California Travel Tips

Valentine Meals Better Than Anything–Except Being in Love

Published on: February 08, 2012

Several restaurants at fine hotels and resorts in the L.A. area  are offering amazing Valentine’s Day events to make your celebration special. Pictured are food offerings at Whist – Viceroy Santa Monica, and Oliverio – Avalon Beverly Hills.

The whimsical, fun song, Better than Anything, sung by Natalie Cole and Diana Krall, captures the mood you’ll be in when you set sail and head for L.A.’s fabulous dining and romance adventures this Valentine’s week. Lyrics to the song go like this:
Better than cream cheese on celery,
Better than, mmm, honey on bread,
Better than french-fried potatoes,
Better than, aah, breakfast in bed.

Better than strawberry shortcake,
Better than chocolate eclairs,
Better than hothouse tomatoes,
Better than fresh bartlett pears.

Better than dining a la carte
Or sampling gastronomic art.
Better than anything
Except being in love!

Pictured left: Executive Chef Mirko Paderno at Oliverio; Executive Chef Tony DiSalvo at Whist (right)

Love comes in many forms, as you’ll discover in Santa Monica at the Mediterranean-inspired Whist–where dishes are served with a contemporary twist.  Between February 10 – 14, 2012 you will be wowed by the enchanting dishes by executive chef Tony DiSalvo. A sophisticated, decadent Valentine’s Day menu  feature delicious, mouth-watering confections like Homemade Garganelli Pasta, Roasted Caribbean Lobster Tail, Akaushi Rib Eye, and a Chocolate Tasting for Two. Cost is $85 person, $45 person extra for wine tasting. Reservations (310) 260-7511, or reserve online at

Whist (Viceroy Santa Monica) Five Course pre-fixe menu options:

  • Fennel Cured Hamachi – rose petal gelee, fresh wasabi and pickled fennel
  • Parmesan & Black Truffle Tartlette – prosciutto, artichokes, 2009 dollarhide estate sauvignon blanc
  • New Caldedonian Prawns – wild nasturtium soup, cucumber-shallot marmalade, 2010 virtu semillion sauvignon blanc blend
  • Roasted Black Cod – smoked potato-miso puree, bonito, ginger 2009 rutherford estate merlo
  • Beef Tenderloin –  beef cheek ravioli, foie gras and truffle sauce, 2008 elu  rutherford estate cabernet sauvignon

Oliverio, a modern Italian restaurant at Avalon Beverly Hills utilizes seasonal local ingredients from executive chef Mirko Paderno.  Turn Valentine’s Day into an overnight affair with a romantic Penthouse Package for couples offered Feb. 10-14, 2012. The package includes overnight accommodations in the luxurious Avalon Penthouse, in-room champagne and strawberries upon arrival, dinner for two at Oliverio for the Valentine’s menu, in-room breakfast and complimentary overnight parking. Rate is $1,200 per couple and bookings are available online at . Valentine’s Dinner at Oliverio costs $65, tax and gratuities are not included. For reservations to Oliverio, call (310) 407-7791, or reserve online at

Oliverio (Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills):

  • Akaushi Kobe Beef 3 Way
    sonoma fois gras over akaushi tenderloin carpaccio
    white pearl onion, micro arugula
    seared akaushi rib eye
    white sunchoke, black winter truffle
    slow bake akaushi short rib
    sauerkraut, crispy speck
  • Homemade Garganelli Pasta
    akaushi kobe “brasato”
  • Roasted Carribean Lobster Tail
    akaushi beef reduction
  • Akaushi Rib Eye
    spicy puntarelle, Modica chocolate fondue
  • Black Pepper Panna Cotta
    Includes a glass of prosecco and coffee or tea
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