As the pandemic wears on and Valentine’s Day approaches, diners are looking for experiences that feel as special as going out to a favorite restaurant. From a steakhouse that comes to your house to a multi-sensory tasting menu, these fine dining packages are among the most indulgent in Los Angeles. Break out the Gucci china and don the cashmere sweatpants to make these meals feel as momentous as eating at the city’s top spots. Order from tock.com.
Involve the Senses: Vespertine
Culver City’s modernist art-piece of a restaurant changes its tasting menu every few months. Chef Jordan Kahn’s latest menu offers dishes like heirloom chicken smoked with hay, velvet white carrot soup and caramelized hazelnut tart, plus an “atmospheric box” with cleansing desert cedar spray, crystals and redwood juice to set the mood. To create a setting conducive to this experience, Kahn advises “Bringing more natural elements into your sanctuary will heighten your primal responses. Including elements of earth, fire, water and wind are really powerful for creating a cohesive space. We also look to ancient methods and rituals by burning resins, including certain materials and plants, and providing a sound component which serves to bind your space together, rather than contrast. $115 per person
Plan a Steak-out: The Finishing Gourmet
Allen Sulatycky, a coach for the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition, conceived The Finishing Gourmet to bring the steakhouse experience into the home, complete with premium ingredients and thoughtful garnishes. A lavish meal is delivered carefully packaged in individual boxes, with sides and sauces in rustic glass jars. Briefly sear the Iowa prime beef or Snake River Farms Wagyu steaks, and top with an array of sauces for an over-the-top dinner that can include creamed spinach, jumbo shrimp cocktail, mac ‘n cheese with black truffles, lobster tail, crème brulee and much more. A la carte approximately $100-$150 per person; Valentine’s menu $295 for two
All the Fish in the Sea – Q Sushi
Michelin-starred Q Sushi has been one of L.A.’s top omakase spots since it opened in 2013, but the more celebrated a sushi spot is, the less likely it is to offer takeout – until the pandemic, anyway. Chef Hirouki Naruke’s premium sushi box for two is a two-tiered feast that begins with tsumami (appetizers) and moves on to numerous courses of sashimi and nigari sushi, with selections such as Japanese barracuda, hairy crab and Santa Barbara sea urchin. Each selection is finished with sauces, salts and garnishes that bring out the essence of the sea creature. $400 for two.
For Special Sweethearts – Petrossian
Petrossian Restaurant and Boutique’s romantic Valentine’s meal starts out two tins of shassetra caviar, a bottle of Ruinart Blanc de Blanc and a dozen roses. Move on to salmon mousse and hamachi appetizers, followed by caviar pasta (cooking instructions included) and molten chocolate cake. $350 for two. No honey this year? Petrossian’s deluxe brunch spread includes a pound of smoked salmon, shassetra caviar, bagels, cream cheese and all the trimmings to serve six for $295.