Top 10 Unexpected First Dinner Date Restaurants

Piece of Raw Strawberry Cheesecake from Planet RAW

Your first dinner date is this Friday and you're trying your hardest to prepare for it. Of all the things you must take care of -- what to wear, how to smell, choosing the right time, and so on -- what is the most important thing to remember?

You need some interesting first date ideas! Up the stakes and make your first date more memorable with a trip to one of these exciting L.A. venues.

1. Planet RAW
Everything is completely prepared and served raw at this organic vegan restaurant...no ovens, no microwaves, no heat lamps! Suggest that your date try the faux Bacon Western Double Cheese Burger, Macho Nachos, Lasagna, or any of the yummy desserts. Planet RAW also contains an attached health food store providing biodynamic vegan wines for sipping after your meal.

2. Traktir
This isn't unexpected per se, just interesting as experiencing the cuisine of frost-bitten Russia isn't too common around sunny SoCal. Traktir offers more than potatoes and vodka (though, they do make their own flavor infused homemade vodka). Guests have commented on the delicious sour cream-dill dressing used on just about everything, the borscht, the cheese vareniki, and the harcho (lamb soup). If you want your date to know what it's like to have a traditional homemade meal in a Russian home, stop by Traktir.

8151 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Neighborhood: West Hollywood

3. The Magic Castle Restaurant
Once inside this private magic club, it's sort of like a magic theme park - with "haunted" paintings and a variety of live shows to catch featuring everything from a sleight of hand tricks to juggling, to literal disappearing acts. You do have to know someone to get in, but surprising your date with a pass could lead to a mystifying and unforgettable dining experience.

4. Velvet Margarita
Come here and you might find a velvet portrait of Elvis or Papa Smurf on the wall. Actually, the Velvet Margarita features a blue velvet-covered room and a red velvet-covered room, both with tons of goth paraphernalia on the walls. Better than dining on Mexican favorites like carne asada quesadillas and nachos in velvet rooms, they are offering 5$ premium margaritas as a recession buster. Can't beat that!

The entrance of the Velvet Margarita

5. Tokyo Delve
This place is not for the faint of heart...get ready to down saki bombs and sing Def Leppard at the karaoke bar. Known for its bumpin' atmosphere and huge hand rolls, Tokyo Delve is a very lively place to introduce your date to. Guests say its good for an exciting night out versus a quiet evening spent chatting in the corner.

6. Dar Maghreb
Watch belly dancers and eat with your hands Moroccan style! This could be a fun place for the
uninitiated and typically they have a prix fixe menu which allows for you and your date to savor several small to medium-sized courses. But eating with no utensils in a beautiful, exotic atmosphere is the biggest draw.

7. Clearman's North Woods Inn
Even if its summer and 110 degrees out, you and your date can feel like you're dining at a snowy lodge atop a mountain peak. Clearman's is a traditional American steakhouse serving Fred Flintstone size portions surrounded by the glow of Tiffany lamps and warm lodge interiors. You may hear beavers building a dam and deer running through the forest as you eat your meal.

8. Polka
Tired of the usual first date meals of pizza, Mexican, Italian, sushi, or tapas, Polka offers more eastern block cuisine to try out right here in L.A.! People come here for the yummy Polish comfort food and the interesting decor. Guests have said the decor is definitely bizarre..Christmas decorations hanging from the ceiling and the shelves year-round, plastic fish stuck on the wall, and all styles of lighting you can imagine. Enjoy some kielbasa and the campy atmosphere.

9. Wurstkuche
Ask your date if they've ever tried rabbit or rattlesnake sausage? This place isn't just for local hipsters and the trendy arts district crowd in downtown L.A. They offer up exotic sausages and lots of fine European beers on tap. Vegan and vegetarian sausages are also available. Bring your date and try the alligator sausage and the delectable Belgian pomme frites. Entrance to Wurstkuche

10. The Prince Cafe
With an atmosphere described as "old euro lush," the Prince Cafe serves a fusion of Korean and American food in a luxurious British pub-like atmosphere. Favorites include: the selection of soju, sausage bok-eum and the tong dak (fried chicken). Go for the fried chicken -- it goes well with and without the Hite beer.

3198 1/2 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Neighborhood: Koreatown

Let us know how it goes!

Images used by Flickr users LA Wad, Shira Golding, and Donna Grayson using a Creative Commons License

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