Dining, Food, Lifestyle

Valentine’s Day: How To Plan Guide For Guys

January 31, 2009

As I talked with my friends, one of the questions that I was asked was what my Valentine’s Day plans were. While a lot of guys may say that “we are still two weeks away from Valentine’s”, two weeks goes by in a flash. With that said, here is my advice to all boyfriends and guys that are planning to take out that special someone.

1. Even though the girl says that you don’t have to do something for Valentine’s, you should anyways.

Named after Saint Valentine himself, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by couples all over the world. While it’s true that girls will say that you don’t need to do anything for Valentine’s and that “being with you” is enough,  truth of the matter is that Valentine’s isn’t just any other day. Whether its a quiet homemade dinner for two or a night out, girls will appreciate the effort no matter how big or small it is. Here is a simple comparison that my female friend told me:

“Valentine’s is like another birthday for us. Everyone says you don’t need to get them something, but inside everyone wants just gifts and a party”

2. Time Management

Just like what they taught you in school on how to manage your time, it can also be applied to Valentine’s Day. Whether you are planning an all day event or dinner and a movie, it is important to have it all planned out ahead of time and not 30 minutes before you are about to pick them up. A helpful tip is to take into account the little things such as how long it takes to get ready, how long it takes to get to the restaurant, and what time or how long the movie is. Planning ahead will help make things go smoothly.

3. More Than Just Friends?

For some, Valentine’s will be just another day to share with a loved one. For others it can be much more. From telling that co-worker your true feelings, to being more than ‘just friends,’ Valentine’s is a chance to start a relationship or rekindle one. With that in mind, it is important for guys to know what type of tone they want to set for the date. If it’s telling a girl what you feel for them, make sure you actually have something to say aside from “I like you.” For the guys that are just trying to spend more time with their girlfriends here is my advice to you: turn off your cellphone. It is great that technology is at the tip of our fingers, but it doesn’t have to be 24/7. For some this is extremely hard, myself included. This Valentine’s I will at the very least keep my phone off at dinner. Yes, the score of the Laker’s game will have to wait.

4. Where, What, & When To Eat?

An essential part to Valentine’s Day is the meal. Whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, it is important that you do it right and plan it in advance. If you try to book reservations today, you might be lucky enough to catch a table for two, but if you wait a week before, you will join the hundreds of others who will resort to ‘Standby’ at restaurants. Most restaurants now offer the convenience of booking reservations online. Not only does it save time, but you can see reviews and suggestions for restaurants as well. It’s hard to make an excuse when every restaurant in town takes reservations online.

Many upscale restaurants offer a special Valentine’s Day Pre Fixe Menu. Depending on your budget, these could be great deals. It is important to note that many restaurants that offer a special Valentine’s Day Pre Fixe Menu require a credit card along with reservations in case of cancellation. Most will allow you to cancel up to February 12 by 5PM, otherwise you would be charged a cancellation fee which is set by the restaurant.

In regards to what time to eat, that is entirely up to you. While there is no set time as to when to eat dinner as everyone has their own preferences, one should keep in mind these points:

  • Any post/pre meal activities : If you plan on watching a movie after dinner, take into account how long dinner might last.
  • Traffic : If you book dinner in downtown LA, expect traffic. Give yourself time to get to the restaurant.
  • Ambiance : If you book a restaurant near the ocean, book it around sunset time. If you want a quieter restaurant, you may want to go for an earlier or later dinner before the rush starts.

I have put together a list of Restaurants in the Los Angeles Area that might be of use for those of you still looking for Valentine’s. Please remember when calling any restaurant to ask if they have Pre Fixe Menus.

1. Yamashiro

1999 N Sycamore Ave
Hollywood, CA 90068
Phone: (323) 466-5125

2. Lawry’s The Prime Rib

100 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 91101
Phone: (424) 354-3409

3. The Raymond Restaurant

1250 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
Phone: (626) 768-3268

4. Moondshadow’s

20356 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Phone: (424) 644-6450

5. Cicada Restaurant

617 S Olive St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Phone: (213) 488-948

Reservations Online: OpenTable.com

While it may seem time consuming and difficult to plan out Valentine’s Day, I am reminded by my female friend that

“when you are upset about how guys have to do everything for Valentine’s day..just remember…popping out babies is left to the girls”

I’ll stick to planning Valentine’s any day.

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  • Reply Mark W. February 1, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Hi Joseph,

    I lived in the LA area for more than 16 years. I like that you listed Yamashiro as #1. I’ve been there a few times and recommended it to my current neighbors when they visited LA (they loved it). I remember the setting is great as well as the view. I also remember the winding road up into the Hollywood Hills.


  • Reply Joseph February 1, 2009 at 11:15 am

    @ Mark – Thanks for the comment Mark! I really appreciate it. Yamashiro has always been one of my favorites. The scenic view after dinner is always one that I look forward too. If you have any other great suggestions, please share!

  • Reply Mark W. February 1, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    There’s two places that come to mind in the LA area for Valentine’s Day. I’m thinking mainly scenic views here so if you decide not to have dinner you could always have an appetizer and a drink or two.

    1) Burbank – The Castaway Restaurant (http://www.castawayrestaurant.com/burbank/index.html). I don’t know how the Sunday brunch is now but I was able to have my co-workers drive up from the South Bay repeatedly with no problem. 🙂

    2) Downtown LA – Westin Bonaventure (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/dining/index.html?propertyID=1004)
    Revolving cocktail lounge with panoramic view of the city.

  • Reply Joseph February 2, 2009 at 4:17 am

    @Mark –

    I have eaten at Castaway and the view is awesome! I have never eaten at the Bonaventure but I’ve heard great things about it.

    Their are so many great places to eat that I feel I should start a book! I actually have a little book that I write down restaurants that I like so that when the time comes, I can just refer to it and look up a restaurant.

    I’m about 10-15 minutes from Downtown so if you ever want to get a drink or brunch and chat about great eats around LA, shoot me a line!

  • Reply Jun Loayza February 2, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Hey Joe, remind me how to teach you to comment as Joseph Yi and not admin, hahaaha.

    Btw, good list. I think i’m going to try one of those places out

  • Reply mars February 5, 2009 at 4:20 am

    The Dining Room located somewhere in Pasadena is great too.
    I’ve been to both Castaway and Bonaventure and the former is definitely the better choice.

    will try Yamashiro soon 😀

  • Reply Joseph Yi February 6, 2009 at 1:08 am

    @Jun – Haha, thanks for the sorting out my admin issues. Funny how each of us on the team has a gf.

    @Mars – I haven’t heard of the Dining Room but pasadena is so close to me I gotta check it out. Thanks for the recommendation! Yamashiro is definitely a great place to go in LA. I recommend that everyone should go at least once. They have filmed a lot of big movies there like Rush Hour.

  • Reply June February 6, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I think what you plan really depends on the girl. I, for one, hate the commercialization of Valentine’s day so anything obvious like going out to dinner would embarass me a lot. It doesn’t have to be such a big ordeal, as long as it’s thoughtful 🙂

    I think we’re staying in this v-day and watching a French movie on Netflix. My bf hates French movies, so it’ll be deliciously tortuous for him.

    Best of luck, and I hope your gf appreciates what you’re doing!

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