1 Hike + Neptune’s Net
If you have the flexibility and or job security to take the afternoon of Valentine’s day off for that ‘cold you just can’t kick’, then I suggest hopping on PCH with you guy or gal around 2pm and heading up to Yerba Buena rd. Turn right at Neptune’s Net (we’ll get to this in a mute) and drive, oh I don’t know, 3 miles up into the mountains? Eventually you’ll pass Circle X ranch – then within the next half mile there’s a dirt parking lot on the left side of the road (can’t miss it). Park, follow the signs up to Sand Stone Peak – there are two ways around the mountain, long way is a 7+ mile loop, up and back is about 3 miles total. When you get to the top you’ll have the best view from the highest point in the Santa Monica mountains… Take some pictures kissing, head back down to the car, drive Yerba Buena to the bottom and peel off into the Neptune’s parking lot. Nothing will be more refreshing after a great hike than a shared bottle of vino (or tall boy can of Bud Light for the less inclined) and some incredible steamed shellfish or ceviche from the cold bar… enjoyed while watching the sun set out on their “classy” patio overlooking the pacific and a row of Harley Davidsons. If you’re lucky, you’ll share your picnic table with a couple of guys just in from spear fishing… they’re the best kind.
Not going to lie, I haven’t been here…yet. I have only heard the most ridiculous things, we’re talking live octopus squirming in your mouth good – and if your girlfriend likes sushi (rhetorical question), you will look like a champ when you utter the secret pass code or whatever it takes to get you into this hole in the wall secret sushi haven on Pico blvd. Of course there is nothing more romantic than exclusivity, especially when you don’t have to pay out the ass for it (looking at you SoHo house), and then top off that ‘yeah, I know someone’ feeling with what most say is the freshest fish in a city known for its sushi? Well… you know how the night is ending my friend. Good luck scoring an invite – I wish I could give you advice on how to get in, but I’m like 0-20 myself.
3 Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles + Lauryn Hill Concert @ The Palladium (Hollywood)
Talk about two birds with one stone, what better way to celebrate Valentine’s day and Black History month at the same time than by snacking on the same chicken n’ waffles dinner that Barack Obama devoured during his last trip to LA at Roscoe’s and then cozying up with your significant other while Lauryn Hill crushes Doo Wop (That Thing) live around the corner at the Palladium? If you’d prefer to just do drinks before - I’d suggest stopping by ‘scoe’s after the concert, except late night is usually when the line is longest to sit down (though the counter is always fast). So go before – mix up the hot sauce and syrup, take the chicken and waffles in one bite, and enjoy the best combination in LA outside of Blake and CP3.
4 The Spice Table + Robin Thicke Concert @ Club Nokia
Robin Thicke crooning on Valentine’s day is almost too rich – it’s like a chocolate cake filled with custard. If you’re not catching the double entendre, you’re not trying hard enough. If Club Nokia is your destination this Valentine’s day, I can’t blame you for making the pilgrimage – this guy is Boys II Men packed into the 6’6” frame of a lanky white dude… and yeah, he can dunk. But start off the night correctly – don’t settle for an LA Live chain, well, not Valentine’s day at least… Head a few blocks over to The Spice Table for dinner. One of LA Mag’s top 10 new restaurants of ’11, it’s romantic in an exposed-brick/converted warehouse-not-trying-very-hard-but-aware-of-how-cool-we-are kind of way. And if you don’t think the KAYA TOAST is the best appetizer in the city… I will find you, and I will sternly ask you to explain yourself.
5 Singles Bar Crawl
For that swinging couple, or in less scandalous, more realistic terms, the couple that isn’t quite ready to give up the boozing of singledom for overpriced prix fix menus complete with overpriced wine pairings… might I suggest joining up with a singles bar crawl? A good friend of the blog, Mel P, is running a ‘singles only’ crawl down Santa Monica Blvd - starting at THE HUDSON then SURLY GOAT and ending at BAR LUBITSCH. If you can handle this kind of game, bring your drinking socks and enjoy the good old days amongst people looking for love (or love for a night) in a hopeless place.