Whenever a place that I like closes for remodeling, I fear an outcome best expressed by the German word verschlimmbesserung. This magnificent pile of syllables means “an attempt to improve something that makes it worse,” and it makes clear that my concern is shared across the globe. The expression “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” expresses the same idea using only three more letters, but is less fun to say and also gets you fewer points in Scrabble.
This anxiety was why I observed the beginning of work at Darren’s with some trepidation. There were a few things that weren’t perfect, like the uncomfortable bench seating by the walls, and the place was looking a bit worn after eight years, but that didn’t seem to merit a complete overhaul. I was most concerned that they were removing the patio seating, since that was my favorite place to dine and people-watch on summer days.
The work was done quickly, and I have to admit that it was an improvement. The space was opened up to show off the beamed ceiling to create an ambiance not unlike a European farmhouse, an effect enhanced by the old tools displayed on the back wall. At first the new space had a problem with echoing sound, but some acoustic engineering has made it so that it’s one of the more sonically pleasant rooms in town. (Full Press Story)
Darren’s — born again after several months of remodeling and retooling — may be the most grown-up restaurant in downtown Manhattan Beach.
There’s a certain undeniable Neverland quality to the South Bay’s beach towns and their restaurants; this is a world where you can be young forever amid the energy, the mixology, the chow and the general wacky weirdness of the area’s hottest eateries.
But Darren’s doesn’t feel like the sort of restaurant where you show up wearing board shorts and flip-flops. I’m not suggesting tie-and-jacket — heck, there isn’t a restaurant in the South Bay where either a tie or a jacket is called for —but I figure a decent pair of khakis and maybe a nice Tommy Bahama shirt would do. A fair understanding of our cuisine circa 2014 wouldn’t hurt either. Socks are optional. But reservations are necessary. (Full Press Story)
A new, re-imagined Darren’s Restaurant reopens its doors for dining Friday night (July 11) after extensive interior and exterior renovations and a comprehensive revamping of the original menu. The popular eatery closed in late June for renovations.
The new, re-imagined Darren’s menu features a revamped menu that offers small and large plates; the remodeled interior features a centralized community table, a light and airy ambiance, and a striking floor-to-ceiling glass exterior.
The changes present diners with an experience that combines the best of California beach culture with the culinary masterpieces created by head chef and owner Darren Weiss. (Full Press Story)