This is my list of the most romantic restaurants in Los Angeles that you need to book for anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s day, or any time you really want to impress someone.

The restaurants on this list either have exceptional ambiance, or exceptional cuisine, or both! All are sure to make your date feel special!



1. Yamashiro (Hollywood)

Yamashiro restaurant
Yamashiro restaurant

I’m ranking Yamashiro as the most romantic restaurant in Los Angeles because of the exotic Japanese ambiance (you feel like you’re in a samurai movie), as well as the breathtaking view.

View from Yamashiro including Pool
View from Yamashiro gardens

Unlike other restaurants that tout a good view, you don’t have to worry about not getting a table with a view, because you’ll actually get the best view after dinner while strolling in the gardens in front of the restaurant. One of the best things about Yamashiro is that there’s a “built-in” after dinner activity. Grab a drink at the Pagoda Bar and take in the twinkling lights of Hollywood with Downtown LA in the distance. Or, find a secluded make-out spot (haha). Read more in my full review of Yamashiro.

I like the food at Yamashiro (it’s Japanese inspired, of course), but Yamashiro not generally known for its food. If you or your date is a foodie who wants a meal prepared by a world-renowned chef, there are plenty of other restaurants on this list that will satisfy. Yamashiro is amazingly romantic however!

Pros:

  • Amazing ambiance
  • Breathtaking views
  • Built-in super-romantic after-dinner activity (the front gardens)
  • Unique experience

Cons:

  • Food is not from a world-renowned chef
  • Service can be uneven

2. 71 Above (Downtown LA)

71 Above is my pick for the most romantic restaurant in Downtown LA. Peering down from the 71st floor of the US Bank tower, other high rises look downright puny.

71 Above
71 Above

The sleek modern interior is equally impressive, and the American cuisine from chef Vartan Abgaryan will satisfy even the most discriminating foodie. More in my full review of 71 Above.

Pros:

  • Amazing ambiance
  • Breathtaking views
  • World-class American cuisine

Cons:

  • Far-in-advance reservations required for peak times


3. Nobu (Malibu)

It would be hard to top an evening having sushi by Iron Chef Nobu Matsuhisa while watching the sunset on the Malibu shore. If you or your date is a foodie, Nobu will not disappoint.

Nobu
Nobu

Pros:

  • Amazing sushi and Japanese-inspired cuisine from Iron Chef Nobu Matsuhisa
  • Exceptional service
  • Seaside Malibu location

Cons:

  • Pricey!
  • Reservations required far in advance

4. The Restaurant at the Getty (Sepulveda Pass)

The Restaurant” (yes, that is the official name) at the Getty is one of my secret picks that you won’t find on a lot of LA restaurant lists. No one thinks of a museum restaurant as having particularly good food or ambiance, but this one has both!

The Restaurant at the Getty has Mediterranean-California inspired cuisine using locally-sourced ingredients in a modern, open, dining room.

I also like the idea of taking the tram up the hill to get to this place. It’s like you’re going on a mini-vacation for one evening; it makes the experience extra special.

View from the Getty Center
View from the Getty Center

Although the Getty museum will probably be closed by the time you finish dinner, you can still take in some amazing views on the grounds.

Pros:

  • Impressive cuisine that will satisfy a foodie
  • Amazing ambiance and location
  • Breathtaking views
  • Unique experience
  • Not well known (let’s keep this our secret!)

Cons:

  • None really


5. Providence (Mid City)

Providence pretty consistently ranks in the top ten of most LA food critics’ lists. Chef Michael Cimarusti delivers award-winning modern American seafood in a tranquil setting. If you’re not sure what to get, try the tasting menu.

Pros:

  • World-class cuisine, some say the best restaurant in Los Angeles
  • Impeccable service
  • Good ambiance

Cons:

  • Pricey of course!
  • Portions are not large

6. Cicada (Downtown LA)

Stepping into the Cicada restaurant is like going back in time to the 1930’s. Many TV shows and moves were filmed here, from “Mad Men” to the Tango scene in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Dinner and dancing at the Cicada Club
Dinner and dancing at the Cicada Club

If you go on a Thursday through Saturday, or one of the other “Cicada Club” nights, you’ll be entertained by a live Swing band and you’ll have the opportunity to show off your moves on the dance floor.

Certain nights have a set menu (classic American cuisine). The food is good, but I’m picking this place for the ambiance. You definitely want to dress up, vintage if you can, and pretend you’re living in a different time for an evening!

Pros:

  • Amazing vintage ambiance
  • Live Swing music on certain nights, with dancing
  • Unique experience

Cons:

  • Food is not from a famous chef

7. Spago (Beverly Hills)

Perhaps the most famous chef in the world is Wolfgang Puck, and Spago is his flagship restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Courtyard dining at Spago
Courtyard dining at Spago

I like the chef’s tasting menu because it includes a trip to the kitchen where your host will answer any questions you might have about how your meal was prepared or about their operations, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Poached Ora King Salmon at Spago
Poached Ora King Salmon from the tasting menu at Spago

The ambiance is definitely nice, but not exceptional compared to the other restaurants on this list. The real star of the show here is the food.

Read my full review, which contains ideas on what to do afterwards!

Pros:

  • Perhaps the most famous restaurant in the world
  • Food is amazing
  • Impeccable service
  • Good probability of a celebrity sighting

Cons:

  • Small portions – don’t come here famished
  • Pricey!


8. Inn of the Seventh Ray (Topanga)

Located in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains, Inn of the Seventh Ray has a magical ambiance where you’re surrounded by trees and the sounds of running water. Needless to say, this place is romantic, with a slightly New-Agey vibe.

Inn at the Seventh Ray
Inn at the Seventh Ray

Amazingly, the cuisine is just as good, with all seasonal organic ingredients. it will not disappoint a foodie!

Pros:

  • Unique experience
  • Romantic location and ambiance
  • Surprisingly great food that will satisfy a foodie

Cons:

  • A bit out of the way
  • Was actually a bit too empty when we went in the middle of the week (that will definitely not be a problem around Valentine’s Day).

9. The Little Door (Mid City)

Nestled in the middle of restaurant row on Third Street in mid-city, The Little Door, is widely acknowledged as one of the most charming restaurants in Los Angeles. It’s famous for it’s outdoor patio and charming interior. The food is excellent as well. You pretty much can’t go wrong if you bring someone here on a special occasion.

Plus, there’s plenty to do afterwards with lots of nearby bars, the Magnolia bakery across the street with their famous banana pudding for dessert, or the Grove.

Pros:

  • Super charming and romantic ambiance
  • Excellent food and service
  • Lots to do nearby

Cons:

  • None


10. Perch (Downtown LA)

If you want to go somewhere with high hipness factor, the rooftop Perch restaurant will impress.

View from Perch

Dine outside with a view of Pershing Square. Then go upstairs for drinks. But, if you stay too long, it will get crowded with long lines of singles trying to get in.

Afterwards, there’s plenty of other things to do in Downtown LA.

Pros:

  • Amazing rooftop ambiance
  • Breathtaking views
  • Plenty of other things to do within walking distance afterwards

Cons:

  • Can get overrun later in the night with bar-hoppers

11. Geoffrey’s Malibu

Most lists of romantic restaurants in Los Angeles will include Geoffrey’s Malibu due to its ocean-side location, open-air charm, and outdoor fire pits. This is a frequent destination for anniversaries and special occasions!

Pros:

  • Romantic, ocean-side ambiance
  • Beautiful views

Cons:

  • Can be pricey for this level of cuisine


12. Il Cielo (Beverly Hills)

Another restaurant commonly found on “most romantic” lists is Il Cielo in Beverly hills, with it’s super charming interior and patio. This is a “go to” destination for anniversaries, birthdays, and the like.

Pros:

  • Super romantic interior and patio

Cons:

  • Expensive parking ($12 valet)

13. LA Prime (Downtown LA)

OK, let’s say 71 Above is all booked up, but you still want a high-rise dining experience. LA Prime at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel is a very underrated alternative. It’s a legit steakhouse that will satisfy any meat-lover. The views of downtown LA are spectacular, even if you’re not as high up as 71 Above.

Westin Bonaventure Hotel

Afterwards, go to the famous rotating Bona Vista lounge for drinks in signature glasses while taking in the lights of the city.

Pros:

  • Amazing ambiance and views
  • Unique experience
  • Very underrated cuisine (let’s keep this our secret)
  • Good service
  • Built-in after dinner activity (the Bona Vista Lounge)

Cons:

  • Not the hottest or hippest place in town

14. Sir Winston’s at the Queen Mary

Sir Winston’s restaurant offers a unique dining experience aboard the Queen Mary ocean liner in Long Beach. The ambiance is classy vintage 1930’s.

Queen Mary
View of downtown Long Beach from the Queen Mary

Afterwards, it’s a lot of fun to stroll the decks of the ship and explore. Try to find the indoor swimming pool! Or, have a drink in the Observation Bar Lounge.

Pros:

  • Unique experience
  • Vintage ambiance
  • Built-in after-dinner activity: roam the ship!

Cons:

  • This place is pretty old school, definitely not hip. For the trendiest restaurants, look elsewhere on this list

15. Off Vine (Hollywood)

Off Vine is one of my favorite secrete romantic restaurants. It’s located inside a craftsman-style home which just oozes with vintage charm. Even though it’s in Hollywood, it seems far removed from the glitz and glam of Hollywood Blvd.

This restaurant, featuring new American cuisine, is also quite a bit more affordable than most of the others on this list.

Pros:

  • Super charming, romantic ambiance
  • More affordable than other restaurants on this list

Cons:

  • None

Bonus: Do a Hike and a Picnic!

If you want to celebrate a special occasion in a more unusual way with someone who loves the outdoors, consider putting together a picnic lunch and having it after going on a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains or Hollywood Hills! This has its own charm and uniqueness (especially if you waited too long to book one of the restaurants above)!

Bridge after Glendale Peak near Griffith Park
Bridge after Glendale Peak near Griffith Park

I hope this list was useful to you. What restaurants did I miss? Please comment below. – Brian

Shares

Pin It on Pinterest