Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.
Arts & Entertainment

Valentine's Day: Crowdsourced non-icky date options, or 'What, they're all out of Cold Duck!?'

"Heart-shaped box of candy, silver belt, and Valentine greetings found in Eugene H. White's blood-stained car." c. 1947.
LAPL/Herald-Examiner collection

Here's the thing. This is bad:

What, they're all out of Cold Duck!? You don't want this in your mouth or even on your table.

But come Valentine's Day, it's the kind of thing you'll get at about 9-million restaurants in Southern California, along with a fixed-price menu, inflexible dining times, and high prices. Even my beloved Musso & Frank is doing it, and is booked solid.

So we put out the call to listeners to show a little #kpcclove and suggest some refuges from the Valentine's Industry.

Note: The following are all possibilities, based on listener suggestions; please call the restaurants themselves to confirm if they have room, and if they're doing the Valentine's shtick.

On KPCC's Facebook page, Kelly Kubik recommends The Park in Echo Park (as of presstime, there was room at 9:30pm). Sean Hise says Rice Thai Tapas on Glenarm in Pasadena is a good option; although I checked and they only have space at 5:30pm. Benjamin Alvarez posted: Taco Joe's restaurant in Highland CA. Nice sit down restaurant. Less than $30 per couple."

Some adventurous options came in via Twitter:

Dumpster diving, anyone?

I'm willing to go slightly more upscale. Tito's Taco's in Culver City got a lot of love, after the crowd rejected King Taco because one of them had their heart broken there once.

And lastly, I have a great option for you. One of my favorite spots in Southern California, Vito Restaurant, on Ocean Park Blvd in Santa Monica, not only is not doing a special Valentine's menu, but has room, at least as of right now. Cozy booths, old school Italian food and old school waiters, full bar, and Al Martino on the PA. Tell them Off-Ramp sent you.

So there are some options. The only thing missing is an infographic. So here we go:

How does this pertain to Valentine's Day dining? Well, the Singles in America 4th annual survey found "65% of men and 69% of women prefer sex at 10 p.m." So, if you don't have a Valentine's Day reservation, I'd recommend heading to your favorite restaurant around 9:45 p.m.