Contributions by Anthony Stafford
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, with about a week to go before it’s too late to land the perfect outing. In a city with a surplus of amazing food choices, you’d think it would be simple to just pick a place to have a Valentine’s dinner date, but it’s so much more difficult than that. Take five minutes to give it some thought and consideration, at least. If you’re still scrambling to find a great gift and the right reservation, then you can now consider half of the job done! We’ve got a roundup of some of the best restaurants in LA featuring Valentine’s Day specials across the spectrum of whatever suits your wallet, and taste. The clock is ticking. Dive in and discover your options:
Avec Nous at Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills
Avec Nous — the contemporary take on the classic French bistro with a St. Tropez vibe, is ready for the day of lovers with their Mediterranean-inspiried dishes. Spanish and Italian touches compliment their Riviera feel, and diners can expect a dosage of European spices to accompany their locally sourced seasonal ingredients. What’s in store for Avec Nous’ Valentine’s Day specials?
A refined yet inviting dining experience featuring a 5 course tasting menu (and optional wine pairing), with appetizers like Lobster Raviolo, Armagnac Cream, and Chili-Chive Espuma; while the entrees include a choice of Seared Scallops, Sweet Potato Purée, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and Candied Pork Belly. You can view Avec Nous’ entire Valentine’s Day 5 course menu here. Reserve now, as it’s likely to be a full house.
In their own words, “Our passion is defined by our name: Avec Nous – dine with us, drink with us, celebrate with us.” Celebrate your love with Ave Nous!
Category: 5 course tasting menu with optional wine pairing.
Time: 5 pm – 11 pm
Address: 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Cast at Viceroy Santa Monica
When you see what Cast at Viceroy is, and what it has to offer, you’ll most likely be reminded of a movie that features scenes of a luxurious dining experience. Creative food, hand-crafted cocktails, and stylish outdoor cabanas where you can enjoy both, with a side of coastal personality? That should be enough to persuade you into making a reservation, right? If not, maybe you’re picky, but don’t fret.
The Santa Monica restaurant Santa Monica restaurant stars a unique indoor/outdoor scene and commitment to sustainability. Keeping with the trend of healthy eating and fresh, local ingredients, Cast works with nearby farms and prepares their dishes from scratch. Their Valentine’s Day plans involve a specialty dinner paired with a decadent cocktail menu:
Roasted Tomato & Fennel Bisque, Grilled Little Gem Salad, and the Baby Beet & Burrata Salad are just a few starters to get you all warmed up. Entrees include Branzino, Maine Lobster and Tagliatelle, and Farro Risotto to name a few. You can check out the rest of Cast’s Valentine’s Day offerings here, along with photos of the cocktails available for the lover’s holiday. The cocktails by Anuar Chavez, are as dreamy as you can imagine, with chocolates, fruits, and liqueurs — yet their names alone should be enough to entice you: Old Fashioned Love, Cherries on Top/Bubbles on Cherries, and Chocolate Covered Strawberry.
Are you convinced yet? If the answer is “yes,” make your reservation. If you’re still not sure, don’t worry. We’ve still got a few more stops to make.
Category: Specialty dinner & cocktail menu
Time: 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Address: 1819 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Love & Salt
The name is clearly an indication that Valentine’s Day should be celebrated here! Love & Salt’s Valentine plans include you and your date, along with a special menu themed “Is it love or lust?” What’s in store? Pasta tasting is being offered as a supplement to the Love & Salt dinner menu, and served by the course to each guest. In addition, themed cocktails and oysters on the half shell are available a la carte. Pasta tasting options include Papparadelle, Potato Gnocchi, 15 layer Lasagna, and Love Letter. Love & Salt’s steamy cocktails, named “Lady in the Ballroom” and “Lady in Red,” will seal your night with a kiss of citrus and mint.
In this appropriate pairing, the restaurant’s story goes fittingly with the season:
“Love & Salt is a story that begins with Cafe Pierre, a restaurant birthed by Guy Gabriele in 1977 to bring a taste of France to Los Angeles’ South Bay. While Cafe Pierre was a beloved part of the community for nearly 37 years, in 2014, Guy and his daughter Sylvie Gabriele, now the owner of Love & Salt, closed the restaurant to bring new life to the iconic space.
Love & Salt is a philosophy: that food needs only two ingredients to be great. It’s a sensibility that informs the feeling in the restaurant and the dishes on the menu — Italian-inspired with Southern California soul. An approachable wine list and classic cocktail program similarly reflect the vibrant SoCal setting of the restaurant, located just steps from the Manhattan Beach pier.”
Make your reservation here.
Dates: February 13 & 14
Address: 317 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Southern dining meets love at Yardbird, and it couldn’t get any better! Yardbird’s Valentine’s Day offerings consist of elevated comfort food, including appetizers, entrees, “finishing touches,” and desserts. Black truffle lobster mac and cheese, grouper, steak, sea scallops, and red velvet coconut cake are only a few of the impossibly difficult choices you’ll have to make when you reserve at Yardbird.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is owned and operated by 50 Eggs Inc., a multi-faceted, full-service creative firm focused on developing irrepressible brands within the hospitality and entertainment industries. CEO, John Kunkel says, “We’ve been blessed with an extremely talented, intelligent and enthusiastic group of people who possess a roll-up-your-sleeves work ethic second to none. That has been, and will continue to be, the driving force behind our success, plain and simple. We have more concepts in the works and our goal is to continue to develop ideas that we’re passionate about. We’re proud to be developing, building and operating the kind of places that we want to share with our families and yours.”
Category: Special menu served Feb 14 – 17
Address: 8500 Beverly Blvd #112, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Umami Burger x Coolhaus
Contributing Editor: Anthony Stafford
It’s that time of year when pretty much everyone is optimistic and ready to make a positive change in their lives. From the gym to the dinner table, chances are high that many new year’s resolution will involve diets, fitness, and health. If you happen to be one of those people (and even if you’re not), we’ve got the perfect can’t-miss event of the month that will spice things up before those resolutions become a bore.
For a whole week — from January 17th through January 23rd — Daily Harvest is bringing their Refueling Station pop-up to Los Angeles. The best part? It’s free and open to the public at the Westfield Century City!
What is Daily Harvest?
Daily Harvest is a direct-to-consumer brand delivering delicious, nutrient-rich, fruits and vegetables that are frozen at the source, and chef-crafted for taste and ready in minutes. They recognize that the speed at which we live today often forces us to turn to quick, unhealthy choices. From gas stations to convenience stores, our options are filled with foods that lack the nourishment we need at the price of instant gratification. That’s why Daily Harvest has created this Refueling Station as a food oasis for busy people to disrupt their overbooked schedules and remind them that they can nourish their bodies with good food that won’t slow them down. The perfect way to stick to your new year’s resolution a bit longer, right?
The pop-up’s chic take on a retro gas station is a physical manifestation of Daily Harvest’s greater mission to take care of food, so food can take care of you. Visitors will be able to sample the brand’s growing portfolio of good, clean food, including smoothies, breakfast bowls, harvest bowls and cookies! In addition, guests can purchase Daily Harvest cups offline and in person, and partake in engaging programming, like on-site nutrition coaching, swag giveaways, and other surprises!
In November 2018, Daily Harvest opened their first-ever Refueling Station in NYC, which was a huge success.
When To Visit?
Dates: January 17th – 23rd
Time: Open to the public from 11:00AM-8:00PM daily
Address: Westfield Century City; 10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067
Contributing Editor: Anthony Stafford
Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills has partnered with Assouline, the luxury collectible book publisher, for an exclusive pop-up boutique ideal for all your last minute gift shopping needs. Located in the hotel’s lobby, the limited-time retail shop will offer Assouline’s newest and most in-demand titles — from now until the end of the year! Each thoughtfully handcrafted book is piece of art in itself, and perfect for everyone on your gift list.
Wine Me Up!
In addition to offering of lovely gifts, Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills also hosts a complimentary weekly ‘wine hour’ from 5:30-6:30 pm on Wednesdays for guests of the Assouline boutique. The wine hour is welcome to all hotel guests, visitors, and Beverly Hills locals interested in shopping the Assouline space. What better way to knock out some holiday shopping than while sipping wine?
A Christmas Meal To Remember
Finally, both Viceroy Santa Monica’s Cast Restaurant, and Viceroy L’Ermitage’s Avec Nous will be open on Christmas Day for a delicious meal that should not be missed. The Christmas menu for Avec Nous will feature the following 5 courses:
Amuse – Eggnog Tart with Vanilla Bourbon caviar
Soup – Roasted Chestnut, pomegranate, chestnut profiterole with chestnut cream, wild rocket espuma
App – Sous Vide Lobster medallions, Thermador cream, petite sea grass, Black garlic tuile
Intermezzo – Persimmon sorbet
Entrée (of choice):
1 . Lamb Stew, Saffron Fingerling potatoes, baby carrots, kohlrabi,
2 . Black Cod, Roasted Delicata squash, poached baby fennel, Purple potato puree, fennel frons sauce,
Dessert – White Chocolate panna cotta with dark chocolate financier, strawberry fluid gel, blood orange cremeux, pistachio dust, candied blood orange, strawberry powder.
Who could pass up on an extravagant 5-course meal like this on Christmas?! More details for these special opportunities, like pricing, hours, and location, can be found below:
Restaurant Name: Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills – Avec Nous
Offerings / Pricing: 5 course tasting menu, $85 adults, $65 child
Dinner Hours: 5 – 11 p.m.
Restaurant Name: Viceroy Santa Monica – Cast Restaurant
Offerings / Pricing: Regular service
Dinner Hours: 5 – 9 p.m.