note: the hours listed for each bar and restaurant below may have changed since the posting of this blog. Please refer to each business’ website and/or Instagram for the latest hours updates)
Mexican cantina-style in Santa Monica
Hours: 5-9 pm daily
Tallula’s is a relative newcomer to the cuisine scene of Santa Monica, as they near their 4-year anniversary. Nestled in Santa Monica Canyon, Tallula’s features award-winning chef Jeremy Fox. Fox has crafted a menu positively bursting with great flavors (Mexican, Indian, and Burmese). Further, their outdoor parking lot patio is intimately lit and newly covered, providing a picturesque setting for sparks to fly. Sip on one of their masterfully crafted seasonal cocktails, complete with housemade syrups and fresh produce from the market. Rest assured, Tallula’s is taking COVID safety precautions seriously. They utilize temperature checks for every diner, and a full playbook of their protocols is available here. Above all, take note that they are only open 5-9 pm each day, so book your reservation early!
118 Entrada Drive
Santa Monica, CA 90402
American, Wine Bar in
Hours: 5-10 pm Monday thru Saturday, 5-9 pm Sundays
Melody Wine Bar is a standout spot on the edge of Silver Lake that completely embodies that area’s cool vibe. Their wine selection is impressive, but almost more exciting is their rotation of pop-up kitchens. In other words, Melody is a foodie’s dream. For example, imagine indulging in focaccia-pizza hybrids one night, a Mediterranean-inspired California cafe another, and a Mexican-inspired Jewish pop-up for the weekend. Marvel at this converted bungalow as you eat and sip on the converted side patio. Be sure to check their website for all the latest updates!
751 N. Virgil Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Japanese, Wine Bar in Hollywood
Hours: 5-10 pm Thursday-Saturday
Yamashiro is likely already on your radar if you are an aficionado of Japanese cuisine. Kensho is a tiny Japanese wine bar on the grounds of the 100-year-old Yamashiro. (Note: Kensho is not open on Sundays, but you can still celebrate Valentine’s the night before). Come for the lovely views of the Hollywood sign, but stay for the food, wine, and sake! Tasty nibbles include Caviar Toast (Tsar Nicoulair Estate caviar, sesame sourdough, smoked creme fraiche, everything seasoning), Crab Rice, and Scottish Salmon with a Matcha Beurre Monte. In addition, Kensho hosts various pop-ups and guest chefs occasionally, so keep an eye out.
1999 N. Sycamore Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
French, Bar in Silver Lake
Hours: 6-10 pm daily
Bar Restaurant may be a young eatery (est. Fall 2019). But, what they lack in age they more than make up for in eclectic food pairings. Their Snacks offer a tantalizing array that includes Bayonne Ham, Les Fromages (cheese), and more. Appetizers include Lamb Tartare and a salad with Egg Yolk Bonito sitting on top. But the Mussels dish is perhaps most eye-catching, complete with a Dijon Emulsion, Japanese Milk Bread, and Curly Fries. You combine all that with a pleasant outdoor setting in Silverlake, and you have one magical evening in your future.
4326 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Bar, Mediterranean in Downtown Los Angeles
Hours: 12 -10 pm Sunday-Thurs; 12 – 11 pm Friday & Saturday
Pilot delivers a unique dining experience that is simultaneously very Los Angeles and very not. This rooftop bar sits atop the Hoxton Hotel and boasts a Mediterranean cuisine paired with uniquely beautiful crafted cocktails. Tasty snacks include Fried Artichoke Hearts, Baked Ziti, and Red Pepper Hummus. But, the stars of the show are the beverages. For instance, the Honeybear on Holiday is served in a honey bear jar and is crafted with Altos Tequila Blanco and Cumin-Infused Honey, among other ingredients. Another delicious concoction is ‘Anchors Away!’ with Tequila Reposado and Burnt Honey-Ginger Syrup — an inspired twist on the classic mule. Above all, Pilot delivers a welcome vacation from the usual dining experience, which is something we can all get behind.
1060 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015
American, Southern in Culver City
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 5-10 pm
Hatchet Hall is a shining example of adaptability amidst the pandemic. Firstly, they transformed their adjoining parking lot into a magical dining setting. Secondly, the lot is adorned with an eye-catching design, and string lights overhead complete the amorous ambiance. On the other hand, Hatchet is not for the faint of heart, with a menu characterized by traditional southern goodness. Chow down on Sour Milk Corn Bread, Roasted Red Peanuts, and Potato Yeast Rolls to start. Lastly, segue into a 32oz Wood-Grilled Ribeye, Mustard Smothered Gulf Shrimp, or Grilled Monterey Squid. The cocktail game here is strong here too, with a bevy of enticing mixed drinks, plus red and white wine, bourbon, rye whiskey, and agave available.
12517 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
American, Steaks in Burbank
Hours: 4-9 pm Monday-Wednesday; 12-9 pm Thursday, 12-10 pm Friday and Saturday, 11-9 pm Sunday
Akin to many great romantic restaurants, Castaway pulls you in with breathtaking views. Peer out over Burbank and the San Fernando Valley as you open with Calamari and Citrus “Buffalo” Sauce or Crab Cakes with Roasted Garlic Mustard Aioli. After that, move to one of their classic steak dishes, paired with Roasted Cipollini Onions and served with a paddle of seasoning and sauce. In conclusion, the one-two punch of delectable food and handcrafted cocktails and the gorgeous scenery, it will be hard to decide which you love more!
1250 E. Harvard Rd.
Burbank, CA 91501
French in Mid-Wilshire
Hours: (dinner) 6-9 pm Wednesday – Sunday
Republique has always managed to walk that fine line between luxury and comfort. This French-inspired eatery is known for unique flavors, beautiful decor, and now an adorable side patio. Enjoy the canopies, string lights, and a break from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. The menu features a colorful variety of delights, including Black Truffle Raviolo, Sonoma Duck, Santa Barbara Spot Prawns, and Prime Dry-Aged Ribeye. Perhaps more impressive than the food is their selection of spirits. Their menu is replete with great options: quality Vodka, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Mezcal, Bourbon, Rye, Scotch, Cognac, Fruit Brandy, Amaro, Sherry, & other liqueurs! Suffice it to say, you may never want to leave.
624 S. La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Italian in Venice
Hours: (dinner) Sunday-Wednesday 5-9:30 pm; Friday & Saturday 5-10 pm
Ospi is nestled in the heart of Venice (a fitting city) and boasts a culinary experience that blends classic, old Italian flavors with new Italian flavors. Firstly, dine on delicious Spicy Rigatoni or devour one of their other fresh plates of pasta or thin-crust pizzas.Pair your meal with one of their many craft cocktails or specialty beers. It’s a shame you can’t dine inside because the modern interior decor is chic and appealing. Insider tip: take a stroll around the Venice canals before or after your meal to ratchet up the romance.
2025 Pacific Avenue
Venice, CA 90291
American, Seafood, in Venice
Dudley has only been on the scene for a short couple of years. However, in that time they’ve more than made their mark. This beach-adjacent seafood restaurant woos guests with delicious food (mostly caught by staff), exquisite wine, and quality service. Notable menu options include Peruvian Scallops, Smoked Oyster Dip, and the Crispy Pork & Clam Toast. In short, Dudley is the perfect place for great food and a comfortable feel that’s sure to set the mood for you and your date — no matter the occasion.
9 Dudley Ave.
Venice, CA 91291
What do you think of this list? Do you love any of the restaurants mentioned? Let us know in the comments!