Once again, we must holiday in a new way! Even on day 932945 of the pandemic, things still look a little different this February so we find ourselves challenged to think a bit outside of the box of chocolates and get creative with ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2021. I have never been one to go big on Valentine’s Day, but this year I think we might all need an excuse to celebrate something, so why not let it be love for a day. Love for a significant other, love for a friend, love for a pet, love for a family member, or better yet, love for yourself. (Flowers, face masks, and chocolate – all qualify as “self-care”.)
In terms of celebrating, if you’d rather stick to the classics like roses, teddy bears, and chocolates from CVS, you do you – it’s the thought that counts right? But, if you’re thinking about actually putting some thought into celebrating Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s Day for that matter), let us discuss. Even though it may feel like we can’t do much and that fun is canceled, if there’s anything we’ve learned over the past year (YEAR, I know) it’s that that couldn’t be further from the truth, SO, let’s get creative, let’s have some fun with it, spread a little love, and celebrate the LA way.
Here are a few local happenings and local businesses to consider helping create an extra special day!!
BEST THINGS TO DO IN LA FOR VALENTINE’S DAY
VIRTUAL COOKING CLASS
The Gourmandise School – 2 hours give or take, conducted on Zoom, and there are a number of really fun cooking classes surrounding Valentine’s Day available. Everything from cooking with kids to date night!
Cook LA – Cook LA is great for bigger groups or parties, and this Valentine’s Day they’re hosting an all-around “Valentine’s Day dinner” class on Feb 13th, as well as a French Pastry baking class on the 14th.
VIRTUAL WINE TASTING
Justin Wine – one of my all-time favs. I’ve done a few of their virtual tastings, and they’ve got the whole thing totally dialed in.
Wine LA – these guys host virtual tastings ALL THE TIME, but in the spirit of this holiday they’re hosting a Valentine’s Rosé with Comedian Sarah J. Halstead on Feb 12th, and “Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate: Valentine’s Day Edition” on both the 13th and 14th.
VIRTUAL MAGIC SHOW
YES! And it’s supposed to be INCREDIBLE. I’m actually buying tickets myself after hearing a friend rave about it. It’s a show called The Future and is presented by The Geffen Playhouse, once you’ve purchased tickets you’re sent a “mystery capsule” (thus it’s interactive) and then enjoy the show! This Future is being hosted through 3.14 but there is still space for the shows around Valentine’s Day.
Street Food Cinema – is there anything more adorable and just plain fun than a movie at “the drive-in”? Street Food Cinema has posted up shop at the Santa Monica Airport and will be showing a number of films around Valentine’s Day. When Harry Met Sally is unfortunately sold out for 2.14, but there will also be screenings of Lady & The Tramp, Clueless, Aladdin, Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, Mulan, and 500 Days of Summer.
GO SHOPPING AT SUN & SEA VALENTINE’S DAY POP UP
Need to get out of the house, do a little shopping, and celebrate Valentine’s Day? Make it all happen by visiting Sun & Sea’s Valentine’s Day pop-up in El Segundo on Feb 13th, 10am – 3pm. There will be 15+ local vendors selling flowers, jewelry, apparel, bags, skincare, yummy treats, coffee, and more – plus it’s free!
DINING AT HOME
Go big or… go home I guess. Already be at home and go big. Home is where you go big. You catch my drift.
FANCY BENTO BOXES
The level of curation, care, and quality with these “bento boxes” currently taking LA by storm is incredible! And what better excuse to treat yourself to some sushi than Valentine’s Day. My selects would be Sushi Tama, Q, or Hamasaku, but refer to this awesome Eater LA Guide to Gorgeous Bento Boxes for more options.
ANGELINI OSTERIA (Beverly Grove) – Special 5 Course Valentines Day Menu (choice of main) / $105 pp / also offering outdoor dining Valentine’s Day menu
OSTERIA MOZZA (Highland) – Valentine’s Day Dinner For 2 / comes with flowers & a bottle of wine / $200 total
PETIT TROIS (Sherman Oaks) – Valentines Prix Fixe Dinner for / 4 courses (decadent, luxury) / $290 / optional wine pairing for $99
PASJOLI (Santa Monica) – French Surf n Turf Dinner for 2 / $195 total / optional Breakfast in Bed add on / optional caviar add on / pickup either 13th or 14th
DEAR JOHNS (Culver City) – Valentines Special Menu / a whole lot of delicious things happening (bougie tots with caviar for example) / $165 per person (looks like a lot of food though…)
GWEN (Hollywood) – they have a couple of Valentine’s Day to go options! / available 9th – 14th / 3 course dinner for $125 pp / or special a la carte chicken ($85), Wagyu steak ($115), lobster $37.50 options
THE LANGHAM PASADENA – Valentine’s Afternoon Tea To Go, Feb 12th & 13th, $65 pp
THE PENINSULA BEVERLY HILLS – Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea for 2, Feb 13 & 14, $130 pp
A curation of my favorite “romantic” patios around town that are open for outdoor dining!
FIA – Santa Monica / large completely private patio with wonderful food / no special Valentines Day menu, *yet
TERRA – Century City Eataly / rooftop with beautiful views / waiting on Valentines Day menu
REDBIRD – DTLA / 3 GORGEOUS dining patios / ultra special Valentines Day Menu
PIZZERIA DA MICHELE – Hollywood / my eternal happy place. / cozy patio/courtyard / Italian / waiting on Valentines Day Menu
SADDLE PEAK LODGE – Calabasas / cozy mountain vibes / they have a special Valentines Day menu to-go option, I suspect they’ll have a dining option soon! Check in on their website for updates
OLIVETTA – West Hollywood / cozy rooftop at La Peer Hotel / one of my favorites / no V-Day menu, *yet!
PILOT – DTLA / rooftop at The Hoxton Hotel / this is the much more casual option, but still gorgeous and would still be special without the $$$
PLANT FOOD & WINE – Venice / one of the prettiest private patios on the westside / high-end plant-based / special Valentines Day Menu available ($150 for 2)
CALABRA – Santa Monica / the rooftop at the Santa Monica Proper Hotel / the first place I went after last years (first) quarantine, felt like a total *safe* vacation / waiting on any Valentines Day specials they might have
Because picnics are cute, and there are so many great places to procure all of the necessary accouterments!
GWEN – Hollywood – they have this whole picnic thing DIALED IN. / a bit fancier, but what the heck it’s Valentines Day
JOANS ON 3RD – Beverly Grove or Studio City – more of a “build your own” picnic type situation, but they’ve got it all
PETROSSIAN – West Hollywood – fancy! fun! think caviar and all of the beautiful pairings and accouterments
LADY & LARDER – Mar Vista (delivery options) – you have to see the epic Valentine Shop they’ve created. Omg, cue the heart eyes
CLEMENTINE – Century City – just a great local bakery to pickup some fun “picnic-esque” goodies, worth mentioning they have a whole Valentine’s Day shop as well with “take and bake” goodies, complete meals, afternoon tea packages, and more.
HAUTE MESS – Beverly Grove – new neighborhood European inspired gourmet marketplace with delicious salads, sandwiches, treats, wines – you name it.
OLIVE & THYME – Santa Monica – local gourmet marketplace with excellent items fit for a picnic
BROAD ST OYSTER – Malibu (ok not really “picnic-y” but grab lobster rolls – or burgers – to go and bring ’em to the beach!)
DAD GRASS WEEDHEARTS
($37) YES. Dad Grass Weedhearts. Because I am obsessed with this brand, obsessed with the product, and OBSESSED with their cheeky Valentine’s Day packaging for the pre-rolled CBD joints. They come in a clever box that looks like a vintage candy hearts box!
CALIFORNIA DONUTS VALENTINE’S BOX SETS
Nothing says “I love you” or “I love me” more than a box of Valentine’s Day-themed donuts – from California Donuts especially. Hurry and put your pre-order in now, slots fill up!
it’s not basic if it’s handmade here in LA, so if your persons love language is chocolate (right there with them), consider dropping in at one of my top three spots:
andSons Chocolatiers (Beverly Hills, little works of art, truffles)
Milla (Culver City, minimal, for the chocolate purist)
John Kelly (West Hollywood, the fancier version of Sees).
everyone loves flowers.
THE UNLIKELY FLORIST – Venice – nationwide delivery
FLOWERBOY PROJECT – Venice – Valentines Day Omakase Bouquet ($75) *pre-order
OFFERINGS – West Adams – Valentines Day x Le Labo arrangement ($99 and it’s gorgeous. and comes with a 1.5ml vial of Santal 33!) – delivery available within a 13-mile radius of 90016, pickup also available
VINOVORE V-DAY THEMED WINE BOX
because no one does wine and wine gifting like Vinovore. You have to see the number of fun gift boxes they offer to believe it!!!
BONITA BODEGA “TE QUIERO” BOX
If this isn’t just the cutest curated box of delightful “self care” LA goodies!!! Box includes the following: (1) C & The Moon – Body Scrub (1) ROEN Candle – 29 PALMS or OJAI NUIT (1) Le Bon Shoppe – Boyfriend sock in butter (1) Valerie Confections chocolate bar – Blushing Berry or Valentine Bar (1) Nucifera – The Oil. ($120 total)
RESA TEDDY LOUNGE SET FOR HER (OR BETTER YET, YOSELF)
Hands down, the coziest set ever created. It’s basically a fuzzy granny sock for your whole body. That cardigan alone is worth the price! You’ll thank me later. ($140, comes in pink and nude)
HELLO CARE PACKAGE
Hello Care Package is as advertised: a care package delivery service that sources all of the best locally crafted goods (especially in LA) and then curates special gifts to send to friends, co-workers, loved ones, yourself, you get the drift. They’ve got a few Valentine’s Day packages to choose from, all between $40 – $75!
If you could use a little getaway, that’s not too far away, look no further:
HOTEL JUNE (West LA, $$)
MALIBU BEACH INN (Malibu, $$$)
FOUR SEASONS (Westlake, $$$)
HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT (Hollywood, $$)
SUNSET TOWER (Hollywood, $$$)
THE SURFRIDER (Malibu, $$)
CALAMIGOS RANCH (Malibu, $$$)
OR… TAKE A DAY TRIP
Head to my recent blog post, “Best Day Trips From LA”
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