The two rules every ace date spot abides by

Because every Angeleno loves to eat, even if he has to valet, we bring you Table Stakes: a series that answers man’s eternally recurring question (“Uh, what’s new?”), and recurs once every lunar cycle or so. Bon appétit.

The ideal first date spot can be described as follows:

Good drinks, dinner optional.

Vibes off? One drink, “check please,” cordial sayonara.

Vibes on? Parlay that drink into dinner.

Consider Hatchet Hall your new go-to for such encounters.

Meet your date on the bar on the side, and — if things go well — transition to a table in the main room. If it’s a no-go, wish her well, hit the main bar, and keep your lids peeled: many a pretty bird were in attendance when we visited.

It’s one fifth of this month’s Table Stakes, the five restaurants you need on your radar this month.

Also in there:

  • Southern-style pulled pork tacos

  • A pan-Asian spot doing brick-cooked chicken with grilled peaches

  • And a smartly appointed sushi joint worth hopping the hill for

Get spiffy and get out there.

And the Best Restaurant in L.A. Is…
The Ultimate Foodie Date