The most romantic restaurants to try on your next date night

With the cozy, cold weather upon us these days and Valentine’s Day right around the corner, ‘tis the season for hitting the town for romantic date nights with your special someone. And, for those of you ladies who are based in Los Angeles (or traveling here soon), you’ll be happy to hear that this city has a lot to offer when it comes to fabulous dining. Our Team LC editors recently pulled together our collective lists of favorite date night restaurants in L.A. to share with you in hopes that it inspires your next dinner out on the town. So make sure to cross-reference this list the next time you’re making romantic plans… and don’t procrastinate on making those Valentine’s Day reservations!

1. Gjelina
This dimly lit westside hot spot is one of our favorites in terms of menu and atmosphere. Think Venice art scene meets industrial meets modern-Italian food. Request a table for two (the communal tables are fun but a little more lively) and be sure to order the mushroom toast and a delicious bottle of wine.

2. Giorgio Baldi
Another westside favorite, Giorgio Baldi is sure to be a home run if you’re looking for a special occasion spot. It’s a traditional Italian, white tablecloth, fancy-pants restaurant with impeccable service and the smell of salt air upon walking in (the ocean is right across the street!). Team LC knows a couple or two who have come here for night-of engagement celebrations. It’s that special!

3. Nobu Malibu
Unless you’ve been out of the loop of the restaurant scene, you’ve probably heard about the iconic Malibu sushi spot, Nobu. This beachside date night spot is a must try, and it will give your taste buds an unparalleled sushi experience (try the lemon albacore sashimi and the mini lobster tacos). Not to mention, it’s pretty cool to hear the waves crashing against the restaurant walls while you’re dining.

4. Cliff’s Edge
Let’s take a big leap east on our date night tour over to the cool, hipster neighborhood of Silver Lake. You’ll find a charming, greenery-covered patio covered in twinkle lights and moody lighting when you duck into Cliff’s Edge. With a seasonally changing menu, you can’t go wrong reserving a table for two any time of the year. The oyster with red wine mignonette and lemon is a must-try.

5. Little Door
Winner of the “Best Romantic Restaurant of L.A.” by The Los Angeles Times, the reasons are endless why Little Door is a knockout when it comes to date night spots. This Parisian-style restaurant offers inventive gourmet French fare like crème brûlée truffle brioche toast and roasted quail that will have you wanting to come back again and again.

6. Pace
This farm-to-table dining experience nuzzled in the hills of Laurel Canyon prides itself on its pizzas, pastas, and locally sourced ingredients. It’s dimly lit with romantic vibes, but also one of our favorite kid-friendly date night spots.

7. Il Cielo
If gardens, candlelit dinners, wall-climbing vines and a big dose of charm is what you’re looking for, Il Cielo will be just what the doctor ordered. Another one of the top-rated romantic restaurants in L.A., Italian spot impresses with both its menu and its décor. And, it’s right in the heart of Beverly Hills, so if you’re traveling to the city of Angels, this area is a fun one to explore.

8. Republique
One of Team LC’s favorite L.A. restaurants, Republique truly doesn’t disappoint. If you and your special someone are looking for a fun and buzzy spot with one of the best menus in the city, look no further.

9. Michael’s Santa Monica
Michael’s is one of those westside secrets we keep in our back pocket: It has a bankable menu, a charming garden patio area, and, best of all, it’s great for making a semi-last-minute weekend night reservation (which is unheard of in L.A.!). The scallops and truffle fries are highlights for us. Plus, it’s walking distance from several of Santa Monica’s best movie theaters, so why not make it a dinner-and-movie night?

10. Faith & Flower
Located in the heart of downtown, Faith & Flower boasts their creative craft cocktails, raw bar, and impressive plush and modern décor. Think classy, elegant, and romantic all in one. Try the squash risotto, the house made garganelli and top it all off with the hazelnut chocolate feuilletine. Bravo!

Do you have any L.A. restaurants you’ve loved that you would like to add to this list?

XO Team LC

Photo: Yoni Goldberg for Celebrate