Irvine Spectrum Center
Lush Habana presents its pan-Latin menu amid sultry palazzo-like surroundings with vintage wrought-iron tables and a 1-ton chandelier. Valentine’s specials, served Feb. 10-14, include a pan-roasted tiger-prawns-and-calamari black risotto, a wagyu rib-eye “de corazon” for two, a grilled Caribbean lobster tail and a heart-shaped red velvet cake for two. Kick-start the evening with a Passion de Cuba cocktail or Al Centro, Pa’ Dentro, served in a coconut.
Brazilian steakhouse Agora Churrascaria sets the stage for amor, offering Roederer Estate Brut Rosé to start and a procession of skewer-roasted meats sliced tableside to individual preference by servers in traditional gaucho attire. Sixteen cuts include the coveted picanha (top sirloin cap) and succulent corazon – chicken hearts, a Brazilian favorite; the fried-bananas side is a must. Share a soul-stirring flan and chocolate- covered strawberry to finish.
CHA CHA’S LATIN KITCHEN
The Market Place
Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen presents its Valentine’s Day specials in a strikingly designed indoor-outdoor dining room accented with Latin tapestries. Choose among entrees such as lobster tacos with heirloom pico de gallo, guajillo-braised short rib quesadilla with jalapeño crema, and carne asada chimichurri. Spice up the evening with a blackberry-serrano daiquiri or mango-habanero margarita; conclude with the transporting tres leches cake.
– Benjamin Epstein