Gourmet Detective

Valentine's Dinners
By Candlelight Around Los Angeles

by Erica M.

$1.6 billion spent on candy, $1.9 billion on flowers, and $4.4 billion on diamonds and jewelry. That is the power of Valentine's Day. From couples to friends, it has become a celebration for everyone on the 14th of February. Many make a night of it, dress up and dine out at some of the best restaurants. LATF has the premiere four, five and even six course meals and Champagne toasts all the way from Hollywood to Malibu. Happy Valentine's Day!

InterContinental Los Angeles Century City at Beverly Hills
Talk about VIP treatment, the InterContinental is offering the ultimate luxury retreat starting with a private dinner for two on the hotel's 18th floor helicopter pad with a 360 panoramic view of Los Angeles. Wake up the next morning to breakfast in bed and then take a heli tour around the city. Relax with their Romance Ritual spa treatment with Swedish massages, Champagne and fresh strawberries. The dinner offers six courses and wine pairings. For a four star getaway in the Presidental Suite, Click HERE.

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
A getaway by the Ocean is perfect for a romantic weekend. You can stay at the Fairmont in Santa Monica or visit for dinner at FIG. Indulge in a glass of Champagne and a six-course menu for $100 per person. Start with the Butter Lettuce and Shrimp Bisque before a delicious third course of Island Creek Oysters with Red Verjus Granite. The Chef has prepared a special Egg Yolk Raviolo, Duck a l'Orange and Roasted Veal. That is quite the Valentine's Day menu for two. Top it all off with their Baked Alaska with Strawberry Ice Cream and Lemon Thyme Sponge. Why not end the night with a nice stroll on the beach? www.fairmont.com

The Beverly Hills Hotel & Hotel Bel-Air
Every year, The Beverly Hills Hotel always has some of the best specialty cocktails. On the 14th try their Kir Amour and Cupid's Flip at the Polo Lounge. Then enjoy a four course dinner offered from 5-10PM at $155 per person. If you want it to be just the two of you, visit Hotel Bel-Air for One Enchanted Evening: a private culinary experience overlooking Swan Lake with Kristal Champagne, or reserve a candlelit dinner in your hotel room from Wolfgang Puck.
www.beverlyhillshotel.com

The Blvd at Beverly Wilshire Hotel
If you're looking for one of the best ambiances for V-Day dinner, The Blvd is a great choice with its dim lighting and live music. This year they have a $125 per person dinner, which includes a glass of Moet & Chandon Rose Champagne. The menu is by Chef Claudia Fossa and Executive Pastry Chef Stephen Sullivan. Each course is specially titled: Hot Date is Tuna Tataki, Shrimp, Poached Lobster, Coconut, Pink Grapefruit Foam. The Kiss is homemade Spaguettine with Strawberry and Kumamoto Oysters. If that doesn't make run to make a reservation, their Sweet Love dessert is a chocolate souffle and cheesecake for two. http://theblvdrestaurant.com/valentines-day/

The Roosevelt Hotel's Public Kitchen & Bar
Spend V-Day in the heart of Hollywood at the famous Roosevelt Hotel. Their main restaurant, Public Kitchen and Bar (LATF review) presents a four course meal at $65 per person. To start, a Beets Salad with burrata and fruits. Follow with the Tuna Crudo with yogurt and avocado. Just before your entrée, enjoy a Raspberry and Champagne Granite before tasting either the Seared Scallops, Filet Mignon or Sunchoke Risotto. A wine and Champange pairing is available for $29 per person. And to top of the night with your sweetheart, try the White Chocolate Mousse.
To make a reservation CLICK HERE.

SAAM and The BAZAAR By Jose Andres at SLS Hotel
The SLS Hotel's star restaurant presents a delicious dining duo at SAAM and The BAZAAR. Treat your Valentine to The Bazaar by José Andrés. Sip on his and her libations while enjoying their unique tapas. At SAAM, make a reservation for their 2nd-annual Truffle Season Dinner Series in the chef's private tasting. The 18 course menu unearths the flavors of the truffle through the playful imagination and inventive gastronomic vision of Andrés' culinary team, Chefs Aitor Lozano, Holly Jivin, and Kriss Harvey. $250 per guest with wine pairings available (price excludes pairings, tax, and gratuity). http://www.thebazaar.com/

Rare by Drai's
The newest restaurant from Victor Drai, Rare, is in the heart of the Sunset Strip. Their Valentine's motto is "True love is rare like a good steak." If you've found love and love steak, Rare is for you. The new hot spot is featuring an intimate dinner by Executive Chef Patrick Florendo. The décor and mood is perfect for two, with red velvet interior. The dishes are delectable, from Iced Kumamoto Oysters with Champagne mignonette and Steak Tartare. For more info visit: http://www.drais.net

Carbon Beach Club at Malibu Beach Inn
Spend your V-Day by the beach in Malibu and taste Chef Victor Morales' specially designed menu. $95 per person for four courses with a glass of Champagne or $120 for four courses with wine pairings. Start with 'Nibbles At First Sight' with Vanilla Scented Sweet Corn Bisque or Dry Aged Beef Carpaccio. Follow with Ricotta Gnudi, Squidink Risotto or Potato Crusted Sea Bass. Our dessert of choice for the 14th: the melted mocha cake with avocado gelato. It all sounds delicious.
www.malibubeachinn.com

Saddle Peak Lodge
Located in Malibu Canyon, Saddle Peak Lodge is a great getaway for a romantic dinner. Chef Christopher Kufek tailors a Valentine's menu for meat lovers. At $125 per person, dishes include Venison Carpaccio, Oxtail ravioli, Wild Game trio and Grilled Waygo coulette steak. On the sweet side, you can share a milk chocolate cheesecake and banana huckleberry bread pudding. If you're looking for a more rustic, scenic setting in the canyons, Saddle Peak is your Valentine's spot. www.saddlepeaklodge.com

Nobu in Malibu
Nobu has planned both a Valentine's Day dinner and lunch. The dinner for $150 sounds absolutely divine, from the Peruvian Uni Shooter and Oyster with Caviar to Blue Crab with Uni Bearnaise sauce. If you prefer an ocean view with the sun shining, reserve their lunch for $100 with a grand finale Red Velvet Cake finish! www.noburestaurants.com

WP24 by Wolfgang Puck at JW Marriott L.A. Live and The Ritz Carlton
Spend Valentine's Day in downtown at the JW Marriott and enjoy a four course meal for $110 on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton with modern Chinese cuisine. Dishes featured are the 'General Tso' Glazed Wolfe Ranch quail and Crispy Skin Szechuan Baby Chicken. On the lobby level of the JW Marriott, LA Market offers a special menu with a Roasted Rack of Lamb for Two, Clambake Style Cod or Slow Braised Beef Short Rib. End on a sweet note with their Surprise Sweet Platter for Two. To reserve Click Here.

One Pico at Shutters On The Beach
Just steps away from the Pacific Ocean, Shutters is one of the most famous hotels in Los Angeles, right in Santa Monica. Their Valentine's dinner at One Pico restaurantis $85 per person and is, of course, for seafood lovers. Chef Sven Mede and Chef Isaac Gamboa have prepared dishes such as, Grilled Wagyo and Black Truffle Bucatini. They also offer Dungeness Crab Cake and Lobster with Israeli Cous Cous. Desserts range from Vanilla Panna Cotta to Espresso Semifredo.
www.shuttersonthebeach.com