Fancy a quiet conversation over candlelight or an interactive evening that will keep your dining companion on his or her toes? There’s a date night restaurant for nearly every mood and occasion in Huntington Beach, be it a blind date, romantic celebration or something in between.
With so many to choose from, the pressure’s on to select the perfect culinary experience that will impress your date and please the palate. Set yourself up for success with this fine-tuned list of six Surf City spots that promise a memorable evening with that special someone.
Impress Your Guest: LSXO
Part of the dual-concept venture at Pacific City, LSXO is nestled behind a hidden door within the expansive Bluegold space. The swanky restaurant is modeled after the owner’s heralded LA-area hot spot, Little Sister, but features only 28 seats for a very exclusive experience. LSXO shares a kitchen with bluegold, but has its own specialty menu of upscale Vietnamese cuisine—expect the unexpected with dressed-up dishes like crispy sweetbreads and foie gras and oxtail torchon. dinebluegold.com/lsxo
Ocean View: Watertable
When it comes to dining digs with the best views, the new Bluegold restaurant will have to duke it out with the popular Watertable at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa. In a space designed as a rustic residential estate, Watertable offers seasonal comfort food with a few special twists. Enjoy dishes like wood-grilled branzino, pork belly pickled pear tarts and juniper-spiced venison from a beautiful patio that affords unbelievable ocean between the palm trees along the shore. watertablehb.com
Intimate Setting: The Black Trumpet
Dim lighting, small tables and shareable plates create an intimate ambience for a romantic yet low-key date night. With a menu featuring an array of Mediterranean tapas spanning flavors from Italy, France, Spain, Greece and Morocco, it’s a great restaurant to try something new, including the house special risotto and Brussels sprouts with chorizo. Don’t hesitate to ask chef-owner Dino Ferraro for a wine-pairing recommendation to cap off a special evening. theblacktrumpetbistro.com
Fun Atmosphere: Progressive Dining at Pacific City
Lace up your walking shoes and get creative with a Pacific City dining adventure that will keep both of you on your feet. Start the evening with a cheese board and slice of specialty bacon at Saint Marc on the second floor while watching the sunset from the patio. Then, head downstairs to share a dozen freshly shucked and chilled oysters at Ways & Means. Burn off the calories while meandering around the center with a waffle cone filled with B.Candy ice cream. Cap off the night with a drink at The Bungalow, the laid-back cocktail lounge that offers plenty of cozy corners for you and your date to have a quiet conversation. gopacificcity.com
First Date: Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ
An interactive experience is always a fun way to break the ice with a new dining companion. While it’s not the fanciest first date spot, you’ll win points for creativity at Gyu-Kaku. When the conversation stalls, you can stay engaged by firing up the grill at your table. Enjoy an array of a la carte menu items ranging from savory meats like Kalbi short rib to seafood and veggies, or opt for a premium prix-fixe platters for a more structured meal. gyu-kaku.com
Special Splurge: Tanner's
Pull out your wallet and spoil your date with a fine-dining experience at Tanner’s at Paséa Hotel & Spa. An indoor-outdoor vibe, incredible architecture and a rustic wood-fired oven set the mood here for a special occasion. The ultimate splurge is a 60-day dry-aged Tomahawk for two, priced at $120. After dinner, head upstairs for a nightcap at the beautifully illuminated Treehouse Lounge. tannershb.com