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Saying It With Brunch, Bears

April 30, 1987|AURORA MACKEY

On a recent episode of "Moonlighting," one of the show's main characters mused about the age of computer dating and dial-a-companions, saying, "It no longer takes two to tango!"

But for those who haven't yet given up on the idea, there are many businesses in the Valley that help create those romantic moments.

Taste For Success, a catering store in Sherman Oaks, reports a "tremendous response" to its champagne-brunch-in-bed package. A tray filled with lox, bagels, croissants, French champagne, fruit and fresh cut flowers is delivered to the customer's door anywhere in the San Fernando Valley for $29.95.

"We get mostly anniversaries and birthdays, but there also are a lot of people who have had a late night and want to lie in bed on Saturdays and Sundays," said Brian Azouz, president and executive chef.

Phone-Order Teddy Bears

Or you can phone-order a teddy bear sporting a bouquet of balloons to be delivered from Bear Goes the Neighborhood in Granada Hills. Owner Pam Lee and manager Karen DeBiaso, who are sisters, said they have 40 kinds of bears, including a bear with a fake mink, a lady bear in lingerie, a gentleman bear called "the hunk" and a bear with a lace dress, wide-brimmed hat and shopping bag appropriately named Born-to-Shop. Prices range from $30 to $40, including delivery and balloons, for bears 13 inches to 20 inches.

Sunrise hot-air balloon rides above the Antelope Valley, complete with champagne during the flight and a champagne brunch afterward, can be arranged through L.A. Balloon Port in Quartz Hill. Non-alcoholic beverages are available upon request. The flights last about four hours, and limousine service is also available. Prices range from $85 to $150 per person.

Many gourmet take-out places in the Valley create lavish picnic baskets that rise in popularity as the weather gets warmer. For example, Gourmet Fantasies prepared many such baskets for Valentine's Day, said manager Cliff Obregon. "But now that the weather is so nice, a lot more couples are going off on picnics," he said. The store delivers the baskets free within a five-mile radius of their Toluca Lake location. Prices for luncheon baskets range between $7.50 and about $25 per person.

'Boudoir' Portraits

For individuals wishing to expose another side of themselves for a more intimate gift, a growing number of photographers offer "boudoir" portraits which start at $150 and go up to $350.

Van Nuys photographer Lori Raskin, owner of Silk Stockings, brings her makeup artist and hair stylist with her into people's homes for more comfortable, intimate portraits.

"I try to find the look that their lover loves. Some women can give you a sexpot look, and some look funny doing that," Raskin said. Many of the women she photographs, she added, have the portraits made for a number of reasons.

"I had a policewoman who dresses in a uniform all day. It's a masculine job, and she wanted to express the feminine side of her," Raskin said. "So it was as much for herself as it was for her boyfriend."

Linda Reed of North Hollywood said she contacted Chuck Grossman, a Reseda photographer whose business is exclusively in intimate portraits, to create a photograph for her fiance's birthday.

"It was a fantasy. It brought out that kittenish, seductive side that I think all women have--the side that often they're afraid to express except in privacy with their partners," Reed said. The portrait, which hangs in their bedroom, "expressed the personal side of our relationship that only I could give to him. It was a lot more personal than a tie."

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