Seafood Studio City

5 Best Valentine’s Day Bets in the Valley

Not every romantic Valentine’s Day dinner comes with price gouging. Check out our top five restaurant picks for warming your heart on February 14th—without depleting your wallet.

Not every romantic Valentine’s Day dinner comes with price gouging. Check out our top five restaurant picks for warming your heart on February 14—without depleting your wallet.

Artisan Cheese & Wine

The recently retooled Artisan Cheese & Wine concept in the heart of Studio City is offering “dinner and a show” for Valentine’s Day. Starting at 7 p.m., chef Lindsay Franta is preparing a five-course menu (including one glass of wine) for $50 per person. Dinner starts with a Caprese plate and house salad. Your entrée involves a choice of grilled chicken paillard with winter salad and roasted root vegetables; or polenta served with wild mushrooms, Romesco sauce and baby squash. Of course Artisan includes a cheese course. Dessert involves a choice of strawberries and cream with mascarpone or chocolate mousse with raspberries. Conclude the evening with chocolates from Napa-based Le Belge. French wine pairings from sommelier Lenya Wilson are available, and you’ll be treated to live music from “crooner” Jeffrey Gimble. Reserve seats by calling 818-505-0207.

12023 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-505-0207

Gyu-Kaku

Gyu-Kaku, with outposts in both Sherman Oaks and Topanga Canyon, offers yakiniku served with tabletop charcoal grills. February 8 to 14, Gyu-Kaku is offering special two-person combos ranging from XOXO ($60) to Over The Moon ($80) and Love Letter ($100). Diners can take advantage of several add-ons (some of them extravagant) of starters and sides and barbeque items. Some of the most interesting Love Letter dishes include beef sukiyaki bibimbap, spicy tuna “volcano” on crispy fried rice, beef tongue with scallion sauce, and filet mignon with garlic marinade. No matter your commitment level, expect interactive S’mores for dessert.

14457 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818-501-5400

Lakeside Restaurant & Lounge

People might be surprised by the setting for Lakeside Restaurant & Lounge in Encino, which is romantic on a regular day, with a patio that overlooks the fowl-filled lake at Los Encinos State Historic Park. The eatery dials up the dining experience for Valentine’s Day by offering a choice of starter, main course and dessert for $75 per person. It’s hard to argue with organic heirloom tomato salad with black truffle burrata cheese, roasted beets and basil pesto vinaigrette to start. Pan-seared, macadamia-crusted Chilean sea bass with sweet corn risotto, haricot verts and lemon mango beurre blanc deserves serious consideration for your main course. Finish by indulging in chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream, mixed nuts and whipped cream.

16817 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-616-2430

Laurel Point 

Laurel Point is a seafood restaurant that takes presentation seriously—so expect something of a show on Valentine’s Day. Diners can choose between a menu priced at $65 per person or one for $80 that comes with three wine pairings. The meal begins with an amuse bouche of Kumamoto oyster with shaved mango ice and wasabi tobiko. From there, intriguing selections include togarashi tuna sashimi with sweet soy sauce and pickles vegetables; herb-crusted and grilled haddock with roasted butternut squash, turnips and blistered tomato beurre blanc; and chocolate bread pudding with toasted hazelnuts, whipped cream, caramel sauce and shaved white chocolate.

12050 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-769-6336 

Vitello’s

Vitello’s is a classic Italian restaurant in Tujunga Village that dates to 1964 and received an open-air refresh in 2012. For Valentine’s Day, they’re offering a three-course prix fixe menu for $55 per person. In concert with their mission to serve “California-inspired contemporary Italian cuisine,” you’ll find entrees like lobster pappardelle tossed in a light pink lobster cream sauce, and cioppino in a spicy seafood broth—loaded with salmon, mussels, clams, calamari and shrimp. Dessert calls for New York-style cheesecake plated with berry coulis. Vegetarian options are available.

4349 Tujunga Ave., Studio City, 818-769-0905

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