BY: KARINA ANASTASIA ROCHE
The scenic, winding roads through Topanga may make you feel like you’re hours away from the bustle and life of Los Angeles, but the canyon is, in fact, only a short drive from some of L.A.’s most desirable locations–and romantic destinations. If you’re looking for a romantic, peaceful Valentine’s Day and dinner with a special touch, you’ve come to the right place.
4. Malibu Cafe
The Malibu Café, tucked into the mountains behind Malibu, offers rustic and gourmet outdoor “New American” dining at Calamigos Ranch. They describe their cuisine as “nouveau barbecue,” and you can see why: it feels like a fresh combination of California dining with your classic cowboy barbecue joint. But despite its quirky and more casual appeal, Malibu Café’s scattered dining tables and many flowery and lit pathways create a romantic ambiance. Eat under umbrellas out on the lawn, hidden away under wooden arbors, or alongside the lake. A short drive north of Point Dume, it is also the perfect ending to a day spent at the beach or hiking.
3. Duke’s Malibu
Duke’s Hawaiian cuisine and beachside dining are hard to pass. Whether dining indoors, seated at window table overlooking the crashing waves that mist the glass, or out on the patio sipping a mai tai and breathing in the fresh ocean air, this delightful restaurant transports you to the relaxed and romantic atmosphere of a dreamy Valentine’s in Hawaii. Reserve your table for the sunset hour for a truly awe-inspiring view that also fills the restaurant with a rose-gold glow, and let the ukulele serenade transport you across the ocean.
2. Saddle Peak Lodge
Best described as upscale forest cabin dining, nestled in the mountains of Malibu, the Saddle Peak Lodge is a rustic yet exquisitely romantic spot for Valentine’s. Heavy wooden walls, stone fireplaces, and deer busts meet white tablecloths, lovely bouquet arrangements, fine art, and walls of bookshelves. Outside, find a romantic seat for two, cocooned in the greenery and lit by a chandelier suspended from an oak tree beam. Try one of their elk, emu, or quail dishes and enjoy this unique and beautiful escape, complete with strings of lights and a waterfall.
1. Inn of the 7th Ray
Did you know that Topanga Canyon is home to L.A.’s most romantic restaurant? The Inn of the 7th Ray, with its creek-side outdoor dining, swooning sycamores, gazebos, candlelight, and exquisite menu, is one of Topanga’s–and Los Angeles’s–prized treasures. Romantic music and the scent of jasmine swells as you arrive at this hidden fairy grove, and you are seated under a canopy, by the fireside, or beside joyful fountains. Don’t forget to visit their charming bohemian bookstore and gift shop before you leave! Reserve your table as soon as possible, as they book up fast for Valentine’s Day.
Visit one of these restaurants to create beautiful memories, then return to the Topanga Canyon Inn to spend the remainder of the evening sipping wine a balcony, relaxing in starlight with the soothing sound of Topanga’s natural wildlife, only a short drive from L.A.’s most romantic locations. For the complete romantic getaway, book one of our Celebration Packages and enjoy roses, chocolates, candlelight and more.