The magic of lighting—it sets the mood, makes colors pop and casts a lovely glow upon the person by your side. Here, three shining examples of light done right.
1. Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
This alfresco dining spot takes a turn toward the romantic at sundown, when the cottage-chic chandeliers lining the rustic patio envelop diners (as well as the lush surrounds of Roger’s Gardens) in a soft incandescence. It’s a lovely beginning to an evening you won’t want to end. 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road, Corona del Mar, 949.640.1415
Cuba—the island nation conjures images of salsa dancing in the streets, food that’s packed with as much flavor as the people are with passion and fruity cocktails made with the finest rum. (Mojito a la Habana? Yes, please!) Habana at Irvine Spectrum captures all of that. Step inside this Cuban-inspired manse and you’ll think you’ve taken that short flight from Florida to Havana. The interior is classic (like Cuba’s cars) and features a dramatic chandelier that, in its design, pays homage to palm trees, pineapples and all things tropical. 708 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, 949.419.0100
3. Selanne Steak Tavern
Oh, the eye candy in this place—it’s as tantalizing as the food and wine. Each dining space is illuminated with a light fixture sporting a style all its own. But the patio lanterns are the most captivating, casting a lacy pattern that dances off the walls and ceiling. Score! 1464 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, 949.715.9881