Love where you live!
LA MESA -- And so, Valentine's Day -- another Holy Day of Obligation -- looms. Many men will no doubt be hearing the word uttered in conversations and then freeze with the sudden realization that nothing is planned, but much is expected.
"Every day at my house is Valentine's Day,'' you might try telling yourself. "Coffee in bed. Breakfast on Sunday's. Flowers at least once a week, more often if they wilt too soon.''
And yet, none of that alleviates the sudden guilt that will descend as you hear of bouquets being delivered to a spouse's office mate or a box of See's appearing on a co-worker's keyboard with a dinner invitation.
And so, for the procrastinators, we offer these quick La Mesa Last Minute Valentine's Day fixes:
-- Make a reservation at Haritna Mediterranean on El Cajon Boulevard. It is a charming place and Yousef, the owner and chief chef, has put together a Valentine Day's 3-course dinner that starts with champagne and ends with desserts while listening to live music. The flavored scents from the nearby hookah lounge and the Middle Eastern ambiance will make your wife look at you with new eyes. (619) 462-2722.
-- Take your loved one to discover the best little known secret dinner deal in La Mesa. Swami's, known for its breakfasts and burger/salad lunches, has quietly been developing a loyal following for its increasingly sophisticated but reasonable dinners. The Valentine's Day specials are $21.95 and include choice of steak, lamb, Alaskan crab legs or salmon stuffed with crab.
-- Bo-beau La Mesa, which has been winning nothing but rave reviews since opening in October, is doing a $49.95 prix fixed menu and has already booked itself full through 9:30 p.m. Perhaps an early movie and a late Bo-beau if you want to impress with a visit to this city's hottest spot. The three course dinner menu can be seen by clicking here.
-- And Centifonti's, just across the street from Bo-beau, is dolling up for the Big V Day too, offering a $24.99 prime rib dinner and an $18.95 Italian seafood feast. Across the street at Centifonti's sister sushi restaurant -- Konecheewah -- the master chefs will be constructing special Valentine rolls and incorporating oysters into many dishes. Oysters are said to have aphrodisiac qualities if you need that sort of thing.
-- You can also stop by at Pietro's Cucina Italiana just off Parkway Drive. Pietro reports that this is his busiest night of the year, but he doesn't jack up the prices and offers his usual great, romantic Italian fare. "Every night is Valentine's Day at Pietro's,'' Pietro says.
And then here's an idea for the truly adventurous. Cheap but perhaps winning:
Stop down at the New China Restaurant on Campo Road in Spring Valley, just east of Bancroft. Order several dishes and bring your own beverage in a thermos. Take your wife/date/significant other up to the amphitheater high atop Mt. Helix and share the food and a fortune cookie while taking in the view. But do this one before nightfall.
And, of course, next year, plan further ahead. Be resigned to the obligation. There is no escaping this.