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Los Angeles Romantic Restaurants


Whether you’re on a first date, celebrating an anniversary, dining with your soul mate, or in need of a “make-up meal” after an argument, romantic restaurants abound in Los Angeles. When we’re in the mood for a romantic dinner, we look for a restaurant where the lights are low, the emphasis is on cozy (preferably booths) and quiet (so you can actually hear what your significant other is saying), the cuisine is sumptuous, and the service staff is ready to please. Here are some of our favorite romantic restaurants in Los Angeles.

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1. Ado

Dine by candlelight under exposed wooden beams in this converted cottage two blocks from Venice Beach. Owner Paolo Cesaro and Chef Antonio Mure, both acclaimed for their culinary endeavors in Los Angeles, offer delicious Italian food such as beet tagliolini, and duck breast, served by waiters who run up the stairs from the kitchen on the first floor to the dining room on the second floor in this rustic and welcoming Los Angeles romantic restaurant. (For those who enjoy the intimacy of being near the kitchen, there are a few tables downstairs.) There are no booths, but ask for the table in the northwest corner of the second floor. Reserve well in advance and prepare to pay well for your pleasure.

2. Vito

We love eating at this classic romantic restaurant on Los Angeles’ Westside. Vito is celebrating its 25th year serving great food just like Italian grandmothers used to make. If you order one of their perfectly concocted martinis and squint, you can practically see Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin sitting nearby. The waiters, who've worked at Vito forever, are decked out in tuxedos. It’s an enjoyable diversion from the romance at hand when they toss Caesar for two tableside. (Is it just us, or is there something very, very sexy about garlic?) Whether you choose the spicy penne all’arrabiatta or rack of lamb, you won’t go wrong. After you go home you’ll be amazed at how soon you’ll want to go back.

3. One Pico

Get a table by a window so you can gaze at the pier and people out for a stroll on the legendary Santa Monica boardwalk astride this romantic restaurant, which sits right on the beach where Los Angeles meets the Pacific Ocean. The elegant setting at One Pico, with a huge fireplace and tables spaced far apart, makes for an intimate dining experience. The menu offers seafood and turfy selections. For wine drinkers, they will pair course for course with vintages from their acclaimed cellar. One particularly romantic feature of this restaurant is that after your feast you can impulsively check into the luxurious Shutters Hotel, which houses One Pico. If they're full, you can at least take your shoes off and go for a walk on the beach.

4. Brentwood Restaurant and Lounge

This unpretentious yet classy joint is seriously cozy. It's so dark you could probably get away with some serious fooling around in the booths that line the walls. (Warning: the waiters carry flashlights.) Located in the tony Brentwood section of Los Angeles, this romantic restaurant is a dream match for couples looking for stiff drinks and tasty sustenance to inspire the rest of their evening. Get ready for some of the best-prepared comfort food you have ever tasted. Chef Bruce Marder magically transforms items like French fries, chicken pot pie, and meat loaf into culinary delights. The bar's open till 2 am, with a special late night menu available from 10 pm to midnight in case you develop an insatiable desire for mac & cheese.

5. Patina

The curvaceous Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles is an undeniably sensuous experience, architecturally and acoustically. Nestled within it is Patina, a destination in its own right. Dress up and arrive hungry to this romantic restaurant with a French twist. Chef Tony Esnault’s carte du jour includes everything from Scottish hare and Australian Barramundi to a 7-course vegetarian tasting menu. Borne by servers in suit and tie – the service is impeccable, to a fault – your selections are treasures of design, texture, and taste. Patina is a celebration you will not forget.
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