06/02/2011 03:52 pm ET | Updated Aug 02, 2011

LA Date Night in Beverly Hills: Scarpetta, Bar Bouchon, Mastro's

Beverly Hills hasn't always been revered for its nightlife. But rather suddenly, Canon Drive is getting a bit of cross-street traffic well after 9pm. If your wallet knows no limits, meet your foolproof LA Date Night -- Beverly Hills-style.

Scarpetta: The chef's counter is just a handful of seats surrounding the immaculate working kitchen inside Scarpetta -- this is where you want to sit and have dinner. To eschew the formal dining room, you're also giving up whatever music might go along with $24 spaghetti; but what you're trading up for is the clinking of saute pans, the repetitive spooning of butter onto pink snapper, and the quieting meat-speak of a grilling Wagyu beef steak (when it quiets is when you know it's done). And of course, a view of the entire working staff of cooks -- chef Scott Conant's well-oiled Beverly Hills machine -- whipping up a seven-course tasting menu for you and your paramour. Trust that most everything will be topped with shaved truffles.
Scarpetta, 225 North Canon Drive, at Clifton Way (310-860-7970 or

Bar Bouchon: A small little park separates Scarpetta from Bar Bouchon -- the architect planned it so. A lap around this concise patch of green will prove romantic, just before you sit down to Bouchon's nephew bar facing Canon Drive. The bar itself is a sexy place to sit and sip France's finest of Bordeauxs and Burgundies, though the cafe-like seating outside is a lovely spot to enjoy a post-dinner espresso and a French drag of a cigarette. Attempt to snag a couple of signature bouchons to-go.
Bar Bouchon, 235 North Canon Drive, at Clifton Way (310-271-9910 or

Piano Lounge at Mastro's: It was a Beverly Hills local mogul that told us about the Piano Lounge, located on the second floor of the infamous steakhouse. He said, "It's very Florida." Intriguing! Rowdy, in fact, to find locals doing a jig with visitors (the beautiful pack staying at the Montage across the street). It's an approachable -- and incredibly entertaining -- level of old-money class you've just entered.
Mastro's, 246 North Canon Drive, at Clifton Way (310-888-8782 or

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