Fish takes center stage at this cozy coastal spot housed in what used to be Avenue, just a block from the beach. In a room distinguished by exposed wooden trusses, chef Darren Weiss offers Thai peanut-crusted salmon and a fully loaded paella swimming with lobster, shrimp, mussels, and Italian sausage. Elegant game courses—venison tenderloin and braised lamb shank with Moroccan couscous—round out the menu, but they’re just no match for the seafood. Start with the coconut-heavy sweet-and- spicy lobster chowder, and don’t forget the rock shrimp ravioli: soft, spongy, and filled with goat cheese. (Full Press Story)Read More
After closing for an extensive remodel, this Manhattan Beach New American reopens with a fresh, beachy vibe to compete with nearby hot spots such as MB Post, Little Sister and Fishing with Dynamite. The menu has been freshened as well, though many old faves remain. P.S. An extended patio gives a perfect view of beach people at play. (Full Press Story)Read More
Oh no! … Darren’s Restaurant in Manhattan Beach, a longtime favorite in the South Bay, will temporarily close its doors on June 30. The good news!…The restaurant will reopen July 11, completely re-imagined by chef/owner Darren Weiss.
The new Darren’s will feature a brighter, more contemporary interior designed to encourage a sense of community, with a large community table as a centerpiece and a new menu that offers small and large plates to be shared. (Full Press Story)Read More
In a similar spirit, I vividly remember the first time I had dinner at Darren’s Restaurant, a somewhat unassuming place matched by an unassuming chef, back when I was first dating a somewhat unassuming movie guy from the South Bay. At that first meal, I remember perfectly cooked fish, which—like pea soup—is harder to achieve than it may seem. True pros pay attention to details, and Chef Darren Weiss is a pro.
Recently, my movie guy husband and our consequent two kids had dinner again at Darren’s, which is also poised for big change this summer. Once again, the fish was perfect. In this case it was medium-rare salmon with a Thai-inflected sweet chili sauce and peanut crust, which when I attempt it at home always seems to turn to Jif in a jiffy. (I am not a chef; I just appreciate great ones.) (Full Press Story)Read More