Love is in the air in the Westchester/Playa/Marina community, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite local spots that will be working overtime on Sunday, February 14 (and the Friday and Saturday before) to create a fun evening for couples, friends and families that are looking for a way to say “I love you.” No matter what you do to celebrate this month, make sure you make plans early and call ahead for reservations. As of press time, some of the restaurants we contacted were already booked!
Whether you’re looking for something fancy and romantic or laid-back and fun, here is our pick for Valentine’s Day worthy locales:
An early romantic dinner at Playa del Rey’s Cantalini’s Salerno Beach. If you’re looking for romance this Valentine’s Day, Cantalini’s is the place to be. The restaurant’s intimate vibe paired with its home-style Italian cuisine is sure to score you big points with your date.
The restaurant is offering a variety of Chef’s Specials on Valentine’s Day including grilled rosemary lamb chops, handmade lobster ravioli in lobster cream sauce topped with rock shrimp and a seafood risotto. The restaurant’s regular menu will also be available. For dessert, order the house made tiramisu or enjoy an assortment of homemade gelato with a glass of Prosecco or champagne.
Besides the food, the best part of celebrating Valentine’s Day at Cantalini’s may be its “Twilight Special” served from 4 to 6 p.m. Early bird dinners can enjoy an all-inclusive meal at just $39.99 per couple. Diners can enjoy the special twilight offering, which includes a glass of champagne or house wine, freshly baked bread, salad, pasta, dessert and coffee! Afterwards, there will still be plenty of time to catch up on Netflix with your sweetheart or enjoy a nightcap at nearby The Shack or Playa Provisions. Valet parking is available after 5 p.m. at the restaurant.
Cantalini’s Salerno Beach Restaurant is located at 193 Culver Blvd. in Playa del Rey.
For more info and reservations, call (310) 821-0018.
Share a milkshake, fries and burgers at Hopdoddy. For a more laid-back Valentine’s Day celebration reminiscent of when you first started dating, check out Playa Vista’s Hopdoddy Burger Bar. Located in the new Runway Shopping Center, the restaurant has made quite a reputation for itself as a go-to spot for those looking to binge on burgers, hand-cut fries and shakes. Our picks include the Classic Burger with “Sassy Sauce” or the vegetarian-friendly La Bandita burger.
For dessert, you can’t go wrong with any of Hopdoddy’s handmade shakes, but our personal favorite is the decadently delicious Oreo Cookie. For a romantic twist, order one with two straws before winding down the evening. With Cinemark right around the corner, Playa Vista makes an easy date night a no-brainer.
Hopdoddy Playa Vista is located at 12746 W. Jefferson Blvd. Suite 1120 in Playa Vista.
Cruise through the Marina with Hornblower. For an unforgettable evening on the water, consider booking one of three Valentine’s Day weekend cruises from Hornblower Cruises and Events.
It will be hard to beat the view when you board the yacht for Hornblower’s dinner cruise at sunset. The three hour tour starts with a glass of champagne at boarding, a private candlelit table, a five course meal and entertainment from a band or a DJ, depending on what deck you choose. While it’s not cheap (cruises start at $139 per person on Saturday and Valentine’s Day), the memories will be priceless. For something a little more low-key, the cruise line, which docks at Marina del Rey’s Fisherman’s Village, is also offering a romantic weekend dinner cruise on Friday, February 12 and a Cupid’s Champagne Brunch on Sunday afternoon.
For more information, visit hornblower.com/home/mdr.
Visit the Marina’s hottest hotel for dinner at SALT. Since the Marina del Rey Hotel reopened last year with a $25 million dollar makeover, the Marina’s oldest hotel is the place to be for cocktails and dinner at their award-winning restaurant SALT. For Valentine’s Day, Chef Mark Gold is offering guests a special menu on Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14 from 5 to 11 p.m.
The menu is heavy on seafood with dishes like Nantucket Bay Scallops, Maine Lobster and Buttered Japanese Udon Noodles with geoduck and sea urchin. After dinner, enjoy sitting at the bar or at one of the hotel’s many outdoor fire pits that overlook the scenic Marina with a flute of the restaurant’s signature drink of the weekend, the Beau Joie Brut Rose.
For reservations, visit pacificahotels.com/salt.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Photos Courtesy: Cantalini’s Salerno Beach, Hornblower Cruises and Events and SALT at Marina del Rey Hotel.