Oh, the perils of dating. Drunken booty calls, counting the minutes til it’s cool to text back without looking desperate . . . Well, we can’t control all the factors of chaos in the dating matrix, but why not plan a date this Valentines Day where improving your chances of a liaison is written in the DNA of your meal. From classic aphrodisiacs like oysters and chocolate, to uni, caviar, and honey, we dig around for the best places for you to get your best foot forward.
SILVERLAKE | L&E OYSTER BAR
1637 Silverlake Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Get your fillings of the world’s most notorious aphrodisiac at this neighborhood oyster bar. Served up in a multitude of manners—raw, grilled, and fried—you’re sure to find a presentation of the bivalves that’s to your liking. Beware though: L&E does not accept reservations, so give yourself plenty of time to snag a seat.
WHAT TO GET: For the traditionalists, raw oysters are available by the dozen and you can scope out L&E’s daily oyster offerings on their Twitter. Not so keen on raw? You can also get your oysters grilled here. Try them “casino” style with butter, paprika, thyme, shallots, and neuske’s bacon, or get the “oysters L&E” with duck confit, dried sour cherries, chives, and bread crumbs.
DOWNTOWN | Q RESTAURANT
521 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014
This recent addition to downtown houses some of the best Edomae-style sushi LA has seen yet, with an interesting backstory: Two western attorneys fall in love with sushi in Japan at the hands of Chef Hiroyuki Naruke. When the Fukushima nuclear disaster hits, they and a fellow lawyer colleague help the beleaguered sushi chef fulfill his dream of opening a sushi restaurant in the U.S., and the rest is history.
WHAT TO GET: Although it may be an acquired taste, uni—otherwise known as sea urchin—is a prized delicacy in Japan, and discerning epicureans around the globe are catching on. With a sweet, buttery, and briny flavor, uni owes its aphrodisiac reputation to anandamide, a neurotransmitter which is reported to activate dopamine production in your brain. You’ll want to go omakase here, but make sure to request uni and you’ll likely be served a San Diego variety of uni much preferred by the chefs over the ubiquitous Santa Barbara kind. For a real sweet-and-savory treat, try their miso-marinated uni.
WEST HOLLYWOOD | PETROSSIAN
321 North Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048
The Petrossian’s history as a caviar purveyor dates back almost a century when Russian brothers Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian relocated from Russia to Paris to sling the fish eggs and elevate the delicacy into the world of luxe, French cuisine. Today, caviar is known world-over and is often viewed as an aphrodisiac not so much for its makeup, but for its elusiveness and expensive pricetag. On top of that, caviar is also said to be a symbol of fertility.
WHAT TO GET: Who knew caviar could be served in so many ways? Whether folded into scrambled eggs encased in an eggshell and topped with vodka cream, or sandwiched in between layers of beef tartare, there’s a presentation to satisfy all—from the novice to the caviar connoisseur. Those willing to shell out can get the Tsar Imperial Caviar Trio: 30 grams each of Tsar Imperial Ossetra, Siberian & Transmontanus Caviar for a whopping $390.
MANHATTAN BEACH | M.B. POST
1142 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Chef David LeFevre’s post office turned “social restaurant” is a Manhattan Beach staple, making the perfect setting for a romantic brunch. Communal tables and re-invented down-home cooking make M.B. Post the optimal mix of casual, accessible ambiance and gourmet cuisine.
WHAT TO GET: While fried chicken doesn’t exactly shoot to the top of our aphrodisiac list, the ingredients featured in this rendition are what help this dish make the cut. Laced with honey and truffle, the highly aromatic dish satisfies both the glutton and the epicurean with its crispy exterior, juicy meat, and fragrant sauce.
BRENTWOOD | COMPARTES CHOCOLATIER
912 South Barrington Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90049
From its aroma to its heavenly taste, what’s not to like about chocolate? Whether you like dark, milk, or white chocolate, you’ll find some of the city’s most beautifully presented chocolates here at Jonathan Compartes chocolate emporium. Go ahead and judge a book by its cover, too, because the chocolates here taste as good as they appear, adorned with elegant and colorful patterns indicative of the chocolates’ flavors.
WHAT TO GET: Compartes chocolates come in over 100 varieties, so there’s bound to be at least one chocolate to satisfy even the pickiest of chocolate eaters. Pick something fragrant to maximize the aphrodisiac potential. We suggest the olive oil rosemary, pear cardamom, strawberry balsamic, and smoked sea salt. Compartes also offers holiday and seasonally-themed chocolate flavors, like egg nog or blackberry sage.
Whether you’re in love or lust, Valentines is that one anxiety-inducing calendar day each year where your boo expects to be showered with insta-worthy gifts and over-the-top romance, and sometimes your undying love and prowess under the sheets just aren’t good enough. If you’re at a complete loss at what to give them, don’t worry we’ve done the work for you and gathered up a list of what we thought could really make the day sexy. Trust us, we’re love gurus here at LA CANVAS and we’ve got you covered — barely. Peep our list and see what you could get your loved one (or booty call — we won’t judge).
- This pomegranate scented candle will really get the night going with its sensual aroma. Did you know pomegranates represent prosperity… and fertility? Get it here.
- Let’s be honest, what a lot of people expect to do on V-Day is undress and we’ve got the perfect gift for everyone. Whether you’re giving or receiving, this lingerie set will drop jaws. Get it here.
- While you’re waiting to heat things up we found some chocolates that can help sweeten the deal. These suckas will have you wanting more. Get them here.
- If you’re looking for something to last longer than one day, try this Baraca Spa Weekend deal in Santa Barbara. They’re so down with the times that they embroider your Twitter handle on your bathrobes. – Find out more here.
- If you’re into smelling good or want your man to, then we suggest Gucci Guilty Black. This scent will have everybody swooning. For the females, we’ve chosen Dolce and Gabbana Desire The One. This delicate scent won’t overpower you and leave everyone with an infatuation. Find Gucci here and D&G here, or your local department store.
- We know that sometimes your significant other can lose track of time so a watch is a perfect gift. This tortoise watch is unisex and chic. Find this Poketo watch here.
- If you’re into DIY and homemade things, there’s a great little etsy shop by illustrator Kate Berube that makes the cutest (read: cheesy) Valentine’s Day cards. Find her shop here.
- Along with that handmade card why not go the EXTRA mile and cook for your bae. We’ve got a recipe book that’ll have your bae instagramming for hours. Find it here.
- Long gone are the days of holding a boombox over your head or serenading at your boo’s window to profess your love. Opening Ceremony carries the Playbutton mp3 player that’s already loaded with love songs that you can pin to your coat! Get it here.
10. If you’re into putting on a show or just a peeper, how about some burlesque classes to really get the party started. BurlesqueAcademy.com
We’ve also got five gifts for all the single people out there. Celebrate single-dom by gifting your fellow Hallmark-hating homies with these goods sure to put a smile on their face.
- Why not be a pal and give your single friends a practical gift. These Made With Love Sandwich Bags by Accoutrements will make your gal the queen of the cubicle block on Monday morning. Find them here.
- If you’re friend is more of a stay at home and re-watch “Love Actually” for the 100th time kind of person, why not send them a heart shaped pizza from Papa John’s. But make sure they save you some leftovers.
- Ok, so we know your single friends might be a little down around this time of year so we suggest giving them a laugh. This book will have them dying. – Rob Delaney’s Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. Get it here.
- If you’re friend is an interior design snob and has a house that resemble a Pinterest page, these quartz crystal wines stoppers are perfect! Find them here.
- If you happen to have multiple single friends and want to get them each something, we’ve found the clever matchbooks that light up their night, er cigarettes. You can find them here.
It’s almost time for the most beloved (or dreaded) Hallmark holiday of the year, so we’ve compiled three looks to suit any February 14th perspective. Make this an inspiration board for what to wear to all your cutesy (or anti-love) festivities.
For the girl who actually has semi-regular plans (i.e. dinner and the Flux Screenings at the Hammer) and is actually excited to get out with her love interest (It’s ok to admit it!) this look is just literal enough to make Valentine’s Day feel slightly different than the other date nights.
For the girl who is not in the mood to accessorize with heart and floral prints, yet wants to do something besides stay in and watch another season of Parks and Recreation, we have a more classic outfit for any activity you have planned. This is perfect for a show (EELS are playing The Observatory and Dead Meadow is headlining at The Troubadour) or just grabbing a bite at less romantic locations (i.e. that hole-in-the-wall spot you’ve been wanting to try.)
If you’re going out despite your disinterest in all things Valentine, you’ll be battling against hoards of couples invading every popular hot-spot. In which case a military jacket and combat boots are your ideal uniform. Whether you are attending an Anti-Valentine’s Day party or staying in to avoid the cheesy decor most dining establishments will be donning for the night, this look will ensure you an unromantic evening.