Saturday, February 12, 2011

VDay Eats / Entertainment for under $100

Dining out on holidays is always a bit of a gamble - prices go up and quality doesn't always go in the same direction - but here are some options that sound interesting / enticing enough to check out.  I'm including entertainment, and options for singles and couples - singles should get to celebrate (independence / license to just have fun) as much as couples celebrate commitment!


Sex and the City Zoo II
When: 2/13 6pm-10pm
Where: Los Angeles Zoo 5333 Zoo Drive Los Angeles, CA 90027 T: 323.644.4200
Cost: $25 at the door, first come first served (online tix closed out)

Have a laugh at dating, mating and cohabitating - in the animal kingdom.  Go 'wild' for Valentine's Day at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens with a provocative "birds and bees" presentation. Learn "about the pros and cons of relationships and staying single in the jungle with this light-hearted and informative lecture".

Puts a whole new perspective on things.  Evolutionary Psychology, anyone?  Adults only event - ages 21+.  Festivities include desserts and wines.

Me Day at Olympic Spa
When:  Everyday 9am-10pm
Where: 3915 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019 T: 323.857.0666
Cost:  $15 steam room access.   Massages & skincare all $100 or less.

Okay, so they don't have an official Vday event at this spa, but it's WOMEN ONLY and go bold and confident - swimsuits are not permitted (guys, eat your heart out). Book yourself for a day of pampering with massages or facials and blow off some steam in the steam room.  Then grab your girlfriends and go to any of the fab Korean BBQ restaurants in Ktown to feast on meats that will ultimately be much better for you than the kind you'll meet at the bar on Vday.

The World's Longest Sofa Speed Date
When: 2/14 6pm-10pm  
Where: Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica
Cost: $26 for HurryDate members, $35 for non-members

Casual fun? Snuggle with 150 other speed daters on a giant red leather sofa (213 feet in length!) and mingle with fellow speed daters to see if you hit it off - if not, you've only invested 3 minutes of your time each, yay for efficiency. Drinks and food served after event, as well as ice-skating at 'Ice at Santa Monica'.

Valentines Mixer for Professionals
When: 2/13 6:30pm-11 pm
Where: V LOUNGE 2020 Wilshire Blvd Santa Monica, Ca 90403
 Cost: $25 per person IN ADVANCE

Join Renee Piane and Julie Ferman (Cupid's Coach & eLove) & Friends - "Get Connected" with 150-300 Professional Singles Ages 30's and up.  Panel at 7pm, mixer at 8pm, dancing until 11pm.

ArcLight Valentine/Anti-Valentine Celebration
When: 2/13 and 2/14, evenings (check website for showtimes)
Where: ArcLight locations, see website for details
Cost:  $11.75-$16 online for non-members at most locations, $1 discount for members (movie ticket only)

Arclight's got you covered, single or not.  They're showing both Valentine and anti-Valentine films on the 13th and the 14th. They're also offering a special menu at their restaurants.  Film in the line-up: 
  • ArcLight Sherman Oaks: FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER
  • ArcLight Beach Cities: TITANIC, LEGENDS OF THE FALL


For the Win: The Edison's Queen of Hearts Valentine's Ball

When: 2/14 7pm
Where:  The Edison 108 W. 2nd St. #101, Los Angeles, CA 90012 T: 213.613.0000
Cost: Individual Tickets $25 (includes cup of The Queen's Punch), tables $100 per couple (includes a rose, dessert, cup of The Queen's Punch and appetizer special)

Cool space that was Downtown LA's first private power plant.  Now a bar with design aesthetic described as "Industrial Cathedral".  The Queen of Hearts Band will entertain you with Dancers, and DJ while you sip The Queen's Punch made from Perrier Jouet Champagne, Beefeaters Gin, Strawberry and a Secret Potion.

Chef's Dinner includes all the above plus your choice of Salmon, Steak or a Vegetarian option plus Salad. Dinners start at $150 per couple (so really $75 each, still under the $100 limit ;))

For Poolside Wine & Dine: Whist - Tour of the Senses

When: 2/13 and 2/14 6pm-10pm
Where: Viceroy Santa Monica 1819 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401 T: 310.260.7511
Cost: $95 per person (includes 4-course dinner, champagne tasting and customized scrub)

Romantic poolside dining with 4-course menu including Butter Poached Lobster with Risotto, Apple, Shiso and Kaffir Lime Broth and Chocolate Tartufo. Get after dinner pampering in "Scent Tents", where you can sample aromatherapy oils and create a customized body scrub, and take some complementary samples home. Finish the night off with Champagne and other sparkling wines in the "Bubbles" Cabana.

For Luxury Lovers: The Restaurant at L'Ermitage

When: 2/14 Two servings: 5:30pm and 8pm
Where: L'Ermitage Beverly Hills, 9291 Burton Way, Los Angeles, CA 90210 T: 310.278.3344
Cost: $85 per person or a la carte

Menu features Oysters and Pearls topped with Black Pepper Crème Fraiche and Oscetra Caviar, Seared Foie Gras served on Amaretto French Toast and drizzled with Balsamic Maple Syrup and for the sweet finish: Chocolate Profiteroles and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream topped with a Warm Cherry Sauce.

For Chocoholics:  Oliverio at Avalon Hotel
When: 2/12 through 2/14 6pm-10pm
Where:  Avalon Hotel 9400 West Olympic Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 T: 310.277.5221
Cost: $65 per person; add $35 for wine pairings

Chocoholics, this one is calling your name:  after a dinner of Chitarra Pasta made with Lobster, Roasted Tomato and Asparagus and Spicy Roasted Chicken paired with Potato and Escarole, feast on Oliverio's premium all-chocolate buffet - "Choco-Sutra" that features everything from White Chocolate Martinis to cinnamon and red chili-infused South of the Border Pot de Crèmes.  Not into the full length dinner + dessert buffet? Grab drinks and small bites at the Poolside Bar .

For Foodies - a Five-Courser: La Cachette Bistro
When: 2/12-2/13 (in addition to regular menu) 2/14 (only menu) 6pm-10pm
Where: 1733 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401 T: 310.434.9509
Cost: $80 per person (add $11 each for specialty cocktail: Berry Affair: Wild Cherry Stoli Vodka, St Germain, Muddled Berries, Fresita)

5-course dinner for $80!!!  Start with Organic egg and caviar with crème fraiche or Organic egg with house smoked salmon and capers, or Dark chocolate truffles with creme fraiche, caviar and sea salt.  Move to Hot Atlantic oysters with champagne sauce, or Hawaiian hearts of palm and artichokes salad with truffle oil.
Follow with Sautéed foie gras with polenta crème brulee, black currant verjus sauce or Scallop Carpaccio with black truffle and porcinis.  Mains on offer: Bretagne Dover sole, vermouth sauce and pea sprouts or White Pekin duck with cabernet sauce and braised red cabbage.  Finish with your dessert selection from assorted sweets /toasted marshmallow with chocolate sauce/chocolate divine cake /crème brulee with orange blossoms/rum baba - to the specialty Chocolate Truffle, made with Crème Fraiche and served with American Sturgeon Sevruga Caviar!  And on top of all that - get homemade chocolate truffles to take home.

Happy VDay!


Disclaimer:  I have not personally attended any of these events, nor all of the restaurants, and am not affiliated in any way with the parties mentioned in this post.  Please see details of events / deals at the respective websites.

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