A couple of years ago, my friend Marissa introduced me to Westlake's luxury movie theater, Cinepolis. At the time I was pregnant and sitting in a regular theater seat had become pretty unbearable. Cinepolis was a game-changer. Decked out in plush leather seating that reclines, essentially into a bed, you can enjoy all of the current movies in total relaxation. I also love that that seats are broken up into singles and doubles, so no one will encroach on your date night again! At Cinepolis, I hardly notice the other guests.

Meet friends for a cocktail or snack before the movie or just order in the theater - they serve all kinds of food, snacks and drinks (including cocktails and wine) while you enjoy your film. If you are willing to make the drive, it is a movie-watching experience that will trump all others (I still love you too, Arclight.)

Double-date night seeing Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, with our good pals Brandon and Rachelle.

Double-date night seeing Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, with our good pals Brandon and Rachelle.

Nice and roomy. Stretch out and relax. Push the service button in your center console and their friendly wait staff will appear to take your order.

A glass of cold white wine appears as we watch previews. Pssst! There's a Sprinkles Cupcakes and Ice Cream next door. I got me some to-go for the perfect movie-watching treat. But don't tell them I told you that! ;) xx

Cinepolis is located at:

180 Promenade Way, Westlake, CA, 91362

Check their website for other Southern California locations.



Since ice cream is my favorite food (Sis and I are lobbying to make it an official Food Group), I figured I should come up with a special Valentine's dessert, using it in all its glory. The dark chocolate ice cream and raspberry sauce combination was inspired by an Italian dessert, called a Tartufo, that our dad loved when we were growing up. There's a little bit of wait time between steps but there are only a few ingredients. You can (and should) make all of the components ahead of time and throw it together when you and your Valentine are ready for a sweet treat!


1 Pint Good Quality Chocolate Ice Cream

1 & 1/2 Bars Dark Chocolate, Medium-Finely Chopped

One 10 oz. Bag Frozen Raspberries (plus extra fresh raspberries, optional) 

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1/4 Cup Water

1 Teaspoon Arrowroot Powder, Tapioca Starch or Corn Starch

Pinch of Salt

Let ice cream sit out so that it softens JUST A LITTLE BIT. Scoop ice cream into approximately 2 & 1/2 inch-sized balls. You should have four evenly sized scoops from one pint. Place each scoop on a plate covered in parchment paper. Return to the freezer immediately and let them re-freeze until hard (this could be 2 hours or more; overnight is fine too).

Now make the raspberry sauce. Place frozen raspberries, lemon juice, water, starch or your choosing and salt in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once it starts to simmer, lower heat. Cook and smash with a wooden spoon until fruit is completely broken down. Remove from heat and push through a mesh sieve or strainer. Once the sauce has cooled, store in an airtight jar or container and refrigerate until serving. Can be made up to three days ahead.

Hand chop chocolate into small pieces.

Remove Ice cream balls from the freezer. If you refroze them overnight, let them soften ever so slightly, for 1-2 minutes. Roll each ball in the chocolate pieces, pressing the pieces into the ice cream as you roll, until the entire ball is covered in chocolate. Once all of the balls are covered, place them back on the parchment paper plate and return to the freezer until it's time to serve.

When you are ready to serve, place the ice cream in a dish (you and your valentine can share a sweetheart bowl... or if you are like me, you might not want to share at all!) and pour the raspberry sauce on top. I like to add fresh raspberries to finish it off!