Downtown Weekly is Old Fashioned. Although we aren’t against a wild night in the sack with a complete stranger, we still see the value of a longtime relationship, a perfect match, and romance that can ultimately lead to the union of two souls destined to spend the rest of their lives together. So much so, that we are willing to play Cupid this year and walk you DTLA couples through it. From beginning to end. Guys and dolls. Here’s our pick of the 10 Great Places for Romance in Downtown Los Angeles.
The First Date.
Dinner and a Movie at LA LIVE
Yes, the classic first date at the movies will never get old. Especially when the two of you agree on just what movie to see. Is he or she into adventure, romance, or laughing out loud in public? If so, there’s always a new premiere at LA LIVE’s Regal Cinemas and its surrounded by some of the world’s most acclaimed restaurant bars at Staples Center/LA LIVE offering every type of international cuisine and an array of signature cocktails to help you ring up an impressive tab (about the same price as a bucket of popcorn). The best part is Regal Cinemas is now serving coffee and beer to help keep up your intoxicating desire as you enjoy your blockbuster. www.regmovies.com
Jungle Love at Lost Souls Distillery
Are we the only ones who think drinking to liven things up is a good idea on the first date? Honesty…you know the truth comes out when you drink and while heading to the nearest cafe may work for some, upon which we would suggest Cafe Demitasse (of course), distilled drinks work just fine when it comes to breaking the ice. But, up until Lost Soul’s Distillery opened in the Arts District, drinking dates although direct and to the point, may not have been the most romantic, and while these days, Arts District is becoming as known for its variety of distilleries as it is for its breweries, there’s only one RUM distillery set inside of a jungle theme, complete with dinosaurs, a bathroom robot, river raft rides and adventure around every corner. Lost Soul’s Two Hour Tours start at $35 and space is limited, but trust us! Planning a date this magnificent is one of the most romantic gestures ever and really says you care enough to make a great first date impression. www.lostsouls.net
Popping the Question.
You’ve tested out the waters and you’re settling. You’ve met that special someone – you know now, you’re royal oat-sowing days are over. Or maybe not, but still, it’s time to bend down on one knee and give your body, mind, and heart to another loving being. Congratuf**lations. Here are 3 places to break out that 4-carat diamond to ensure you DO NOT get turned down.
JAMES IRVINE JAPANESE GARDEN
It’s hard to decide if Little Tokyo’s famed Japanese Garden with it’s peaceful Zen and 170 ft. flowing stream from start to finish, illuminated by blooming trees and traditional Japanese foliage is a better place to pop the question or just secure as an event venue for the upcoming marriage ceremony. Well-suited for both, go ahead and feed two birds with one muffin and just get married on the spot. Hide the pastor, best man, bridemaids, family and friends behind the foliage so they can just all pop out right after she says “yes”. It’s that romantic. But, if you don’t want to take our wedding planning advice, walking your future fiance through garden paths amidst the intimate, romantic sounds of cascading waterfalls, and animal noises will definitely give you a chance to set up the “will you marry me” convo. With God and all of nature watching, how could anyone say no?
Candle Light Romance at Pacific Dining Car
All you need is love but everything’s better with Steak and Lobster. That’s right, downtown’s most iconic restaurant, forever frozen in time, is accepting reservations for this year’s Valentine’s Dinner. First on the menu, the LAND & SEA Entree, beginning with Tuna Tarter continuing with Grilled Filet Mignon and Lobster Dynamite Tail with Potato Gratin and Sauteed Spinach. For dessert, a duo of layer chocolate cake with chocolate and coffee mousse DiSorrano mascarpone filled strawberry. If you pop the question and she says no. Snatch her plate away and see how fast she changes her mind. If she doesn’t, unless she’s vegan, she may not be the one… (double entendre alert)… all kidding aside, Pacific Dining Car was born in a railway train car way back in 1921 and has been family-owned and operated for 4 generations. Countless celebrities, dignitaries, and loyal fans have enjoyed its intimate booth and fine dining table settings, not to mention gifts from the wine cellar, for close to one hundred years. Downtown Patriots know, the way to anyone’s heart is by taking the Pacific Dining Car. This Valentine’s Day it’s sure to keep your love on the right track. www.pacificdiningcar.com
Speed Dating at Far East Garden
Speed dating! Now, you’re probably thinking, why would anyone attend a speed date group to ask for someone’s hand in marriage? Well, hold that thought. See, we figure that maybe not everyone in a relationship feels as secure as they could and maybe, they want to make sure they are making the right decision before signing the love contract. Well, this is your last chance. When speed dating you only have seconds to find someone worthy of love, someone, with love tales far more interesting than your own. And for those of you in your middle years, who think you may be running out of time, well, here’s an opportunity not only to prove to yourself that everyone else is unworthy but to prove to your fiance that they are the only one you’ll ever need. Picture this! With seconds left to find the perfect someone, you and your fiance find yourself face-to-face… woeful, still single, wishful onlookers are wondering if they will get a chance to speed date one of you next, but no – you stand up, (ring in hand) and shout out loud – “YOU ARE MY LIFE – YOU ARE THE ONE – WILL YOU MARRY ME?” Ah, tears. DTLA Weekly Cupid should get a medal for this one. For more info email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tying the Knot.
Sexo y Violencio at LUCHA VaVOOM
Find out what LA Weekly, Huffington Post, LA Times, Rolling Stone and just about every other newsprint publication (including this one) has been raving about for years, the “Sexo y Violencio” of LUCHA VaVOOM. If you are looking for a wild night out, a great date night, or a place to let it all hangout, LUCHA VaVOOM is the perfect combo of authentic masked Mexican wrestling and insanely sensual burlesque performances. LUCHA VaVOOM may be the longest running show of its kind and takes place center ring at the Historic Mayan Theater during three times a year. Cinco De Mayo, Halloween and Valentine’s Day. But, why get married here? Because. It’s already got everything a marriage ceremony needs. Trust us, a couple gets married every year at LUCHA VaVOOM and there’s good reason. Why rent the limo, when you can pull up in a low-rider? Luchadores make the best men and they come complete with mask. The bridesmaids will be the sexiest and most talented gals around. We promise you that. The comedian reverend will have everyone laughing and in good spirits as you kiss the bride…Singers and performance artists will entertain the guests and there’s plenty of seating for family and friends. Just be sure they get out of the way from the flying grooms and like the teleprompter warns before the show starts…”DON’T Get F*cked UP.” – Better yet, if anyone contest… they may be getting their butts kicked. There’s also a FULL bar and TAMALES! Come on – what else do you want? www.luchavavoom.com
Honey Moon in June
Keeping it Classy at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Okay, so you don’t want a zany Downtown Weekly wedding. We get it. You want something more refined. Classy. You want your honeymoon to be Beethoven. You want others to revere your union as they do the LA Phil’s electrifying cutting-edge performances. You want – Walt Disney Concert Hall. We know. We can’t go by Walt Disney Concert Hall on any given weekend and not see freshly married couples with their wedding parties all decked out in white gowns and bowties posing on the steps in front of the great hall. One last stop before they are off to the reception. One last photo before the intoxication of marriage sinks in. We see you and you can see yourself too, on our Instagram! #dtlaweekly (shameless plug alert). www.laphil.org
On top of the world at Intercontinental Hotel
Downtown LA is a 12billion dollar a year tourist attraction, so don’t be surprised if more and more couples begin flying here than to any of the other well-known honeymoon vacation spots. Hawaii, the Bahamas, Europe, if these places aren’t careful they just may lose a few brides and grooms to Bunker Hill, South Park and to the Financial District’s Intercontinental Hotel. And here’s why. First, Intercontinental Hotel is located in the Wilshire Grand. It’s like the tallest building in history. Well, in the west, but it’s as tall as it gets here, and with 360-degree panoramic birds-eye views allowing you to see practically to Vegas and to Hawaii, you’re more likely to feel like an angel than a bird. Who wouldn’t want to spend their honeymoon with an angel on top of the world? With a fine dining rooftop restaurant, poolside cocktails, visitor’s Lobby Lounge and conveyor belt sushi bar, the world’s first international luxury hotel brand lights up the Los Angeles City Skyline, training us for competition with cities like Dubai, China, and New York (yeah, we said it). – And, that’s just the tip of the skyscraper. This Korean Air owned 73 story highrise offers great rates when you book a flight, so hurry up and get married so you can spend your honeymoon with us here in the DT. www.ihg.com
Just out for a little fun?
Maybe, you don’t want marriage, commitment, or any of it. Broken Hearted? Or perhaps you haven’t even met your future ex yet – Okay! We hear you. Let’s just have fun with the time we have.
Broken Hearts at Redline DTLA
It’s Redline Beeetch! Well. Uh. Yeah. Anywhoo. Redline is one of DTLA’s most happening gay bars, but its really for everyone. Leading in the DTLA Pink Triangle Revolution, Redline has been monumental in exposing Downtown to it’s vibrant underground gay scene producing weekend after weekend of cross-dressing libation, Disco Lemonades, and tasty bottomless mimosa brunches, not to mention co-producing our annual DTLA Proud Fest happening again this summer. If fun had a middle name it would be Redline, and this Valentine’s Day, Redline will be shooting their arrow with a special presentation of the Broken Hearts Club, the hilarious story written by Greg Berlanti about a group of gay men and their lovers, all coming together, after an unexpected tragedy. One thing about Redline, the atmosphere is always fun and welcoming. Redline maybe one of the best bars in Downtown LA to meet and mend a broken heart. With new friends, you can party til your sock falls off. www.redlinedtla.com
Salsa Nights at Blue J’s
In the words of the late great Salsa King Albert Torres, “Salsa dancing has the power to bring everyone together.”
Salsa, a very sexy afro-latino dance with origins from the Carribean took over the disco scene in the mid 70s and our hips haven’t moved the same ever since. No matter what form of Salsa you master, Cumbia, Bachata, they all have many, many positions. With this social dance, you even get a chance to switch partners frequently. Gazing into a new partner’s eyes, being turned around, embracing, loving, salsa is a dance of romance. With more chances to woo, dip, twirl, and pin yourself close up against someone there’s no telling how hot and steamy the dance floor will get, so be prepared to cool off with a delicious cocktail. For those of you who still haven’t had the chance to dance “the dance of romance”, Salsa lessons are being taught by Nicole Gil of Nights of Dance in the earlier hours at Blue J’s before the night’s event. http://bluejlounge.com