People who live in Santa Monica are fortunate in that they don't have to travel out of town when planning a date night since Santa Monica has so many eating establishments with soft lighting, candle-lit terraces, and most important of all, freshly prepared locally sourced food and fine wines. And although there are many more, here are four you might want to check out.
2454 Wilshire Blvd
How does sipping a glass of wine at a candlelight table for two in a wood-clad dining room open to the star-lit sky in the midst of a lush garden sound for a date night in Santa Monica? That's what you'll find at Fia. If this oasis doesn't get you in the mood for romance, the enticing menu assembled by Chef Brendan Collins will. From subtly aphrodisiac raw bar starters like spicy cones of salmon tartar bearing avocado mousse and salmon caviar and sensual appetizers like creamy burrata, poached pears, and hazelnut, to out-and-out mood-setting entrees like handmade cavatelli tossed in brown butter and topped with shaved truffles or charred Brussels sprouts paired with pomegranate and Nuoc Cham, everything on the dinner menu shows that Collins knows his stuff when it comes to date night dinners.
132 2nd Street Rooftop
If you can't whisk your sweetie away to a sunset-lit rooftop terrace on the Mediterranean coast of Southern Italy, Santa Monica's Elephante may be your next best option. Take one look at the wood and copper-finished rooftop bar overlooking the sunset-tinted waves, and its custom furniture and exotic Italian and North African accessory pieces, and you'll know this is the place for a perfect date night in Santa Monica before up you even look at the menu. And once you do, the dishes you see there, so reminiscent of what you’d find on the Italian coast will second that emotion.
We’re talking about small plates like Mascarpone & Prosecco Aracini, which translates to a delicate arrangement of melon and slices of cacciocavilla cheese. But that's just a start. Save room for sexy main dishes like soft and sensual polenta with black truffles and marscapone and broccolini garnished with cashew pesto. As for dessert, you'll have a hard time deciding between marsala drenched tiramisu with espresso and cacao, and a white chocolate pavlova with passion fruit and ice cream. We haven't even mentioned the handcrafted cocktails and the international wine list. But trust us. They will add to the romantic aura of a perfect date night
1445 4th Street
If you're in the mood for an exotic dining experience reminiscent of the classic movie, Casablanca, then you want to have your next date night at Massilia, a Santa Monica gem that touts its menu as having the food and ambiance of Marseille. Humphrey Bogart would have felt right at home at the brick walled bar with its shelves of liquor bottles. And the magnificent chandelier dripping with crystals is right out of central casting.
Massilia looks to Spain, France, and yes, Morocco for its offerings. There are pasta dishes you'd find in Italian restaurants, like tried and true Spaghetti Bolognese. But you'll also find vegan friendly roasted butternut squash and kale rigatoni. Their pizza runs the gamut too – from traditional Two Cheese Pizza to Merquez Sausage Pizza piled high with wild mushrooms, arugula, cherry tomatoes, garlic confit, and of course, mozzarella
There also an exotic cast of characters like Baba Ganoush, Ratatouille, Gamba Au Pastis, Moroccan Couscous Royale and Chicken Tajine. Check out the list of equally exotic cocktails apéritifs, and digestifs, and international wines but keep in mind there's a $30 corkage fee per bottle if you bring your own wine
1212 Santa Monica
1212 3rd Street Promenade
If a multi-layered vibrant date night in the heart of downtown Santa Monica is what you have in mind, look no further than 1212 Santa Monica. Encompassing 10,000 square feet in two stories of open space under a bow truss ceiling from which over 100 copper drop lights cast a warm light on the main ding room and bar on the lower level, 1212 Santa Monica is nothing if not spacious. When you can tear your eyes from the wrap around balcony over your head, it's time to consider the menu.
As soon as you glance at the drinks list you'll have an inkling of the adventure awaiting you. You'll recognize many of the breweries on the beer list, but you don't see hard Kombucha on every menu! Ditto for the wine list which let's just say goes on and on….and on….
As you peruse the dinner menu, you will see what executive chef Luca Maita means when he refers to the new California Cuisine – small plate offerings like American Kobe meatballs covered in marinara and reggiano parmiagana or locally sourced oysters with Yuzu truffle dressing topped with lemon air. Entrées can best be described as casual – grilled chicken sandwiches, meatball sandwiches and Sicilian burgers topped with smoked mozzarella, blue cheese, prosciutto paste, and garlic aioli. Vegetarians can substitute Impossible meat. If it's a Friday or Saturday, you can head over to the bar where a DJ will be spinning dance music fitting this sophisticated night spot.
So, you have it, no matter which of these locales you choose to make this date night in Santa Monica a memorable one, you'll be glad to call NMS 1539 Santa Monica apartments home. On top of the spacious floor plans, the high-end finishes, luxury amenities, and proximity to the Pacific you have so many nearby dining establishments you could have date night seven days a week if you wish.