Your guide to Valentine’s Day, drinks and eats in L.A., part one
Paint the town red or ignite the fire within
As the short February days continue to wane away, we start to consider our next big holiday. There is Labor Day, Independence Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day; even St. Patrick’s Day is quickly approaching. But we feel empty, like maybe we’re missing something. Then it comes like a wave of sickly, syrupy gushiness – days later we find the evidence – an empty wallet, half-burnt rose petals, and three extra pounds of chocolate-weight. Beware of the coming holiday, as it prefers to ambush its practitioners. Here is part one of our Valentine’s Day guide on where to drink and eat in L.A. to get you prepared.
Chef Ricardo Zarate of Picca Peru will introduce a truffle menu featuring Perigord black winter truffles, as well as Flan Con Trufas (creme caramel, black truffles, vanilla essence). The menu will also present Chupe De Ostras Con Esencia De Trufas (traditional peruvian oyster chowder, truffle essence), Causa De Conchas Con Trufas Negras (sea scallops, perigord truffle aioli, causa, micro herbs), Maracuya and Trufas Pisco Shooter (maracuya and truffle pisco sour shot), and Huevo A Vapor Con Mariscos and Trufas (chawanmuchi steamed egg custard, mixed seafood, black truffles). Dinner is $79 per person with an optional $24 for wine pairing. 9575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035. 310-277-0133.
Chef Adam Fritz of Ladyface Alehouse and Brasserie in Agoura Hills is preparing Valentine’s Day appetizer, entrée, and a dessert of chocolate ale truffles while brewmaster Dave Griffiths will be suggesting ale pairings for each of these specials, plus a Chocolate-Covered Cherry Martini for non-beer drinkers. Call 818-477-4566 for reservations. 29281 Agoura Rd. Agoura Hills, CA 91301.
Asia de Cuba at Mondrian is offering a Valentine’s Day infused with the taste of Asian-Latin cuisine. Asia de Cuba’s special prix fixe menu and a half bottle of Laurent Perrier champagne may be just what you need for the evening. The four-course meal will begin with “Cocoa & Vanilla” Butter Poached Lobster or an Achiote Rubbed Salmon Tamale, followed by an Organic Beet Salad & Coffee-Grilled Quail, and finally, choose between the Red Miso Seared Ribeye, “Pecking” Style Duck, or “Miso Cured Alaska Butterfish.” Valentine’s wouldn’t be complete without dessert: Passion De Coco (made with Marsala semifrio, coffee sabayon, white chocolate, dark chocolate mousse, milk chocolate ganache, coconut tapioca, passion fruit sorbet and sesame tuille) or the Menardes (chocolate truffles). $89 per person will get you into the 6 PM seating while $109 per person will suffice for the 8 PM seating (in addition to 20% service charge). 8440 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069. 323-848-6000.
Bereket, L.A.’s Ethiopian supper club, shows up at Culver City’s Royal/T to present an exotic seven-course series dedicated to a “Culinary Exploration of the Dichotomies of Love” named “Eat Their Heart Out”. Chef Isaiah Frizzell of pHeast will pepare the meal and you can partake for $75 per person ($95 if you would enjoy a wine pairing). A live DJ and cash bar ($10 corkage fee) will contribute to the evening. Singles can join the party by reserving a VIP chef’s table for a group of up to 15 – first seating starts at 6 PM and a second will begin at 8:30 p.m. Course items include: “Playing hard’ to get” (Potato, onion, lentil fried sambusa), “Commitment” new/old (Salad of grains(teff, wheat berry, kasha, barley) and new leaves (baby arugula squash blossoms) with shaved pecorino romano in almond fig vinaigrette), and “Broken heart” (Steak tibs brioche sliders and one-week pickled cauliflower, scattered yellow & orange split peas). 8919 Washington Blvd Culver City, CA 90232. 310-559-6300.
Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank will have low-key specials. “Cupcake and Beer” pairings for $10 each such as the “Brown Sugar Cinnamon cupcake and Get Up Offa That Brown Ale” combo – other vegan/non vegan cupcake options will be available as well. “Romantic Beer Floats” including “Isaphan” with Rose, Raspberry and Lychee sorbets (from Pazzo Gelato in Silverlake) and Eagle Rock Manifesto (a Belgian style witbier infused with rose petals). Baked vegan dog treats will also be available with all proceeds go to the Burbank Animal Shelter. 1710 W. Magnolia Blvd. Burbank, CA 91506. 818-253-1710.
City Tavern in Culver City will feature a Cheese board ($18 with flight; $14 without) of Humboldt Fog, Burrata di Stefano, House Made Meyer lemon ricotta, Tres Leches, and Shaft’s Blue Vein with optional beer flight (Cismontane Chardonnay Barrel Aged CismonTaps, Alesmith Old Numbskull, Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Aged Winter Grand Cru). For a sweeter taste the City Tavern offers a Chocolate board ($16 with flight; $12 without) of Dark chocolate mousse, Chocolate beer truffles, Mini brownies with bourbon caramel, and optional beer flight (Craftsman Edgar Ale, Port Brewing Serpent Stout, Ballast Point Indra Kunindra). Select wines, cocktails, and beers will be half off. 9739 Culver Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232. 310-838-9739.
Mohawk Bend in Echo Park offers many choices. Their Valentine pre-fixe menu includes ($55 per person) a choice of appetizers (Hearts of Palm Salad with roasted pineapple, Japanese cucumbers, market lettuces, pickled carrots, avocado, toasted cashews in a lemongrass vinaigrette (vegan), Cauliflower soup with truffle (vegan), or duo of albacore tuna, seared with olives, tomatoes, fennel, lemon, roasted garlic, olive oil, and tartar with peppers, shallots, chili and smoked paprika) along with choice of entrée (“Veganparadis”: quinoa, beets, beet greens, asparagus, baby carrots, shaved fennel, broccolini, pistachios and a ginger honey vinaigrette (vegan), Slow Roasted Salmon: served with lentils, asparagus, eggplant and curry, or Herb Roasted Prime Rib: served with leek fondue, fingerling potatoes and bacon juso). Banana cream pie with salted caramel gelato or Red velvet cookies with passion fruit sorbet will be available for dessert. You can also purchase the Lover’s Beer Flight for $12 which will allow you the choice between Eagle Rock Manifesto Witbeir (made with rose petals), AleSmith, My Bloody Valentine Amber Ale, Hangar 24 Chocolate Porter, or The Bruery Berazzled Wild Ale. 2141 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026. 213-483-2337.