Seven Places to Dine for Valentine's Day

Cupid's holiday is right around the corner, so if you're planning on dining out in the San Fernando Valley for this day of hearts, consider this list which includes indoor and outdoor dining and a range of options — from a very special extravagant "pop up" dinner to classic French cuisine. Aphrodisiac  “Pop Up” Tarzana […]

Cupid's holiday is right around the corner, so if you're planning on dining out in the San Fernando Valley for this day of hearts, consider this list which includes indoor and outdoor dining and a range of options — from a very special extravagant "pop up" dinner to classic French cuisine.

Aphrodisiac  “Pop Up”

Tarzana based Chef Jeff Torin of PDA Aphrodisiac Cuisine & Catering is taking over Lucy's 51 in Toluca Lake for one night only with A Taste of Romance: The Aphrodisiac  Culinary Experience — choose either the 17- course or 8- course tasting dinner which will begin with a red carpet entrance (celebs are said to be in attendance).  Torin, who has a full scale catering company, PDA Catering,  specializes in romantic fare.  He says that he prepares his dishes by combining a mix of biology, psychology and nutrition that results in improved…well, you know.   The menu will introduce a new special signature dessert,  "Dirty Little Secret." Other dishes with Chef Torin's unique twist include  Chicken Mole (pictured above), Fig Salsa Tostone, Plum Duck Confit Bao, Filet Oscar and White Chocolate Soup.  $240/$150 per couple includes a cocktail or glass of wine. Tax and gratuity included. Tickets must be purchased by February 12. Two seatings at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.  For reservations and the entire menu, go to www.pdacatering.com

Bistro Garden

Dine in this classic European wonderland and enjoy a three-course meal with choices that include Gulf Shrimp and Dungeness Crab Cocktail, Wagyu Beef Ravioli with Black Truffles, Macadamia Nut Crusted Hawaiian Mahi Mahi, Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin Wrapped with Applewood Smoked Bacon and Grilled Filet Mignon with Crumbled Blue Cheese. And of course, not to be missed, a choice of one of Bistro Garden’s famous dessert souffles. Added for a romantic touch is a special gift for the woman at the table.  $85 per person. Bistro Garden12950 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City (818) 501-0202 

Girasol

This Studio City restaurant sets an urban, romantic tone surrounded by an expansive, modern sunflower design.  Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson  is preparing a four-course prix fixe meal for $75 per person. Begin with Crudo of Local Bass and Celery Root Soup. Choose Roasted Black Cod or Wild Wagyu Strip Loin for an entrée. Both are made with Black Winter Truffle Sauce, Onion Confit and Wilted Greens.  Top off the meal with Brownie Chocolate “Pudding” Cake topped with Sweet Clover Ice Cream.  For those feeling extra decadent, you can pull it off with Hackelback Caviar and/or Oysters on the Half Shell for market price. Girasol, 11344 Moorpark Ave, Studio City. (818) 924-2323

Inn of the Seventh Ray

Set among the trees and next to a creek in Topanga Canyon just south of Woodland Hills, this is one of the most romantic spots in Los Angeles. The five course menu, plus an amuse bouche, is $110; vegetarian route $100. There is a wine flight with 3 oz pours paired for each course at $45 per person. Vegan, vegetarian, meat, fish and poultry choices (which are organic or sustainable), include Oh You Poached Loch Duart Salmon;  In The Mood Oven Roasted Wild Monkfish; Be My Seafood Quartet (a lover’s plate to be shared) and Cosmic Unions Grilled Vegan Duck. Top off your meal with a choice of desserts, including Cupid’s Chocolate Pudding and Banana or Be Still My Heart Vermont Maple Cheesecake. Inn of the Seventh Ray, 128 Old Topanga Rd.,Topanga (310) 455-1311.

Le Sanglier

This elegant and classic 40-something French restaurant is offering a three-course meal that includes escargot, lobster, rack of lamb, veal and dover sole, plus a glass of champagne. Choose between six appetizers, six entrees and six desserts. One step into this intimate restaurant and you’ll envision yourselves in a quaint restaurant in the French countryside.  One special rose is included.  $105 per person, tax and gratuity included. Le Sanglier Restaurant5522 Crebs Avenue Tarzana (818) 345-0470

The Villa

The Villa at Woodland Hills

This French Country style restaurant has one of the most beautiful patios in the 818 — and the interior has been updated and renovated in sophisticated farmhouse style. This Valentine’s Day, they are offering a three-course menu for $60 per person. Choose from a variety of starters, entrees and desserts, including Butternut Squash with Shaved Black Truffle,  Roasted Baby Beets, Tuna Tartare, Branzino, Braised Short Ribs and Roasted Duck.  Chocolate Lava Cake, Apple Crostade and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries highlight the dessert menu. The Villa Woodland Hills, 22160 Ventura Boulevard, Woodland Hills, (818) 704-1185.

Warren’s  Blackboard

Chef Warren Schwartz is serving one of the most creative menus in the Valley (a perhaps all of L.A.) at his temporary “pop up” at the Beverly Garland Hotel.  The ambiance is basic contemporary (although the "blackboard" gives it style) since the space in hotel will soon be going under renovations, but don’t pay attention because the splendor of the menu will take you away…and it's a fabulous preview for what Schwartz has in store when he opens as The Front Yard later this year. Start with one of three appetizers: Poached Lobster with blood oranges, avocado, arugula and citrus butter;  Roasted Beet Salad with Fromage Blanc; Sautéed Mushroom and Crispy Pork Belly Tart; and Hamachi Crudo with cucumbers, tangerines and  seaweed salad.  Main entrée selections to be offered include:  Roasted Beef Tenderloin with a mushroom bread pudding and Bloomsdale spinach;  Seared Day Boat Scallops with Carrot Risotto;  Curried Lentils, Roasted Rainbow Cauliflower, Grilled Portobello; and to share  — Braised Lamb Shank for two (pictured above) with hand cut Pappardelle. For a sweet treat, enjoy  a Chocolate Brownie with Malted Milk Ice Cream; Dulce de Leche Creme Brulee  or Raspberry Eton Mess.  Warren's Blackboard4222 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood (818) 255-7290

 

 

 

 

 

 

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