Dining

LA FOODIE DATE EXPERIENCES FOR SPRING

Woo your date this spring with a bevy of surprising culinary options in La. Venture away from typical dining scene and impress the one you love with a memorable experience.

Maple at Descanso Gardens – Woo your date with brunch along with a garden walk

Set the mood with a pre or post dinner romantic stroll through the blooming camellias at the historic 150-acre garden oasis referred to as Descanso Gardens, in La Ca~nada Flintridge. Intoxicate your date using the odor of wisteria or magnolia blossoms before experiencing their restaurant, Maple, only open for brunch on the weekends. Recption menus menu features maple themed things like Maple Moscow Mules, Chicken and Beignets with Maple Syrup, sinful Maple Bread Pudding, and Maple Pancakes with whiskey maple syrup, brown sugar spiced walnuts, and candied pork belly. Start your affair by splitting the Avocado Toast with flowers, the Soft Scramble Toast with moist eggs and spring peas, or the Fresh Berry Toast with whipped cream cheese. Increase your brunch knowledge about the Mimosa Bar by selecting the selection of champagne and preferred juice medley.

Crossings South Pasadena – Visit the train for many Haute Cuisine

For a memorable culinary experience, surprise your date with a train ride to Crossings in South Pasadena, just a short hop from the Gold Line station and only one stop away from Highland Park. Our favorite meals of this past year came from Gargantua, a Santa Monica pop-up. Now one of Gargantua's chefs, Kevin Malone, makes a brand new home at Crossings. This South Pasadena two-story exposed brick restaurant, in a historic 1908 building, is located on charming Mission Street. The intimate, comfortable space features two bars, a wine loft, along with a patio having a 100-year old oak tree. The ambiance sets the mood, but the thoughtful food menu and thoroughly cultivated wine selection are the real winners. The artistic chef concocted a remarkable menu with unique dishes like Uni Carbonara, Hamachi Collar – flame broiled and rubbed in the Yucatan spice Pibil and served with handmade tortillas, Beef Tartar with ginger, Roasted Sunchokes having a habanero orange glaze, Hamachi Verde with snap peas and kaffir lime, Spinach Mushroom Salad with Maitaki and Beech mushrooms, along with a Pot De Crème with hints of Ancho Chili and espresso, topped with rice and almond-flavored Horchata foam.

The Henry – Tantalize their tastebuds on Robertson Blvd

Check out new neighborhood restaurant, The Henry (also situated in Phoenix and Dallas), now open on 120 N. Robertson (the former Newsroom) with outdoor seating along with a massive indoor space for any cozy booth date or perhaps a communal dining knowledge about new friends. This new dining destination is not only hip and delightful, drawing LA’s pretty people, however the wait staff is welcoming (which they pride themselves on) and the meals are exceptional. Not often are you finding all three things in one place in LaLaLand.

Begin your night with the gin-based cocktail with rose petals called Wake the Angels and proceed to the fig and ginger mule. Share Smoked Norwegian Salmon on a crunchy hash brown with crème fra^iche and arugula, Black Truffle Cheese Fondue with warm pretzel bite knobs, and the taste bud-blowing Surf and Surf, because the luscious chunks of crab marinating in warm butter tastes pretty much like lobster and includes chilled Mexican shrimp and grilled bread bites.

Save room for entrees like the succulent Short Rib with homemade English Pea Ravioli and Seared Ahi Tuna inside a bowl of green curry coconut rice with lemongrass broth. End your night having a concoction using their coffee bar just like a Flat White, The Butcher (two shots espresso, Colombian drip, splash sweet cream) or The Wildflower (espresso, vanilla, splash of chai, steamed milk). Brunch and lunch will also be offered along with a perfect bar for post-work drink meet-ups.

Nuit Blanche – Step into the 1920’s Parisian-style for a night you won’t forget

As soon while you arrive, you are feeling transported for an episode of Boardwalk Empire or perhaps sent back over time towards the real Parisian Pigalle. For the first time in 70 years, the Carondelet Home is bringing Cabaret back, where French-born proprietor Jean Marceau began in 1928 with his dream of importing Parisian Cabaret to LA. The stunning historic home, now an entertaining space, took its name in the S.S. Carondelet, the ocean liner that brought Marceau to America.

A magician awaits, a sketch artist may draw you as you sip your Absinthe, and dancers mingle at home to get your heart pumping. The night is structured around an expert of ceremonies (Marceau) who tells a tale from the Cabaret. After cocktail hour, phones are taken and checked so that you can be fully present. Inside your black tie and vintage flapper garb, have a 5+ course dinner, including lobster claw, Niman Ranch tenderloin, and wine, as live music and scantily clad performers get you on a wild erotic ride – with tap dancing and smoke and windows and candles and wax. Your senses is going to be blown! $300 per person, but memories for a lifetime!

Nighthawk – For the boozy morning after

For a boozy brunch the morning after, keep your date thrilled with Spiked Cereal Milk at this fun little Breakfast Bar spot. Cocoa Puffs with Vanilla Vodka, Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch and Bourbon, yes, please! Founded by celebrity chef and restauranteur Jeremy Fall, take in the strong pours with Chicken and Biscuits or Sweet Potato Pancakes, Candied Bacon, Drunken (brandy-infused) French Toast with Krispies coating the Brioche, Duck Confit Hash, and Benedict Fries with pit-smoked ham, peppers, gruyere, and smoked paprika hollandaise sauce by having an egg on the top. Open 'til midnight or later. Warning: Do not enter if dieting, have dietary restrictions, or really are a picky eater who desires substitutions.

Belvedere at The Peninsula – Dine like grown-ups in Beverly Hills

Inside the opulent five-star Peninsula Hotel, woo your date with a taste of Mediterranean Californian cuisine. Take in the sun's rays and dine on their own terrace for a memorable date or sit inside at one of their elegant tables with French country chairs encompassed by impressive modern art. To dine here always seems special.

Personable Executive Chef David Codney keeps dishes simple by using high-quality locally sourced ingredients, wild-caught seafood, and even ingredients harvested around the hotel's rooftop garden. “I don't want the food to become something which took 15 hours to prepare. It's meant to be rustic and identifiable- it isn't food which has been broken down so much you don't understand what it is,” says Chef David Codney.

You can get world-class service within this warm, inviting atmosphere as much servers take care of your every need, from squeegeeing the crumbs off your linen, spacing out your food selections, and making sure your wine glass doesn’t run dry. If you can sustain the carbs, ordering the Gnocchi Porcini and Duck Confit Orecchiette (pasta that appears like small ears) with fancy mushrooms and sundried tomatoes is essential! The Dungeness Crab Flatbread loaded with fresh crab plus confit tomatoes, the Mr. Z Mediterranean Market Salad with crunchy pita crisps, or even the Charred Caesar with Crispy Brussels sprouts and Kale having a white anchovy peppercorn dressing are great starters to share.

Move over boring old cauliflower. Here comes a Whole-Roasted (head of) Cauliflower filled with garlic aioli, gremolata flavoring, and crunchies on top like a side. End your night with their luscious Bombolini (doughnut holes full of cream) or the jaw-dropping Fabergé Egg decked in edible paint and gold foil and little holes – ideal for Easter and springtime! Crack the chocolate egg to reveal the items in chocolate fudge and gelato a treadmill of their rotating flavor combos.

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