The made-up holiday insanity of Valentine’s Day has scarred singles with the presumption that V-day equates to eating out of a tub of ice cream in bed while wallowing in memories of past lovers. But it’s time to demystify the negative stigma attached to fellow singles, and instead acknowledge those who have found solace in solitude — The singles that don’t want to mingle. So for those who openly embrace their contemporary independence, we’ve curated a list of ten places to bask in the glory of singledom, from LA to OC. Places where libertine’s can celebrate their solitude and be shamelessly selfish by treating none other but themselves.
IRON PRESS | ANAHEIM, CA
Let your guilty pleasure run wild at the Anaheim Packing House’s The Iron Press with waffle sandwich treats and craft brews at their My Boozy Valentine Tap Takeover event on February 10th. Think Anti-Valentine’s Day tribute, but better because all the beer on this roster will be bigger and boozier! Feel your heart race as you slowly succumb to the calling of an Are You Cereal — a waffle drenched in cap’n crunch, drizzled in condensed milk, and dripping in vanilla ice cream. Reach for a barrel-aged brew from their specially selected beer lineup before the feeling of attraction makes you pant. Now go ahead, indulge in a shameful pleasure at Iron Press this Valentine’s, we promise you won’t regret it.
KIYOMIZU | DTSA
Conversation and direct interaction isn’t only reserved for couples on V-day, especially for those who understand that less is always more. Kiyomizu is a standing sushi bar with an eco-friendly minimalist design for folks that appreciate taste more than atmosphere. The true beauty of Kiyomizu lies within the experience. Watch as chefs gracefully construct hand-rolled delicacies in plain view, and strangers turned to neighbors yell “KANPAI” while they cheers their Junmai Daiginjo sake. The simplicity of the room is complimented with the simplicity of their hand rolls — one being their artfully crafted Scallop Roll. Intimacy is in the air this Valentine’s Day, but in this case, it’s amongst a room a strangers at Kiyomizu.
HATCH | TUSTIN, CA
Trade in your chocolate and flowers for burgers and beer at Hatch. This mid-century themed ultra mod hang out spot has a selection of 20 craft brews guaranteed to wash away the taste of love that’s permeating the air. Get your dose of caramelized chocolate with the Modern Times Sleepless City ale and pair it with a Soft Shell Crab slider that is nothing short of amazing — I’m talking about pure taste bud transcendence. And if you’re looking for a stronger kick, take full advantage of their world-wide rum selection, or dive into a tropical Tiki cocktail paradise. The choice is yours.
BLUEWHALE | DTLA
Who needs the Valentine’s Day blues when you got jazz? Bluewhale, a live jazz club, art gallery and bar located in Little Tokyo, is for those who find comfort in music rather than company. Upon entry, the hidden gem is split into two rooms — the bar and the performance space. With unconventional seating on ottoman stools and a ceiling laced in Rumi quotes, Bluewhale offers a sophisticated yet easy going experience. The menu consists of unique blends of strong drinks, like the jalapeno infused tequila concoction — El Guapo, and finger foods, such as the Kimchee Dog, to please your appetite. Jazz aficionado or not, Bluewhale’s acoustics will give birth to a newfound love, trust us.
BOSSCAT KITCHEN & LIBATIONS | NEWPORT BEACH, CA
Bosscat — a lively, rustic gastropub, specializes in good ol’ comfort food, making it a go-to spot for Southern home-cooked meal enthusiasts. No date? No problem — Indulge in shamelessly eating their 12 Hour Beef Short Rib entree that will leave you licking your fingers clean. Besides, the outside DJ will throw it back and spin old tunes throughout your stay, feeding you additional energy until next thing you know, you’re ordering a Papi Chulo cocktail.
PLAYGROUND DTSA | DTSA
Look, we know you’re single because you know what you want, but Playground is a restaurant that has everything you didn’t even know you needed. Boasting a precocious menu that evolves daily, Playground is the epitome of what it means to be dynamic. The buoyant environment was made for foodies seeking to venture out of their comfort zones. Although there are no substitutions or modifications, a worthy staple item for starters is the thick-cut Maple Glazed Pork Chop, and because it’s Valentine’s Day, we recommend trying out a frisky cocktail, 50 Shades of Chai. Take a risk — leave your doubts at home and submerge yourself to an adventurous gourmet experience at Playground.
CASA | COSTA MESA, CA
Treat yo’ self to a night of live music and merry-making. With no reservation or dress code, Casa welcomes all to enjoy its contemporary vintage interior while sipping on hand-crafted libations. Casa is a dim, intimate, chic space with a modern speakeasy twist; A home to mixologists who compose aesthetically pleasing, creatively mixed delicious drinks that will take away your breath and never give it back — hello, love at first sight! Among some of their extraordinary cocktails is the Oaxacan-inspired, gusano garnished La Inconforme — the nonconformist, and the aromatic fruit-infused Hello Euphoria.
NOVACANE SPORTS BAR & GRILL | LOS ANGELES, CA
If your aura screams independence and your favorite line to hit someone with on Valentine’s Day is, “No I don’t like you, I just thought you were cool enough to kick it,” then make your way over to the Frank Ocean-inspired sports bar and grill, Novacane. Tucked away in an industrial area, Novacane truly is a diamond in the rough. With a large outdoor mural that makes for great photo-ops and an interior embossed in urban pop art, Novacane has brought a hip, adaptable atmosphere to Huntington Park. Not to mention the Frank Ocean themed cocktails such as Rich Kids — a refreshing blend of apples, lime and a hint of mint — can be perfectly paired with their vegan barbacoa tacos or, if you’re a lover of all things protein, your choice of meat. Novacane for the Valentine’s Day pain, baby.
PIZZERIA LA PICCOLA | THOUSAND OAKS, CA
What better way to rejoice in your singleness than with pizza, beer and a movie. Pizzeria La Piccola is a two-leveled, brick-walled artisanal pizzeria filled with candle-lit tables, creating a cozy, casual ambiance. Why Netflix and chill alone when you can catch a movie screening every Tuesday and Wednesday at Pizzeria La Piccola while munching away at a Four Seasons pizza slice? If the warm setting swallows you back into your Valentine’s Day feels, hop on over to the Golden Gopher next door and enjoy the laid back 1900’s feel of the historic bar. Order an Allagash White — a witbier with a citric backbone — and disappear into a dark corner as you wait for your pizza slice to make its way over. Yes, you heard that right — Pizzeria Piccola lets you order straight from the Golden Gopher. So start with the slice or start with the beer, either way it’s a win-win Valentine’s Day.