Date No. 1 went well and now you're ready to up the ante. The following spots should help.
The room is small and chic, but we're especially fond of the semiprivate alcoves. (Request one when you make a reservation.) Chef Andre Guerrero turns out highly flavorful Cal-Asian fare, along with Filipino staples as lumpia: crispy shrimp and pork spring rolls with a spicy dipping sauce. Finish with a beguiling pumpkin panna cotta.
* Appetizers, $6.50 to $16.50; entrees, $16.95 to $26. 13355 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; (818) 784-2915.
It's impossible not to be in good spirits at this charming bistro. Meals begin with complimentary jars of tart cornichons and good oily black olives. Then share an order of tiny golden fried rainbow fish with lemon wedges and house-made tartare sauce or a big bowl of garlicky mussels.
* First courses, $7 to $12.50; entrees, $14.50 to $25. 8009 Beverly Blvd., L.A.; (323) 655-8895.
The dining room is warm and cozy, with rich persimmon-colored walls. Occasionally the volume does seem to crescendo. But that's all the more reason to get close. What to eat? Expertly cooked cocktail shrimp paired with deviled eggs. Next try the fine short ribs. And share an order of fries served with a spunky jalapeno ketchup.