Valentine's Day Round-Up, Part 2: A La Carte Menus + Desserts
Flickr/Lana's Dazzling Desserts
While they should probably just rename Valentine's Day's Restaurant Prix Fixe Day, we understand not everyone is into a rousing (and often wildly expensive) multi-course dinner. Perhaps you don't have a sweet tooth, are chicka-pescetarian (yes, there is such a thing), or maybe you'd rather have three courses of wine rather than food. To each his own. If you want the prix fixe menus, go read part 1 of our Valentine's Day Roundup; if an a la carte menu or maybe just dessert is more your thing, turn the page.
Chef Andrew Kirschner's Wilshire Restaurant is serving its entire dinner menu on Valentine's Day, with favorites like Tahitian squash ravioli; whole fried Thai snapper with soba noodles; and duck leg confit with quinoa and chanterelles available during lunch (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) and dinner (6 to 10 p.m.).
Downtown's Corkbar has an à la carte menu of chef's Valentine's Day specials ranging from seared duck breast with a Port reduction to molten chocolate cake with crème anglaise. Entree prices range between $10 and $20; a flight of sparkling wine is $25.
Two words: Meat Market. But it's not what you think. Fig's chef Garcia has put together a half-meat and half-market-driven menu aimed at satisfying both sexes. If you or your man are in the mood for a huge plate of California prime aged steak, bacon tacos, or even "offal" items like duck heart tartare, consider it done. Then your other half can enjoy can the "Market" side of the menu, which plays to Fig's traditional menu strengths with dishes like young beets with Santa Barbara pistachios; scarlet quinoa with butternut squash and Marcona almonds; vegetable curry; and warm Parmesan and avocado tart.
Barbrix has its entire dinner menu ready to go but has also thrown in a few Valentine's Day specials, like marinated citrus seafood cocktail with shrimp, scallops and tuna; a grilled Caribbean spiced lobster tail with saffron risotto; and filet mignon with potato-bacon-leek cake and Roquefort red wine sauce.
Or head just south of La Cienega's restaurant row to Caffe Carrera, where the fifth generation of the Carrera family is dishing up family recipes that go all the way back to their Sicilian roots in 1908. While they have a $39.95/person prix-fixe menu available, the à la carte menu includes dishes such as homemade Polpettone Sicilian-style meatloaf with shiitake mushroom sauce; "bags" of borsettine pasta stuffed with Gorgonzola in a sundried tomato sauce; and a Rollatini chicken breast filled with mushrooms and eggplant in a lemon sauce, among others.