Up to Date: an After-Dark Guide to Hollywood, Los Angeles

Griffith Observatory has long been a popular spot where couples go to crank up the romance
Griffith Observatory has long been a popular spot where couples go to crank up the romance | © Stoycho Stoychev / Alamy Stock Photo

Century-old cinemas, burlesque shows and restaurants that have starred in movies provide a romantic roll call for a cast of courting couples in LA’s dating hotspot.

While most of the big studios have moved on, and you’re not likely to bump into as many movie stars these days, few places still conjure up an image of glitz and glamour like Hollywood. But like Los Angeles as a whole, it’ll come as little surprise that the dating scene in Tinseltown can be tricky to navigate. So whether it’s an app-enabled first meeting or you’re a few stages along, read on for where to go for the perfect Hollywood date.

1. The Dresden

Restaurant, American

The Dresden
Courtesy of The Dresden
Stepping into the Dresden, don’t be surprised if you feel a twinge of familiarity – it’s been featured in numerous movies and TV shows, from Swingers (1996) to What Women Want (2000). And it’s easy to see why. The wonderfully atmospheric cocktail lounge is a perfect slice of vintage Hollywood and a top spot to start or end a date. In between, you can shimmy into a white booth in their dining room and speculate about which of the hundreds of celebs who’ve visited might have sat right where you are.

2. La Descarga

Nightclub, American, Pub Grub

Artfully recreating the thrill of a 1920s speakeasy, access to La Descarga is up some stairs and through a hidden wardrobe. Once inside, you’re immediately transported to a Cuban Prohibition-era bar, complete with carved wood paneling, a wrought-iron balcony and a phenomenal choice of rums. Regular live music and burlesque shows turn up the heat, plus dancing with your date is always an option. There’s a dress code, so you’ve got a good excuse to pull out your best threads.

4. La Poubelle

Bistro, French

As authentic a slice of Parisian gastronomy as you’ll find in LA, this Hollywood fixture has been delivering oh-la-la to romancing couples since the sixties. From coq au vin to escargots, this cozy French bistro serves all the classics, plus other dishes from around the Mediterranean. It’s all chunky wood tables and vintage posters inside, while sidewalk seating adds to the European cafe-culture feel. If you want to impress your date with your knowledge of French, La Poubelle means “the trash can.” Romantic, non?

5. Vista Theatre


Vista Theater, Hollywood California
© David George / Alamy Stock Photo
Another iconic piece of Hollywood history, this single-screen movie theater has stood on the same spot for almost a century. From its neon-illuminated art deco frontage to sumptuous Egyptian film-set-style interiors, a date here is to be transformed back to the times of the Silver Screen. They show everything from art-house flicks to the latest blockbusters, with late-night screenings perfect for a post-dinner-date experience.

6. Gigi’s

Restaurant, French

Gigi’s restaurant
Courtesy of Gigi's

Swanky without being snooty, Gigi’s quickly established itself as one of the hottest restaurants in town – with its instant star-quality attracting some “hey, isn’t that…” clientele. It’s loosely French, but the tightly produced menu meanders between seafood towers and shrimp cocktails to whole roasted bass and steak tartare. Velvet booths and banquettes provide comfort where it counts, while cocktails are just the right side of experimental.

7. Dream Hollywood

Boutique Hotel

Dream Hollywood
© Dream Hollywood

Set just south of Hollywood Boulevard, this uber-swish hotel is part of a complex that includes a range of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Its party-focused vibe feels like a microcosm of 21st-century LA nightlife and is a popular haunt with the see-and-be-seen crowd. From its lofty rooftop pool to its numerous nightspot options, you might struggle to find a reason to leave. Rooms, too, are neutral havens of calm, with floor-to-ceiling views over the city – and the iconic Hollywood sign, if you’re lucky.

8. The Hollywood Roosevelt

Boutique Hotel, Hotel, Luxury

Roosevelt Hotel - Hollywood
© David George / Alamy Stock Photo

If you’d rather stay in a genuine piece of Hollywood history, the Roosevelt is the place to come. It’s set right on the Walk of Fame, so its location could hardly feel more Hollywood. In its heyday, it was the place where movie legends and their entourages would party. Today, it still attracts a mix of movers, shakers and hopeful next-in-liners, though without losing its whiff of romantic old-school glamour.

Find out more and start planning your trip now by visiting discoverlosangeles.com

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article