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Valentine's Day Menu Picks

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So the big V-Day is only a week away -- and if you're anything like me, you're making reservations for a fabulous spot and forcing your boyfriend to take you out to dinner. He's gonna take me out, he's gonna express his undying love for me through the purchase of an expensive meal of my choosing, and he's gonna like it.*

Thankfully, there are a lot of great Valentine's dinner options in L.A. -- many restaurants are offering a special "Lovers Menu," with wine pairings, desserts, chocolate-covered strawberries, and all manner of other aphrodisiacs.

Over at OpenTable, you have your pick of pricey places that are sure to leave your date swooning with admiration (and possibly slumping over in a food coma, which is an important consideration if you're aiming to get some V-Day lovin'). Keep in mind that many restaurants may only be offering a prix-fixe menu, so call ahead to check if you don't want to indulge in a super-pricey meal.

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We've got a few quick picks below -- but get on those reservation lines today, cause you know Valentine's Day always brings out the crowds.

Our quick picks: Ciudad is offering a $65 four-course menu (wine/tequila pairings extra), with treats like oysters and caviar, and a cocoa-crusted squab with coffee vinaigrette.

Locanda del Lago in Santa Monica is offering a four or five course Menu di San Valentino, complete with wine pairings, for $99-$139 (their options include monkfish medallions and a pairing of veal tenderloin and filet mignon)

If you're more in the mood for an intimate setting and classic French food (a great combo on V-Day), check out Cafe Des Artistes in Hollywood for a "Lover's Menu" that offers choices like oysters, escargots, rack of lamb, moules poulettes, and an ile flottante. Fancy!

And what advice do the Chowhounders offer? Errr...stay at home and cook for yourselves. They're rightly pointing out that the dishes on most V-Day menus will probably be pre-prepared and sitting around for a while before you and your lovvvverrrrrr arrive, and let's not get into price mark-ups. But if your Special Person doesn't mind a low-key, intimate evening at home, there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting together a feast from Whole Foods. Plus, there's the whole privacy thing.

More Valentine's Day suggestions from:

*Lest you think I am a demanding, high-maintenance girlfriend, let me assure you that he is not required to buy me flowers, presents, or a card on V-Day. Just dinner. And honestly? He is gonna like it.

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