A Last-Minute Valentine's Day Dinner Guide for Procrastinators
Hinoki and the Bird has a few tables left for Valentine's Day.
You forgot. You didn't know it mattered so much to him/her. You wonder why this is your damn responsibility in the first place. Whatever the reason, you screwed up and neglected to book dinner reservations for Valentine's Day this year, and now you're in trouble.
Valentine's Day is one of the most competitive days of the year for dining out, even more so in Los Angeles than New Year's Eve. Don't sweat it — we've got your back. As of right now (Monday morning), the restaurants below still have availability. But don't sleep on it, they're bound to go fast.
Barcito: For a somewhat laid-back Valentine's dinner, Barcito could be the ticket. The downtown spot has a few special dishes on the menu for the evening, and it has reservations available all night. Bonus: There's no tipping. barcitola.com
Bouchon: I don't think anyone could accuse you of phoning it in if you took them to Bouchon in Beverly Hills for Valentine's. Thomas Keller's French bistro is serving an $85 prix fixe and has reservations available before 6 p.m., and a couple of tables left around 8:45. thomaskeller.com/bouchonbeverlyhills
Cafe Gratitude: The Venice location of Cafe Gratitude has plenty of availability throughout the evening, which is great if your love happens to be vegan. It's also possible you could get away with some kind of "because I'm so grateful for you," shtick, but I'm not sure there are many carnivores who would fall for it. cafegratitude.com
Roast beef banquet at Belcampo Santa Monica
Belcampo: On the other hand, the carnivore in your life would be thankful for a reservation at Belcampo in Santa Monica. The farm-to-plate meat company's restaurant has a couple of very early reservations left, in the before-6 p.m. range. belcampo.com
Hinoki and the Bird: There's barely a more lovely room in the city, the cocktails are great, and honestly I'm surprised Hinoki still has availability. But it does — on the early side you can still snag a reservation between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. It's serving a four-course prix fixe for $89 per person. hinokiandthebird.com
Mare Santa Monica: Eric Greenspan's ever-expanding mini-chain of seafood spots has a soaring newish location in Santa Monica, and it has a few reservations left between 5:30 and 6 p.m. marerestaurants.com
Superba Food and Bread
Superba Food and Bread: The bright, airy Venice restaurant has plenty of availability throughout the evening. superbafoodandbread.com
Sushi Roku: The Santa Monica location of Sushi Roku has a few tables left early in the evening, and one or two slots around 8 p.m. innovativedining.com/restaurants/sushiroku
Chirashi bowl at Sushi Tsujita
Sushi Tsujita: At the time of this writing, Sushi Tsujita on Sawtelle had one 8:30 p.m. reservation left. It's a long shot, but I decided to include it because that would be a pretty great table to snag if you're the lucky procrastinator who gets it. sushitsujita.com
Tavern: I can hardly think of a more beautiful spot to get your romance on than the soaring dining room at Tavern, Suzanne Goin's Brentwood beauty. If you're willing to eat early — like 5 or 5:30 — you can still get a table. It's serving a four-course, $95-per-person menu. Alternately, Tavern is having a no-reservations-needed Champagne tasting from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Larder. It includes tastes of five sparkling wines and savory snacks, and costs $40 per person. tavernla.com
The Wallace: This Culver City spot probably doesn't get the attention it deserves, which is possibly why it has a few tables left between 8 and 8:30 p.m. thewallacela.com
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Los Angeles dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.