Celebrate love and friendship this Valentine’s Day by dining out with that special someone or gathering with friends at one of these local favorite spots perfect for enjoying a memorable evening.
Coast Beach Cafe & Bar
Coast is a delightful, casual beachfront eatery that serves decidedly yummy California-inspired American cuisine. Situated on the lower level of Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, every meal comes with a lovely view of the Pacific Ocean. The restaurant and hotel channel a classy, Martha’s Vineyard-style prepster vibe, with dark wooden tables and floors, wicker chairs, white walls and paneling, soaring ceilings, blue and white striped booths and banquettes and subtle lighting. The attentive servers also reflect New England style, courtesy of their crisp checked Vineyard Vines shirts.
Dine at an indoor table along the wall of windows looking out at the water, a comfy booth, at the bar or outdoors on the covered patio. Whatever your dining preference, gifted Executive Chef Vittorio Lucariello—who also helms the hotel’s fine dining spot, One Pico—and his team’s tasty dishes are sure to make guests smile.
Standout starters include avocado toast on grilled country bread, compressed watermelon (served with grapefruit, cucumber, avocado and feta cheese), a trio of fish tacos, and cheddar mac & cheese with optional crab or lobster. The raw bar offerings include oysters, a Maine lobster cocktail and a shellfish platter featuring a mouthwatering selection of clams, oysters, shrimp, Dungeness crab and lobster.
Noteworthy entrees include seared ahi tuna with couscous and avocado, a Maine lobster roll served on a potato bun with lemon aioli and hushpuppies, and Mary’s chicken with king mushrooms and fingerling potatoes.
An oversized slice of decadent chocolate, red velvet, carrot or coconut-pineapple cake from Susie Cakes makes the perfect finale.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily.
Coast Beach Cafe & Bar, Shutters on the Beach
1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica
Mastro’s Ocean Club
Mastro’s Ocean Club is a swanky spot offering panoramic ocean views from both the indoor dining room with walls of windows and the outdoor patio. Revered for its steaks and seafood, this top-notch restaurant serves delicious sushi, appealing appetizers and sides galore.
Talented Executive Chef Brenda Mora and her team’s dishes taste as good as they look. The expansive menu and plentiful portions include oysters on the half-shell, shrimp cocktail, Ocean Club crab cakes, chilled Alaskan King crab legs, the Maguro (bluefin tuna) lime roll, the tuna jalapeno sashimi, and the creamy lobster bisque.
While guests can easily make a meal of small plates, the many stellar entrees, including steak, herb-roasted chicken and rack of lamb, should not be overlooked. Choose from the petit filet or filet mignon (8 oz./12 oz.), bone-in filet (12 oz./18 oz.), New York Strip (16 oz.), and bone-in ribeye.
Seafood entree standouts include Scottish salmon, Pacific swordfish, Chilean sea bass, twin lobster tails and live Maine lobster—a seafood-lover’s dream. Scrumptious sides, served family-style, perfectly complement each dish and include the lobster or garlic mashed potatoes; steamed, sauteed or creamed spinach; the 1-lb. baked potato; Alaska King crab black truffle gnocchi and crispy Brussels sprouts.
MOC’s desserts are made for sharing. Try the signature sweet Warm Butter Cake with fresh whipped cream and berries, the flourless Chocolate Sin Cake or the Key Lime Pie.
Dinner served nightly and brunch on weekends.
Mastro’s Ocean Club
18412 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu
Jean-Georges Beverly Hills
The extraordinarily chic signature restaurant located in the glamorous Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, Jean-Georges Beverly Hills is named after their legendary Michelin star-rated French chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Featuring his much-loved French-American cuisine with a California accent of seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, JGBH is part of Chef Jean-Georges’ impressive culinary empire of worldwide restaurants. Fans of this famous chef will recognize signature dishes also served in his New York City restaurants.
JGBH’s sky-high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows fill the restaurant with natural light that enhances the opulent interior decorated in a gentle palette of neutrals, with soft leather chairs, booths and banquettes, plenty of greenery and terrazzo tile floors.
French Executive Chef Steve Benjamin and his expert staff’s impressive selection of dishes include the popular Avocado Carpaccio Pizza, a crunchy treat, punctuated with cilantro, lime and Serrano chili. Delectable starters include the Kona Kampachi sashimi with chilled spicy cucumber juice and lime yogurt, butternut squash soup with black Trumpet mushrooms and creme fraiche, and ahi tuna with crushed avocado, sliced radishes and ginger dressing.
The roasted Maine lobster is divine, served with Chanterelle mushroom vinaigrette. Other exquisite entrees include roasted Wagyu beef tenderloin with glazed carrots and miso-mustard sauce, Parmesan-crusted organic chicken with artichokes and lemon butter, tagliatelle with basil-pistachio pesto and caramelized Brussels sprouts, and Icelandic salmon with carrots, coconut and quinoa. Inventive sides include the baked sweet potato with dried chili, butter and sea salt; broccoli with pistachios, chilis and mint; Brussels sprouts with pear, bacon and raisin vinegar; and French fries with herbs.
JGBH’s desserts are an ethereal affair—why not succumb to warm chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream, toasted almond panna cotta with Frog Hollow apricots and apricot sorbet or the salted caramel sundae topped with peanuts, popcorn and hot fudge?
Breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily; brunch on weekends.
Jean-Georges Beverly Hills, in the Waldorf Astoria
9850 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills
Brentwood’s Pizzana is a slice of pizza heaven. Owned by Sprinkles Cupcakes Founders Candace and Charles Nelson and actor Chris O’Donnell and wife, Caroline, Pizzana serves up wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza. The talented Naples-born pizzaiolo Chef Daniel Uditi has created a dedicated following who can’t get enough of his crispy, perfectly scrumptious pies. Chef Daniel handmakes the dough—which is then fermented and proofed for two days—and uses organic, stoneground Italian flour and San Marzano tomatoes from Naples to distinguish his pies.
The mod, sleek interior is dressed in white and Mediterranean blue, with an open kitchen, light wooden floors, white walls, blue chairs and banquettes, and a blue and white geometric print mural.
Popular appetizers include the polpette al forno (yummy wood-fired meatballs and bread) and the Caesar salad with fried capers, Parmigiano, garlic croutons and Calabrian Caesar vinaigrette.
The Margherita and Chef Daniel’s signature Neo-Margherita top the list of favorite pies, along with the Amatriciana with housemade sauce, crispy prosciutto crudo, red onion, shaved Parmigiano and fior di latte (semi-soft fresh cheese); the Ortolano with San Marzano dop, grilled zucchini, eggplant, red pepper pesto and basil; and the Corbarina with zucchini blossoms, cherry tomatoes, burrata and gremolata. Gluten-free crust is also available.
Dessert specialties include Terrina Di Napoletana, with vanilla, strawberry and triple chocolate ice cream and fudge; salted caramel panna cotta; and the Rabarbaro, a rhubarb upside-down cornmeal cake with wildflower honey cream.
Lunch and dinner served daily.
11712 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles