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L.A. Is For Lovers


Some Valentine’s Day suggestions to get your heart racing.

Photo (L) courtesy of the Andaz West Hollywood; Photo (R) by Pablo Bucio

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and for anyone still not sure what to do, Los Angeles has some great Hollywood-romance worthy activities that will send cupid's arrows flying in every direction.

Where to stay:

As part of the Andaz West Hollywood's "Love Goes Around Package," guests are treated to sparkling wine and macaroons upon arrival, before receiving a body massage with signature scented massage oil. The romantic retreat a deux ends with breakfast either at the Riot House restaurant or served in the privacy of their guest room.

Couples looking to further heat up L.A.'s hottest neighborhood should check into The Standard, Downtown LA for "The Standard <3 You" package that includes a room upgrade, a late checkout, and a Valentine's box filled with a bottle of champagne, rose petals, temporary tattoos and some other "mystery" gifts to round out the night.


Where to eat:

Pistola, the newly-opened Italian steak house from Executive Chef Vic Cassanova, celebrates its first Valentine's Day with a special $75 three-course prix fixe dinner menu. Guests can cozy up in the intimate dining room designed by Out 2014 tastemaker Cliff Fong and dine on decadent offerings that include Squid Ink Agnolotti with Scallop, Shrimp, Lobster and Sea Urchin Burro Fuso, and Risotto with Roasted Beets, Scallions and Goat Cheese.

PistolalobsterImage via Twitter

Out and proud Chef Susan Feniger never disappoints with her deliciously casual menu at Mud Hen Tavern. Plus, with so many sharable plates, like pumpkin ravioli with shiitake and truffle oil or lamb meatballs with yogurt sauce, there should be ample opportunity to "accidentally" brush the arm of the one that sets your heart a-flutter.

MudhentavernImage via Instagram

What to do:

Take a break from the city and excert yourself!A 130-acre park set mere blocks from the Hollywood urban sprawl, Runyon Canyon provides a web of hiking trails. The paths range in intensity, from calm and leisurely stroll to rigorous cardio workout. The payoff for your hard work? Expect to see tons of sexy Californians, perhaps a celebrity or two, and stunning panoramic views of Los Angeles. It's pretty romantic!


Valentine's Day is for the birds -- and, giraffes and zebras, as it turns out -- for anyone taking the Valentine's Day Wine Pairing Safari. For $200 couples can take a tour through the pastoral Saddlerock Ranch landscape, while getting up close and personal with its wild residents like llamas, yaks and alpacas. Afterwards, the attendees will take part in a gourmet chocolate tasting and wine marrying, with a bottle each to take home at the end of the tour.

Valentine's Day marks the opening night of Fugue at the Echo Theater Company. The play, which runs through March 22, explores the tumultuous and tragic love lives of three composers: Arnold Schoenberg, Carlo Gesualldo and Piotr Tchaikovsky (who was widely considered to be gay and closeted).

Tommy-smith-fugue-main-image-echoImage via Echo Theater Company

If you happen to be in Los Angeles on the second Thursday of the month be sure to venture downtown toward Spring and Main Streets (between 2nd and 9th Streets) for the L.A. Art Walk. Prepare yourself for a well-attended night of gallery hopping and socializing suitable for everyone, from the casual onlooker to the serious collector. Who knows, maybe you two will find a little something to remember your trip.


If you're craving a night of music, why not catch two legendary performers share the spotlight? Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett will command the stage at Wiltern Theatre on Sunday, February 8th. The duo will perform all of the hits and perhaps a few suprises. As we all know well, a Gaga concert is never too straightforward. But hey, nothing is more romantic then a little mystery.

Gaga Bennett Concert

Image via Facebook

For the singles:

For the bachelors and bachelorettes among us who find the whole Valentine's Day debacle quite tiresome, there's Slumber Squrrrl at Silver Lake's Akbar. It's a pajama party-themed event, hosted by Tamale Ringwald, where it's not only permissible, but expected, that guests wear jammies. Bears -- teddy and otherwise -- are also welcome.

Akbar-1_miniImage via Akbar

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Bryan Van Gorder