The Anti-Prix-Fixe Valentine’s Day Roundup

Carnival Cabaret at Big Bar

Single or not, you won’t find me exactly chomping at the bit to try any sort of prix fixe menu on, of all nights, Valentine’s Day, only the busiest dining night out all year. A night of fighting the crowds of twosomes to order up one of the multitude of prix fixe menus during a potentially service-distastrous evening is not something I can recommend to you in good conscience, so why pretend? Anniversaries and birthdays are as great as the dates they land on are unique to each couple or person, so when a calendar designates that one particular day is the day everyone is to express one’s affection to his/her significant other, I can’t help but get a little bit apprehensive.

Here are a few fun alternatives to Valentine’s Day that take that icky obligatory feeling out of your profession of love…

Dessert Tasting

Go before actual Valentine’s Day and celebrate with sweets at Cook’s County. Roxana Jullapat has a special dessert tasting for $35 per guest, and $55 per guest with wine pairing. It’s a great way to surprise your loved one by going the night before the notoriously loaded Day of Reckoning. Service starts at 5 PM.

***

All-Day Happy Hour

Start out your Anti-Valentine’s Day early and with a bang at Plan Check on Fairfax, where the burger bar will offer 2 for $14 cocktail specials and an all-day happy hour (11:30 AM – 2 AM). Barmaster Matthew Biancaniello will be featuring the Ice Breaker, made of Japanese whisky, Batavia Arrak, lime juice, Monin agave syrup, passionfruit, ghost pepper salt, aloe vera chunks and El Jimador. Sounds delicious.

Curious about cocktail pairings with Chef Ernesto Uchimura’s food? Well you’re in luck because I wrote about just that recently for Serious Drinks.

***
Carnival Cabaret

For the fourth year running, Big Bar at The Alcove in Los Feliz is doing a prom of sorts, and this year it’s in the theme of a Carnival Cabaret. Come dressed in your best edgy circus gear – think Cirque Berzerk, perhaps – and be ready to drink from the always-awesome cocktail menu featuring Pernod-Ricard spirits made for the occasion by Dan Long. Other treats like magician Jordan Gold, candid photos shot by Eugene Lee, fortune teller with smoking crystal ball, a balloon artist, fun house mirrors, photo booth and absinthe cotton candy await you for a Valentine’s Day that’s sure to be anything but run-of-the-mill.

And they’re also having a prom court, so be sure to make your case to be considered as royalty because they’re accepting nominations via ballot and Facebook.

If I weren’t flying out to Japan this night, this is where I’d be. Instead, I’ll be checking out the fancy new dining outposts in Tom Bradley International at LAX.

***
Morning-After Brunch

So maybe I lied a little bit by pre-emptively banning all prix fixe, but Giselle Wellman‘s “morning after Valentine’s Day” brunch menu is well worth the exception. After all, when you combine her talents with a wild card ingredient like caviar on a beautiful West Hollywood day, you’re pretty much up for a win-win brunch situation. A glass of bubbly (Bellini, Mimosa, or Mumm Napa Valley Blanc de Blancs) is also included with the price, too, as is coffee, iced tea or housemade lemonade.

1st
12 grams Transmontanus Caviar
Classic Accoutrements

2nd
(Choice of)
Smoked Salmon Bagel
Cream Cheese, Capers, Red Onion, Mixed Greens
(add caviar $8)

Caviar Scrambled Eggs
Whipped Vodka Crème, Chives, Toast

Smoked Trout
Asparagus, Lemon, Dill, Crème Fraiche, Pickled Red Onion, Rainbow Trout Roe

Dessert
(Choice of)
Vanilla Panna Cotta
Espresso Caviar, Cardamom Shortbread Cookies

Dulce de Leche Crème Brulee
Russian Tea Cookies

 
So, I want to wish you tidings, love and all that warm, fuzzy but meaningful stuff for Valentine’s Day. Not because the calendar says so, but because we all have our own creative ways in expressing respect and joy for our loved ones. Hope you have a great weekend in store, whether single, taken, married or simply surrounded by the ones you love.
 

Thursday, February 13, 2014: Dessert Tasting

5 PM – 11 PM

Cook’s County
8009 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
323.653.8009

Friday, February 14, 2014: All-Day Happy Hour

11:30 AM – 2:30 AM

Plan Check, Fairfax Village
351 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
310.288.6500 ext. 2

 

Friday, February 14, 2014: Carnival Cabaret

8 PM – Close

Big Bar at The Alcove
1927 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
323.644.0100

 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Brunch

Petrossian
321 N. Robertson Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90048
310.271.6300