happyVDDon’t forget about Valentine’s Day….that is, if you want to keep your relationship going…If you missed it, I have another Valentine’s article entitled “Will Valentine’s Dinner Make or Break You?” in this weeks Santa Monica Mirror as part of my “Talk of the Town” column.

Also another article up on the Examiner, and of course on LA Art Party….here ya go, lots of info below.

Valentine’s Day means different things to many of us. There are those romantics who believe, Valentine’s Day is the time to cherish the one you love. Then there are those who are vehemently opposed to Valentine’s Day, claiming it’s a commercialized made up day to bring more cash into retailer’s pockets.

PVD Champagne imageserhaps for many in longer relationships, it has become a time to rekindle the sparks that have long flickered out. Though we’ve all seen those couples that sit and stare at one another, with nothing left to say, only to eavesdrop on the more stimulating conversation at the next table.

Enough said. If you decide to celebrate the day, you can choose a less expensive restaurant, and give a lovely gift, pick a romantic restaurant with just a card and some flowers, or go crazy…which never hurts.

For gift ideas, you can always spring for a couple’s massage at Raven Spa (208 Pier Ave.) in Santa Monica. A wine and champagne bar is set up as well as strawberries and chocolate for this special time of the year.  http://www.theravenspa.com/

Orlowresbohemianexchangefashionshow2 bring your loved one to Bohemian Exchange (1358 Abbot Kinney Blvd.) in Venice for original sassy styles and great deals. This Parisian style boutique will make you feel as if you stepped onto the set of the movie Moulin Rouge. This is a truly romantic setting for Valentine’s Day featuring bodacious fashions. http://on.fb.me/ob9r0y.

In Santa Monica, Uroborus (2407 Main St.) offers classic vogue fashion from around the world. http://on.fb.me/r10Sg2. Also in Santa Monica, Ten Women features original jewelry and art, 1128 Montana Ave. 310 393-6254; www.tenwomengallery.com

lowres lillysFrontnightpano-3Here is a quick guide to Valentine Day Dining on the Westside. In Venice, if you want to go all out…Lily’s French Café has a charming French bistro atmosphere as well as a delightful back patio, which faces onto a sculpture garden next door. Equipped with heaters, the patio offers a romantic setting while you enjoy a four-course dinner for $95.00 per person.

Choices include homemade foie gras, sea bass with artichoke risotto on a bed of lobster sauce, orange duck or osso bucco veal. The dessert selections are mini crème brulee, chocolate soufflé, and chocolate dipped strawberries too. (310) 313-4004; http://www.lillysfrenchcafe.com/.

If ylowres high Beachviewou prefer a less expensive night with some gorgeous views of Venice Beach, head to High Rooftop Lounge (don’t forget a reservation) for their “Ink & Drink” special. Just show the tattooed name of a loved one, and receive a complimentary cocktail (up to $15 value).

Sip on champagne while you admire the sunset…or stay for a light dinner. Try High’s most popular cocktail “Lifeguard’s Lemonade,” while nibbling on their specialty tacos, micro burgers or tomato and watermelon salad. High sits atop Hotel Erwin, located at 1697 Pacific Ave. in Venice. For info, call (310) 452-1111; Reservations for High can be made online at www.urbanspoon.com.

Or folowresFigtreescafeoutside2r a very low cost dining experience, do a daytime picnic on Venice Beach. Restaurants like the Figtree’s Café (429 Ocean Front Walk), Rose Café (220 Rose Ave) and the Venice Ale House (2 Rose Ave.) all offer tasty treats to go and are right off the beach. http://www.rosecafe.com/; http://venicealehouse.com/.

Figtree’s Café (429 Ocean Front Walk), also has a fabulous happy hour with wine, sangria etc., for only $4.00 and delicious mini pizzas for $4.95. (310) 392-4937; http://figtreescafe.com/

 Now in Santa Monica, another Valentine’s suggestion is Border Grill, located at 1445 4th St. Here you can enjoy a 4-course dinner for $55 per person. Menu highlights include: Smoky Mussel Ceviche Shooter, Dungeness Crab Cake, Wild Mushrooms Chilaquiles, and Upside Down Caramelized Plantain Cake. (310) 451-1655

Plowres UpperWesterhaps a more affordable choice is Upper West Restaurant, located at 3321 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica.

On this special day they feature a pre-fixe dinner for $35/person, with 50% off all bottles of wine. (310) 586-1111; http://www.theupperwest.com/;



Men beware, for many women, Valentine’s Day is a test, judging their man’s love based on one night “What will he do?” As most women know, if a man does not try hard on the first couple of holidays, birthdays etc., it usually goes down hill from there.

So if you want this to be the first of many Valentine’s Days to come, be alert, go all out, and hope that you pass the V-Day test with flying colors.