dineL.A. Exclusive Series is the Best Date Night Ever

Alexander’s Steakhouse

Engineered in Silicon Valley, Alexander's Steakhouse debuted near Pasadena City Hall in 2015 and has become known for its wide variety of wagyu meats. Priced at $119, the six-course Exclusive Series menu starts with an amuse-bouche and follows with spicy tuna (avocado, crab aioli, watercress, nori lavash) and beet salad (fennel, pomelo, crabapple, lemon ricotta, harissa, candied ginger vinaigrette). The third course is gnocchi and then it's surf and turf: salmon (kanzuri, mustard greens, butternut squash, ginger) and then a 6 oz petite filet with truffle hash browns and uni butter. Finish with chocolate ganache (brown butter cake, ginger crumb, peppermint ice cream). Supplements and add-ons include wine pairings for $55, wagyu substitution for steak ($25), 4 oz foie gras ($24), and bone marrow ($10).

APL Restaurant

In May 2018, acclaimed grilling guru Adam Perry Lang opened his long-awaited APL Restaurant in the historic Taft Building at Hollywood and Vine. Lang's first L.A. restaurant seats 143 guests and is a reinterpretation of the contemporary steakhouse, "inspired by and in celebration of steakhouse classics from the late 1800s and early 1900s." For a high-end carnivorous date night, APL is a must - everything from the handsomely designed dining room to the custom-forged "Felony Knives" to the 2,000 square-foot subterranean dry-aging room adds to a world-class experience.

APL's Exclusive Series menu is TBA as this post goes live. In the meantime, you can dream about someday dining on showstoppers like the 100+ Days Dry Aged Ribeye, "The Best Sonoma County Lamb Chops Ever," APL Tomahawk (dry aged 150+ days), and the signature APL Short Rib.

The Bazaar by José Andrés

Celebrating its 10th anniversary at SLS Beverly Hills in December 2018, the first location of The Bazaar by José Andrés was conceived to showcase the cuisine of Spain, both traditional and modern. Designed by Philippe Starck, The Bazaar features distinctive dining areas that evoke a bustling European piazza - a striking setting for you and your date to experience Chef Andrés' endlessly creative interpretations of tapas.

Pricing for the Exclusive Series is $110 for a 14-course dinner that starts with a welcome glass of cava. Highlights include beef tartare with kimchi crackers, pickled shallot, fried capers; oysters with leche de tigre, aji amarillo, fresno chili; Fermín Embutidos platter (selection of dry-cured sausages, chorizo, lomo & salchichón), Tortilla de Patatas "New Way" with potato foam, egg 63, caramelized onions; mushroom ramen with quail egg, nori, fried garlic, pork belly; "Rossejat" Negra - paella-style pasta, squid ink, sepia sofrito, shrimp; seared wagyu beef cheeks with honey dates, mustard caviar, mustard greens; and the ever-popular "Philly Cheesesteak" with air bread, cheddar, wagyu beef. If you still have room, dessert is a choice of "Dirty Chia" mousse cake or traditional Spanish flan with Catalan foam.

BOA Steakhouse – West Hollywood & Santa Monica

Part of the Innovative Dining Group collection of restaurants, BOA Steakhouse has two L.A. locations offering modern steakhouse fare. With its business casual dress code, West Hollywood is a more upscale affair than its coastal counterpart in Santa Monica. Both locations are featuring a five-course Exclusive Series dinner priced at $110. Citrus-cured Skuna Bay salmon follows an amuse-bouche of radishes and butter. Next is a Caesar salad course, followed by pan-seared scallop with gnocchi and black truffles. The main course is a petite filet in red wine jus with mushroom-stuffed Brussels sprouts, potato puree, and crispy onion. Dessert offers chocolate pudding with pretzels and marshmallow.

CUT Beverly Hills

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier, CUT Beverly Hills is Wolfgang Puck's modernist steakhouse located at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Art lovers will enjoy dining in a contemporary space that features works by artist John Baldessari and photography by Martin Schoeller. The CUT Beverly Hills Exclusive Series menu offers a four-course dinner priced at $99, with an optional $50 sommelier wine pairing. The first course is Treviso & pear with Pecorino Romano and Lambrusco vinaigrette. Next is sauteed Maine diver scallop with sunchokes, brown butter, and Perigordine black truffle. "Duo of the Cuts" showcases braised short rib with soft polenta, roasted carrots, and turnips; and dry-aged New York steak with Lyonnaise potatoes, green peppercorn armagnac emulsion Finish with milk chocolate cremeux with passion fruit caramel and caramelized banana.

Gwen

Opened in July 2016, Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant is the second restaurant from Chef Curtis Stone and the first with his brother Luke. Named for their maternal grandmother, Gwen is located in a 1920s Spanish Revival building on Hollywood Boulevard and is the realization of a decade-long dream for the brothers. Date night will be a visceral experience for meat lovers - you’re surrounded by glass-enclosed dry age rooms, charcuterie curing, and a fire pit that's smoking, searing and roasting at center stage.

Priced at $110, the "Taste of Gwen" Exclusive Series menu starts with house-made charcuterie, featuring a selection of cured salami, whole muscles, and spreads. Next is Josper oven-roasted diver scallops with sunchoke and persimmons, then agnolotti with ricotta salata and finger lime. It all leads up to the Creekstone Farms bone-in ribeye, which is dry-aged for 30 days. Wind down with flourless chocolate cake with malted chocolate mousse and vanilla ice cream.

Jean-Georges Beverly Hills

In June 2017, award-winning superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten brought his globally informed French cuisine to the glamorous Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills hotel. Vongerichten's eponymous restaurant is an all-day affair, ranging from sun-lit breakfast and lunch service to elegant dinners accompanied by live piano Wednesday to Saturday.

Priced at $99 per guest, the Jean-Georges Beverly Hills Exclusive Series menu starts with sea urchin & caviar with crispy potatoes, yuzu and creme fraiche. Next is a hamachi & little gem salad with avocado sprouts and soy chili dressing. Pumpkin ravioli with parmesan and amaretti is followed by Icelandic cod with nut & seed crust, and a sweet & sour jus. Wagyu beef skirt steak is served with silky, glazed & roasted carrots and miso-mustard sauce. Finish with pear bourdaloue with toasted almond sorbet.

La Boucherie

Located on the 71st floor of InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, La Boucherie is a high end American steakhouse with a French twist. The menu is globally sourced and seasonally updated with farm-fresh ingredients and accoutrements. The restaurant also features a cheese cave and charcuterie atelier complemented by offerings from an extensive, Wine Spectator award-winning wine list of over 1,200 different selections. For an unforgettable romantic evening, book one of the discreetly hidden Starlight Booths and enjoy spectacular city views along with a Chef's Tasting Menu.

Priced at $120, the Exclusive Series menu starts with an amuse of mousse de pomme - smoked purple potato foam, ossetra caviar and dill creme fraiche. Courses include a winter salad, veal tartare and roasted squab. The highlight is a5 Japanese wagyu New York strip with smoked sunchoke, puree, avocado emulsion, winter greens, and black truffle. Dessert is salted caramel chocolate tart.

Maude

Named for Chef Curtis Stone's paternal grandmother, Maude explores a different wine region each quarter. The concept features a “menu-less” format - guests enjoy a ten-course tasting menu inspired by the ingredients, traditions, and culture of the wine region. From January 2019 to March 2019, Maude will showcase Western Australia - the region is notable for being Stone's homeland, and the menu coincides with Maude’s fifth anniversary this February.

While the Exclusive Series menu is currently TBA, diners can drool over this description of the first Maude menu of 2019: "With the proximity of Western Australia to Indonesia, expect to see courses with tropical Asian flavors and ingredients such as chilies, lemongrass, and coconut milk, along with other exciting finds such as pearl meat and ginger and mango beers."

Mélisse

With the culinary philosophy "In Pursuit of Excellence," Mélisse chef-owner Josiah Citrin continues to be at the forefront of L.A.'s market-driven, fine dining scene. To mark its 20th anniversary in 2019, Mélisse is closing on March 3 and reopening in the summer with new concept and menu.

The entry-level "4" menu is normally priced at $145 for four courses. With the money you're saving on the $115 Exclusive Series menu, you and your date can indulge in truffle risotto with acquerello rice, mascarpone, and shaved black truffles (supplement $50). Other highlights from the five-course menu include New Zealand tai snapper to start; choice of rosemary-scented lentil soup (confit duck, whipped smoked bacon, burgundy truffle) or terrine of foie gras with blood orange and pistachio; Channel Island rockfish "en ecailles" with kohlrabi, winter peas, and seaweed broth; and choice of Snake River Farms beef culotte (potato and beef cheek galette, carrot, torpedo onion) or Diamond H. Ranch quail with Swiss chard, porcini and Tokyo turnip.

Patina Restaurant

Located at the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall, Joachim Splichal's flagship Patina is featuring a six-course Exclusive Series dinner for $99. First course is bluefin tuna with calamansi, bottarga, and avocado. Next is a seafood trio - kinmedai, abalone, and Santa Barbara sea urchin with dashi, sea grapes, and nasturtium. Third course is a choice of wild mushroom tortellini with parmesan brood, black trumpets, and chervil; or black truffle risotto with champagne, parmesan, mascarpone (supplement $50). It's back to the sea for the next course - Rhode Island black bass with charred Persian cucumber and wasabi beurre blanc. The main course is a choice of binchotan-grilled wagyu New York strip with vadouvan short rib, matsuri rice, and choy sum; or Millbrook Farms venison with persimmon, rutabaga, cranberry, and sauce poivrade. Dessert is "Mont Blanc" with pistachio, chocolate, and chestnut.

Providence

Chef Michael Cimarusti is uncompromising in his dedication to sustainable seafood at Providence, his high-end restaurant on Melrose that's long been regarded as one of the best seafood destinations in the country. The Chef's Tasting Menu is renowned as one of L.A.'s most sublime dining experiences, but at $240 ($355 with wine pairing) it's something that only celebs and expense accounts can handle. The $100 Exclusive Series tasting menu ($160 with wine pairing) brings Cimarusti's elevated cuisine within reach of mere mortals. Highlights include beautifully presented amuses, sashimi, and local California rockfish. The main course offers a difficult choice between king salmon or Liberty Farms duck - or you can upgrade to a5 wagyu ($40 supplement). It's date night, so why not indulge in the luxurious Rodolphe Le Meunier brie with black truffle ($25 supplement) before the sweet finish of toffee pudding and petit fours.

The Royce | Wood-Fired Steakhouse

Located at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse showcases USDA Prime Cuts, Australian Wagyu and authentic Japanese Kobe Beef prepared on an Aztec wood-fired grill over White Oak and seasonal wood. The $99 Exclusive Series menu starts with an amuse-bouche and a first course of steak tartare with tabasco vinaigrette and Béarnaise. Next is Dungeness crab cake with frisée and pickled mustard seeds; and Madagascar gambas with polenta and citrus for the third course. The highlight is a wood-grilled Moyer filet with potato puree and broccolini, concluding with a beignet and chocolate Frangelico sauce.

Scratch | Bar & Kitchen

Scratch | Bar & Kitchen is the highest end dining experience at the three-concept Encino compound from Phillip Frankland Lee and pastry chef/wife Margarita Kallas Lee. Spanning an epic 19 courses for $130, the Exclusive Series menu lists dishes simply as "Scallop," "Caviar" and "Duck." Recent Instagram posts hint at what's in store for dineL.A. guests: Trout - lightly compressed Tasmanian ocean trout, marinated cherry vinaigrette, crispy bresaola finished with a mushroom citrus dashi; Cuttlefish - dry roasted Japanese cuttlefish, housemade sourdough breadcrumbs, sweet potato puree with nuoc chom and Leche de Tigre; Prawn - Moroccan spice marinated spot prawns, cabbage puree made with caramelized fish sauce, with pistachios and smoked onions; and a foie gras bonbon for a final bite.

Spago Beverly Hills

For the Exclusive Series, Spago Executive Chef Lee Hefter and chef de cuisine Tetsu Yahagi are offering an eight-course "California Tasting Menu" at Wolfgang Puck’s iconic Beverly Hills restaurant. The five-part amuse bouche includes spicy tuna tartare in a sesame miso tuille cone; heirloom carrot-kaffir lime "chocolate" with chili oil; and a nouveau breakfast sandwich of maple macaron, bacon, egg yolk jam, and coffee. Highlights include "The Egg" (chawanmushi custard, truffle oil), Spago's Glazed Beet & Goat Cheese Salad 2019, roasted baby abalone, braised veal cheek in a stone pot, and Snake River Farms wagyu ribeye with baked bone marrow in a red wine reduction. Dessert is Lemon "Fleur de Marie" - meringue with limoncello creme sorbet. Spago's Exclusive Series menu is available only for the entire table (six guests maximum). Pricing is $125 per person, $220 with wine pairing.

Sushi | Bar

Hidden inside the Woodley Proper, Sushi | Bar in Encino is a "sushi speakeasy" with just eight coveted seats and key ingredients featured on wooden boards behind the bar. Priced at $99, the Exclusive Series menu mirrors the regular 17-course, $125 omakase experience. As with Scratch | Bar & Kitchen, Chef Phillip Frankland Lee heightens the anticipation and keeps his Exclusive Series menu descriptions to a minimum - "Oyster," "Snapper," "Albacore," "King Crab," etc. Recent Sushi | Bar offerings include foie gras topped with uni, salt, and brûléed brown sugar; Japanese yellowtail with sweet corn pudding, house soy, sourdough breadcrumbs, and wasabi; and shima aji with house soy, yuzu kosho paste, and Himalayan rock salt.

Tesse

Located on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood, Tesse is a French restaurant featuring the continental-inspired cuisine of Chef Raphael Francois and Pastry Chef Sally Camacho Mueller. The sleek dining room is supplemented by Boutellier, an exclusive wine store adjacent to the restaurant. Tesse's menu is designed to pair with Jordan Ogron's extensive wine program, which features nearly 30 wines by the glass and a list of more than 3,000 selections. Thirsty guests can sip French-leaning craft cocktails by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox, the duo behind many of L.A.'s most notable bar menus.

Priced at $120, the Exclusive Series dinner starts with a welcome glass of Champagne Henriot Brut Souverain. Perfect for date night, the five-course menu is designed to be shared - caviar toast, scallops & truffle, and white truffle linguini & spaghetti with blue crab, sea urchin cream and yuzu. The fourth course is a choice of jidori half-chicken or New York strip. Finish with white truffle cheesecake with market pears and brown butter glacé.

Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air

From the famous swans to South American bougainvillea and hidden gardens, restaurant settings don't get more romantic than Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, the 12-acre sanctuary that's welcomed generations of celebrities since 1946. With a view of Swan Lake and a grand piano as the soundtrack, your Exclusive Series dinner starts with an amuse of dill smoked salmon with golden caviar cream, served with a small baked potato; and Pacific Coast oysters with chives and shallots. The first course is carpaccio with sauteed enoki mushrooms, followed by black pasta with lobster and goat cheese, then a veggie pizza (artichoke, leeks, red peppers, chanterelle mushrooms). The entree is a choice of grilled fresh tuna with mint and parsley vinaigrette, or Sonoma County baby lamb roasted with quince and a small bouquet of winter vegetables. Dessert is apple pie with caramel ice cream. Pricing for the five-course Exclusive Series menu is $100 with wine pairing for $55.