Every year on Feb. 14, we become a nation divided. Those who loathe Valentine's Day see it as a day when happy couples gloat, capitalism runs amok and your favorite restaurant is booked solid and probably serving a love-themed tasting menu. If this is you, there's still a way to observe the holiday, with everything from drink specials to help you wallow in self-pity to Tinder-themed parties to free food for eating your way through your feelings.
Shred Your Ex | Public School
For those who have recently transitioned from coupledom to singlehood, Public School locations are inviting guests to “Shred Your Ex” on Valentine’s Day. Bring a photo of your ex to Public School all day long on Feb. 13 or Feb. 14 and say your final goodbye with the help of a decorated shredder. To help with the sting (or to celebrate the liberation), you also get 50 percent off your first beer. 9411 Culver Blvd., Culver City, and other locations; (310) 558-0414, psontap.com.
Love Will Tear Us Apart | King Eddy Saloon
Do you feel misunderstood? Dealing with some pent-up teen angst? Well, here's your chance to drown the heartache in cheap drinks and loud music, and maybe even cry on a stranger's shoulder. Let your inner emo kid loose at King Eddy's Emo V-Day Party, where you can thrash your asymmetrical bob to some New Wave, goth, screamo, emo and post-punk while sipping on specialty cocktails like the Screamo Sour ($6) or Unicorn Tears (MHL Pony and shot of Jager, $7). 131 E. Fifth St., downtown; (213) 629-2023, kingeddysaloon.com
The Loves of Marilyn Monroe Brunch | Viviane
What better way to stick it to Valentine's Day than to make like a true sad girl and look back on all the loves in your life who just didn't make the cut? Or at least all of Marilyn's. Chef Michael Hung's Valentine's weekend brunch menu, inspired by Marilyn Monroe's most famous lovers, includes the Arthur Miller special of grilled chicken sausage, sour cherry and apple salad, and the Joe DiMaggio featuring handmade spaghetti, veal polpette, classic marinara sauce and a garlic crostini. Wash it down with a mimosa or two while contemplating the transitory nature of love and wallowing in what could have been. 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 407-7791, vivianerestaurant.com.
Walk of Shame Brunch for Two | LAMILL Coffee Boutique
No matter what your Valentine’s Day brings, LAMILL Coffee is there for the morning-after awkwardness. On Feb. 15, the Silver Lake coffee spot will be offering a “Walk of Shame Brunch.” For $50, a table of two each gets a house mimosa, “hearty” lattes, menage-a-toast (a toast trio of avocado, salmon and ricotta), a choice of benedict and warm doughnut holes to share. 1636 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake; (323) 663-444, lamillcoffee.com.
Free Dessert Sliders | Umami Burger
Over the course of human history, eating your feelings has proven to be quite the effective method of dealing with loneliness. Luckily, Umami Burger is there to pitch in with the launch of its new dessert sliders. Head to any Umami location and get a free dessert slider of salted caramel ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate brioche Larder Bakery buns, topped with caramel drizzle and sprinkled with powdered sugar. 500 Broadway, Santa Monica; (310) 451-1300, umamiburger.com.
Whip-Its and Absinthe | MiniBar
Hollywood's retro cocktail den, MiniBar, can help you be your bad self on Valentine's Day. For $50, you can enjoy a mind-numbing evening of “Whip-Its and Absinthe.” Enjoy cocktails like the Femme (rose-infused gin and tonic) paired with bar bites designed by chef Brandon Boudet. End the evening with absinthe from the absinthe fountain, served with custom flavored sugar cubes and a can of whipped cream for you to take home and enjoy. Maybe with your newfound bar buddy? 6141 Franklin Ave., Hollywood Hills; (323) 798-4939, minibarhollywood.com.
Oyster and Champagne Special | Knuckle & Claw
Skip the long, stuffy, formal dinners and fixed menus and head to Silver Lake's East Coast–inspired lobster shack, Knuckle & Claw, for V-Day dinner. Enjoy $1 fresh oysters on the half shell and half bottles of Champagne — or, as we like to call them, personal-sized bottles of Champagne. 3112 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; (323) 407-6142, knuckleandclaw.com.
Singles Out for Blood(y Marys) | The Bellwether
Valentine's morning at the Bellwether is all about celebrating your singleness by getting your brunch on. Gather your group of singles and head to Studio City, where you can indulge all morning in drink specials like the Mama Betty’s Bloody Mary with house-infused habanero vodka, a bacon-salt rim and a mini BLT garnish.13251 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; (818) 285-8184, thebellwetherla.com.
S.A.D. Party and Cheap Date | Tom Bergin's Public House
Los Angeles’ historic Irish pub will be celebrating an alternative to the romantic Valentine’s Day this year with its second annual S.A.D. Party. You can expect a DJ spinning decidedly unromantic tunes and Fireball shots to send to that special someone who sparks your interest from across the room. There is also a promo for couples seeking a casual date, dubbed the “Cheap Date” menu for two ($30), which includes two burgers, fries and two cans of beer in an ice bucket. And if you're in the anger phase of your recent breakup, you can take part in the adding “flame to the fire” exercise: Bring your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend’s items, such as photos, letters and that old sweatshirt, to burn in the pub’s fireplace or donate to Goodwill. Oh sweet, cathartic release. 840 S. Fairfax Ave., Mid-Wilshire; (323) 936-7151, tombergins.com.
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