A Night Out

17 Ways to Set the Mood for Valentine’s Day

No matter your vibe—or your status—we’ve got plenty of suggestions for Valentine’s Day.

Photo courtesy of Adventures/Facebook

Plan ahead and keep the romance alive with these one-night-only events for Valentine’s Day…plus a few off-the-beaten-path ideas for good measure. You’ll set the mood whether you’re taken, looking for love, or just meh about the whole thing.

Dance Floor

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Photo courtesy of Adventures/Facebook

The Breakup/Hookup Ball
This party’s got all the bases covered, starting with an Unhappy Hour of slow jams and smooth cocktails, and ending with slinky house and pop jams on what’s sure to be a sweaty dance floor. Featuring DJ sets from Tyler Blake (Classixx), Tombz (Night Bass), and Adventure(s) (whom you may know from Robyn’s “Missing U” video). Song requests accepted; send yours to adventures@gmail.com. Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Boulevard

Cuco
Cuco’s rise to becoming the darling of L.A. alt-pop seemingly happened overnight, with his psychedelic dream pop heralded as the new sound for every group he represents: the young, the Latino, and the Angeleno. Fonda Theatre, 6126 Hollywood Boulevard

Venice Gets DEEP: The Sound of Love
Marques Wyatt has spread the gospel of Chicago house for decades with his impossibly chill deep-house grooves. He’ll be joined by two other house DJs: Lemurian, who incorporates bygone tribal sounds into his set, and Heidi Lawden, who explores the disco side of the genre. Townhouse and The Del Monte, 52 Windward Avenue, Venice

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Photo by Mia C/Yelp

Modern Love Ball
No excuse necessary to take a date to the sexy, subterranean wonderland that is the Edison, but here are a few anyway: live music, dinner, and prizes to celebrate Valentine’s Day. 108 West 2nd Street, #101

Cruise

My Vintage Valentine
Capture that early-1900s cruise-ship-romance vibe without the tragic, sinking part of the Titanic at this party aboard the Queen Mary, complete with a four-course meal and some tantalizing performers. The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

Concert

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Photo courtesy of Kacey Musgraves/Facebook

Kacey Musgraves
Musgraves, the lovely country crooner with an edge—and Nashville Star winner—will play at one of the city’s most stunning theaters. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 South Broadway

Black Tie

48 Awards
The Independent Short Film Festival, held at the Directors Guild of America, is screening 24 of its top choices, accompanied by an official awards ceremony. VIP tickets include an afterparty at the Mondrian Hotel’s Sky Bar. Directors Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Boulevard

Film

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Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
Catch a screening and live score of Sunrise, a classic and beloved 1927 silent film in the oeuvre of moody director F.W. Murnau, at the Art Theater of Long Beach. Local restaurants Lola’s and the Social List offer optional movie-and-dinner combos. 2025 East 4th Street, Long Beach

Casablanca
The all-time greatest cinematic romance hasn’t aged a day (well, maybe one day) since it was released in 1942. Montalbán Theatre, 1615 Vine Street

True Romance & Valentine’s Day Party
Director Tony Scott, pre-fame screenwriter Quentin Tarantino, and an enviable cast of Hollywood icons and tough guys come together to make this definitive ’90s romantic crime thriller. Cinespia promises a party before and after with DJs, drinks, and more. Los Angeles Theatre, 615 South Broadway

Art

“Cristine Brache and Brad Phillips: Epithalamium
Curators Blair and Eli Hansen have organized this two-person show in their project space. Husband-and-wife artists examine the potential of marriage, in particular the manifestations of pain and coping mechanisms. AE2, 2680 South La Cienega Boulevard

Dinner

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Photo courtesy of Laurent Quenioux/Facebook

The Ominous Marriage of Cupid & Psyche
Part of the Disco Dining bacchanalian party series, this mysterious “two-night intimate feast” invites 75 hedonists to engage in a dinner/dance party featuring a five-course meal from chef Laurent Quenioux of LQ Foodings, thematic cocktail pairings from Happy Hour Agency, and caviar bumps from East Boston Oysters. The event location is a secret until tickets are purchased.

Romantic Reservations

Honestly, there are so many romantic restaurants in town that we could recommend, but they’re already booked. Check out our last-minute dining suggestions and snag a fabulous reservation while you still can.

Wine Bar

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Photo by Mark H/Yelp

Oriel
A gorgeous, sensual French wine bar and bistro in the no-man’s-land between downtown and Chinatown. Everything about Oriel is sexy, from the hot pink glow of the neon striping outside (a remnant of its former existence as a classic diner) to the Bauhaus-meets-bistro interior designed by local rising star Sally Breer. 1135 North Alameda Street

Outdoors

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Photo by Emi W/Yelp

Exposition Park Rose Garden
The seven colorful acres within Exposition Park contain an array of museums, outdoor spaces, and a rose garden with hundreds of varieties of roses nestled within the lushly green walking paths. While the nearby Coliseum swarms the garden with Trojans and Rams fans on football game days, at any other time the garden is a beautiful, reflective escape from the surrounding city. 701 State Drive

Watts Towers
A monument to eternal love, these 17 interconnected, absolutely wonderful sculptures of outsider art were crafted by Simon Rodia out of many broken ceramics and a broken, but tenacious, heart. Reservations are necessary for a full tour, which is a must-do for full effect. 1727 East 107th Street

Decidedly Unromantic

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Photo courtesy of BreakUp Bar/Facebook

BreakUp Bar
Forget the flowers, candy, and candlelight. Whether you’re hoping to engage in some major Schadenfreude, commiserate, sharpen your curmudgeonly vibes, or just looking to cut someone loose in a cute way (wait, actually, that’s not a thing), this is your spot. Valentine’s Day is the last night of this pop-up opened up by and next door to Severance Wine Bar. This is a perfect way to ignore all the annoying crap about love. Reservations are highly recommended. 7276 Melrose Avenue