Valentine's Day approacheth, and despite its falsely soothing imagery of baby-faced cherubs and sweet posies, it is in reality a Day of Judgment that strikes terror into any reasonable man. Now, a gentleman could always give his lady love such tokens as a framed baby picture, chocolate-covered [insert trendy fruit here], a hand-written haiku, a cronut tied with a bow, a Venn diagram drawn in crayon of your cute compatibilities or a personalized pink cocktail served in a Mason jar with one floating red rose petal (snore). And while she doubtless would find any such humble gestures slightly endearing, she would almost certainly enjoy one of the following experiences more.
3. Boozy Macaron Tasting Menu
In honor of Valentine's Day, The London West Hollywood's chef Anthony Keene has put together a special boozy macaron tasting menu paired with a bottle of Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Épernay Champagne. The cocktail-flavored French treats include mojito (Bacardi rum, fresh mint, lime), sumac martini (vodka, velvet Falernum, pomegranate juice), black velvet (Guinness stout and Champagne), bees knees (Bombay Sapphire gin, clover honey and citrus), apple daiquiri (rum, apple, lime) and Champagne cocktail (Champagne, bitters, brandy, maraschino cherry).
The London's special J'Adore package, offered throughout February, includes overnight accommodations in a luxury suite, the macaron tasting flight and bottle of Champagne, and breakfast at the Boxwood Cafe Breakfast Table. Rates start at $426. The macaron tasting menu is also available à la carte either in the Gordon Ramsay dining room or fireside on the hotel's rooftop for $12 for six macarons - if you're $414 short.
2. Aphrodisiac His & Hers Menu
The Viceroy Santa Monica is offering a Valentine Package with His & Hers Menu plus a DIY Saucy To-Go Kit. The package includes one-night stay either Feb. 14 or 15; an aphrodisiac-infused 5-course His & Hers dinner menu including a bottle of Champagne and Chocolate Textures for Two at CAST restaurant; and the DIY Saucy To-Go Kit that includes three mini bottles of boozy dessert sauces and a lavender silken blindfold. (Be sure to tip your maid extra.)
The Hers dinner menu includes kushi oyster with smoked crème fraiche panna cotta and caviar; and John Dory with Dungeness crab and winter vegetable ragout with Gewurztraminer-saffron sauce. His includes yellowtail tataki with fresh wasabi and rose gelee; and roasted prime rib of beef with celery root puree, green apple and soy caramel jus. (Probably no one will care if you go transgender.) The package starts at $550. Without the hotel stay, the 5-course menu at CAST is $100 per person. You still get the saucy kit. For reservations, call (310) 260-7511.
1. Dinner and a Pheromone Treatment
The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills has come up with a special Valentine's Day dinner menu and a pheromone-infused spa treatment. The 90-minute Spellbound Surrender treatment starts with a head-to-toe exfoliation with a salt-and-oil scrub and continues with a full-body massage. The products used contain pheromones, including oxytocin, the so-called "cuddle chemical," coupled with gardenia, frangipani, vanilla and sandalwood essential oils, all natural aphrodisiacs. The treatment, priced at $285, is available through February.
Just over Valentine's weekend (Friday, Feb. 14 through Sunday, Feb. 16), the spa will offer the treatments in Valentine's Suites lit by candlelight, drizzled with rose petals and dotted with chocolate truffles made by pastry chef Federico Fernandez. Couples who book the Spellbound Suites will also get to sip an "aphrodisiac elixir" made with bee pollen, raw cacao and ginger designed to help increase energy, fertility and libido. Call (310) 786-2229 to book an appointment or for more information.
The hotel will also be preparing a four-course Valentine's Day menu at their restaurant Culina. Dinner choices include roasted leek and potato soup with vanilla poached lobster; hamachi crudo with candied kumquats and mini rose petals; beet ravioli with burrata and black truffles; stuffed quail with Venetian black rice, pomegranate and quail jus; and gianduja chocolate cake with caramelized hazelnuts and blood orange gelato. You know, just something simple the chef whipped up. The dinner is $95 per person; wine pairings are available upon request.
If one of those options doesn't get you laid, nothing ever will. Or you could just show up with a heart-shaped pepperoni pizza and a bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill and hope for the best.