You said you’d pick her up at eight. The problem is, you haven’t the faintest clue where to go. Not to worry as we’ve got you covered. Depending on his or her type, we’ve collected a diverse list that is just right. It may just guarantee you a chance at scoring a second.
Scopa Italian Roots
2905 Washington Blvd
Venice, CA 90292
Moix and Livigni is the bar team behind the captivating display of illuminated spirits that have raised the bar for bars on the west side. An emphasis on agave spirits is apparent, providing the perfect setting for adventurous palates. Chef Antonia Lofaso (Black Market) is in the kitchen, offering Italian fare made for sharing as well. With a vibe that is energetic and sexy it will surely set the stage for a lively evening that continues well into the wee hours of the night (they are open until 2am).
The Church Key
8730 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
For a sophisticated yet playful dim sum experience, Church Key is the spot. It’s all about the details here, from comfortable couch seating in some areas to spoons with witty phrases stamped in them. The best approach is to order a few things off the menu by Chef Steven Fretz (XIV), but save room for the fun stuff. Servers toting Pan Am refreshment carts will have everything from barman Devon Espinosa’s house-canned Negronis to spiked “Otter Pops” to Pig Ear “Cheetos.” The menu changes often, so make a game out of collecting as many dim sum stamps as you can to commemorate a fantastic night out.
108 W 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
If the hip-hop soundtrack to the Bollywood projected on the wall offers any hint of this downtown eatery’s cool factor, then you already know you’re in for something fresh. Buckle your seatbelts, kids, because you’re about to experience the remixed version of the streets of Bombay in LA. It’s the go-to spot for a casual date that feels like an instant vacation. You’ll enjoy exotic spice and everything nice, including house made Lassi to help you keep your cool. Your culinary co-pilots, Chef Pawan Mahendro and sons Nakul and Arjun, aim to please, so invite that cute wanderlust stricken, zero PTO having co-worker to come along and ride on this fantastic voyage with you.
8162 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Thanks to a partnership between Umami and Levity Entertainment, there’s nothing funny about the new and improved dining and imbibing options connected to the Improv. We’re talking serious eats by chef Robbie Richter, a Pitmaster who knows more than a thing or two about barbeque. The kitchen fills the air with smoky cuts of meat that is artfully married with the flavors of Southeast Asia and other unexpected combinations.
The “Head Of The Day” on the menu is something to take literally; ordering it guarantees a meal you both won’t soon forget. Also, Barman Dave Fernie (Pour Vous, Harvard & Stone) has compiled a list of tongue-in-cheek cocktails to wash it all down with, like “The Phuket List” and “A Little Dickel Dew Ya.” You’ll want to take a date with a sense of humor who loves meat and isn’t afraid of getting their hands a little dirty in the process.
1616 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
A beachy brunch is the best way to spend a laid back Sunday with your babe. This breezy spot brought to you by Reiss Co. is located on trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard, so you can make your way to the actual coast after eating. Enjoy a seafood-centric breakfast and mimosas to milk the last sweet hours of the weekend for all they’re worth. With its whitewashed brick walls, marble tables, and a menu that is a breath of sweet salt air, this place epitomizes bistro chic.
The Factory Kitchen
1300 Factory Place, Ste 101
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Downtown has a handful of dining diamonds in the rough worth discovering, with this urban chic trattoria being one of the newest kids on the block to join the ranks. Located in the Arts District amongst its industrial surroundings is a living and breathing example of what happens when you offer a refined, yet approachable environment with white tablecloth level hospitality. The approachable menu offers simplistic, traditional Italian recipes that share the memories of Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi (CUT, Spago) and Chef Angelo Auriana (Valentino) by way of your plate. Bring your favorite pasta lover who has a sense of curiosity and appreciates exploring LA’s nooks and crannies.
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Joy Bitonio has the phrase “Joie de Vivre” tattooed on her shoulder, a reminder to enjoy life every single day. She has a voracious appetite for fun, adventure, food, good cocktails and works out like a madwoman to keep it all together. Check out her other articles on CBS L.A. She also covers fitness on Examiner. Follow her on Twitter.