Food

10 Best Romantic DineLA 2023 Restaurants

It’s the best time of year for Los Angeles foodies! DineLA Restaurant Week is back from April 28 to May 12, 2023. This is a great time to book a date night or grab your girlfriends and finally explore those top-rated restaurants you’ve had on your radar.

With over 300 participating restaurants, DineLA offers a wide variety of cuisines to choose from, including Mexican, Italian, Asian, and Californian. I’ve put together a list of the best DineLA romantic restaurants so you know exactly where to go to make the most of these restaurant week deals.

Looking for the best DineLA menu deals on a budget? Check out the 10 Best DineLA 2023 Deals $25 and Under.

Missed Spring DineLA 2023?

Sign up for my email list to get the next round of DineLA recommendations!

In the meantime, check out thees 75 Fun Los Angeles Date Ideas or send me a message if you’d like other recommendations!

What is DineLA?

DineLA is a highly anticipated restaurant event that happens twice a year in Los Angeles. It offers a unique opportunity for foodies to try some of the city’s top-rated restaurants at a fraction of the cost.

This event has been a staple in the LA culinary scene since 2008, and it takes place twice a year, in January and July. During DineLA 2023, participating restaurants offer special prix-fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner, giving diners a chance to sample some of their signature dishes and experience the culinary diversity of LA.

The event typically lasts for two weeks and offers different price points depending on the restaurant’s level of cuisine. Some of the city’s most iconic establishments participate, as well as up-and-coming eateries and hidden gems.

1. Uovo – Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, Studio City, Mid-Wilshire

Uovo is a well-known pasta bar, originating in Santa Monica from the creators of LA’s famous Sugarfish sushi restaurant. Fresh, handmade pasta is made daily in-house at Uovo with ingredients flown in from Italy.

This option also comes with an approachable DineLA price tag of $25 per person for lunch (two-courses) or $45 for dinner (three-courses).

There are four locations participating in DineLA, although I would argue that the Marina Del Rey location is the most romantic due to its location overlooking the marina. Check out the view!

2. Manuela – Downtown LA Arts District

Manuela is a hidden gem located in the Arts District, and one of my all-time favorite restaurants. It offers Southern-inspired cuisine with a farm-to-table approach. This restaurant is known for its beautiful garden and outdoor seating area, surrounded by carefully commissions art pieces; perfect for a romantic lunch date during DineLA week.

The menu features dishes made with fresh and locally-sourced ingredients, including stunning and colorful cocktails for every palate.

Cocktails at Manuela DTLA

For DineLA week, Manuela is offering a steal of a deal with their four-course lunch menu at $45 per person. Start with their house-made cream biscuits with Newsom’s aged country ham. The biscuits are velvety soft and will melt in your mouth.

For the second course I highly recommend the Arugula Salad with goat cheese, spiced pecan, aged balsamic. Or you can opt for the Smoked Trout Dip with Carolina gold rice crackers. The presentation is stunning! You can’t go wrong with any of the entrees, but they are known for fried chicken so the Fried Chicken Sandwich is an obvious winner.

Wrap it all up with their staple dessert: the Honey Cake served with mascarpone cream, caramel and toasted almonds.

Honey Cake at Manuela

This menu is only available for lunch Tuesday – Friday from 11:30am – 2:30pm. So sneak away and live your best lunch life with this incredible menu at Manuela!

3. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele – Hollywood

If you’re looking for authentic Neapolitan pizza during DineLA week, look no further than L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele. This Hollywood restaurant is famous for its traditional pizza made with high-quality ingredients imported from Italy, including San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and extra-virgin olive oil.

For DineLA week, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is offering a lunch menu at $35 per person, or a dinner option at $65 per person.

Be sure to order the Il Vanto cocktail! It has Ketel One Peach Botanical Vodka, lemon juice, peach reduction and muddled mint. It’s a smooth, delicious treat of a drink that’s perfect for sipping on their gorgeous outdoor patio.

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4. Fia – Santa Monica

Fia is a well-known restaurant in Santa Monica that offers a Mediterranean-inspired menu in a beautiful garden patio atmosphere covered in twinkle lights. What sets Fia apart is its emphasis on seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients, as well as its commitment to sustainable practices. The menu changes frequently to reflect the best of what’s in season, and the dishes are prepared with care and attention to detail.

Fia patio
Image via Fiarestaurant.com

The DineLA menu includes dishes like the Lobster Capellini, Truffle Filet, Spicy Chili Tuna/Crispy Arancini, and the Cascading Tiramisu. At $95 per person for four dinner courses, this menu is on the high-end of the DineLA menu options. But you’ll experience an incredible fine-dining meal in an unbeatable setting.

Be sure to grab reservations because this popular restaurant books quickly!

5. Saddle Peak Lodge – Calabasas

If you’re looking for a unique and upscale dining experience during DineLA week, Saddle Peak Lodge is the perfect choice. Located in a renovated hunting lodge in the hills of Calabasas, this restaurant is known for its elegant ambiance, beautiful views, and menu featuring game meats and other fine dining options. The restaurant has earned numerous awards including AAA’s 4-Diamond award.

Saddle Peak Lodge entrance

The restaurant is cozy, charming, elegant, and romantic. Choose to dine outside under the stars on their patio or inside the dining room surrounded by wood paneling, candlelight and rustic lodge decor.

For DineLA week, Saddle Peak Lodge is offering a three-course dinner menu for $85 per person. For a special treat, upgrade to the Game Trio which includes bison, emu and elk.

6. The Strand House – Manhattan Beach

The Strand House is a beachfront restaurant located in Manhattan Beach. I mean, what’s more romantic than an ocean-view lunch followed by a walk on the beach?

The restaurant offers stunning ocean views and a menu full of California-inspired cuisine. For DineLA, The Strand House is offering a three-course lunch menu for $45 per person. Highlights from the menu include the Togarashi Ahi Salad, Duck Confit Pizza, Pan-Seared Branzino, and Seasonal Donuts.

Cocktail overlooking Manhattan Beach

7. Terra at Eataly – Century City

Eataly is an Italian marketplace and dining destination located in the Century City mall. The restaurant Terra, located on the rooftop of Eataly, offers a stunning outdoor dining experience with views of the surrounding sky rises.

The three-course DineLA menu at $55 per person features authentic Italian dishes made with high-quality, seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers. Terra’s open kitchen adds to the dining experience, as you can watch the chefs at work while enjoying your meal.

The restaurant also boasts an impressive cocktail menu with drinks crafted inside a renovated greenhouse on the rooftop. The extensive wine list features a variety of Italian and California wines. With its elevated ambiance and delicious food, Terra is the perfect spot for a special occasion or a night out with friends.

8. Little Sister

If you’re in the mood for something different during DineLA week, Little Sister is the perfect choice. This Downtown LA restaurant offers modern Vietnamese cuisine with a unique twist. The menu features dishes that blend traditional Vietnamese flavors with modern techniques, resulting in delicious and innovative dishes.

Two of the four Little Sister locations are participating in DineLA Restaurant Week: Redondo Beach and El Segundo.

For DineLA week, Little Sister is offering a three-course lunch or dinner menu for $55. Choose from some of their signature dishes like the suon nuong (lemongrass grilled pork chop & chicken fat rice),
ga roti’ (house spiced crispy chicken, chili ginger sauce, steamed rice) or the shaky shaky beef.

I definitely recommend adding the garlic noodles to share (makes for great leftovers) and the lychee martini if you like something sweet.

Beef Bowl at Little Sister

9. Firefly – Studio City

Firefly in Studio City is a must-visit during DineLA for its unique and magical atmosphere. The restaurant is housed in a historic brick building with a lush garden patio and twinkling string lights, creating a cozy and romantic ambiance. Get there early so you can start with a cocktail in the bar’s library room before dinner.

The menu features New American cuisine, and the dishes are beautifully presented. Firefly also offers a creative cocktail menu and an extensive wine list. The DineLA dinner menu is offered at $78 per person for three courses, plus an amuse with sparkling wine.

Firefly is a standout option for a romantic date night during DineLA.

10. Yamashiro – Hollywood

Located in the Hollywood Hills, Yamashiro is a unique Japanese-style castle that overlooks downtown LA for an incredible view. It was voted one of the best restaurants with a view in Los Angeles by Eater, The menu features traditional Japanese dishes like sushi and tempura, as well as fusion dishes like lobster tacos and filet mignon.

The DineLA menu is $65 per person for an impressive five-course meal.


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What’s on your DineLA 2023 restaurant list?

Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch spot or a fancy dinner destination, the DineLA 2023 lineup has plenty of amazing options for a romantic date. Try something new or use this as an excuse to go back to one of your favorites!

Missed Spring DineLA 2023?

Sign up for my email list to get the next round of DineLA recommendations!

In the meantime, check out thees 75 Fun Los Angeles Date Ideas or send me a message if you’d like other recommendations!

Happy dining!

-Hannah

Plate & Compass is a food and travel blog written by Hannah Falkosky. After quitting her job and spending 8 weeks in Europe on just a few thousand dollars, she found her love for budget travel and sharing tips to help others explore the world. She also spent 15 years working with award-winning chefs and developed a love for artful food and cocktails. Hannah is now based out of Los Angeles, and when she’s not traveling she makes it her mission to explore the best restaurants and cocktail bars while living life to the fullest.

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