WILD BEAST at Verlaine

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Matthew Hechter and Christopher Brandon announce the debut of WILD BEAST on Wednesday evening July 19, 2017.  Discretely tucked alongside the entrance of Verlaine restaurant, WILD BEAST signals a return to  fashionable Parisian salons and secluded Hollywood drinking dens. The intimate indoor space, previously a sheltering Hollywood celebrity enclave, has been re-imagined as a lush, design driven haven for the celebration of proper cocktails, light bites, music, art, and social engagement.

Hechter and Brandon tapped mixologist John Neumueller to lead the WILD BEAST spirits programs. Previously of the highly regarded bar teams at Los Angeles restaurants Tasting Kitchen and Scopa Italian Roots, Neumueller initiated his tenure with the recent debut of an all new, seasonally inspired drinks menu for Verlaine. Neumueller describes his plans for WILD BEAST as a “thoughtful, classically minded, comprehensive beverage program.” Summertime offerings will bring a core of meticulous hand crafted classic cocktails that pay homage to the history of the space, with seasonal tonics and spritzes bookended by market driven daily offerings and a carefully curated menu of quality and rare spirits. With an eye toward impeccable, detail oriented service and craftsmanship, WILD BEAST is designed to complement the flavorful simplicity of the elevated Baja street foods on offer from Verlaine Chef Diego Hernandez, a compact menu of bites that will evolve nightly with the local markets.

Look for the black door.

WILD BEAST

8715 Beverly Boulevard

West Hollywood, CA 90048

Wednesday – Sunday, 7pm until 2am

Closed Monday & Tuesday

WILD BEAST will soon begin accepting reservations.

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Photos: Carla Choy Photography

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VERLAINE BRINGS NEW LIFE AND NEW VISION TO A BELOVED LOS ANGELES DINING INSTITUTION

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Owners Matthew Hechter and Christopher Brandon (Select Hospitality & Design associates with proprietorship in Santa Monica’s Hinterland and New York City’s Hudson Clearwater restaurants) have most recently partnered with acclaimed Chef Diego Hernandez to re-envision the beloved Dominick’s Restaurant in West Hollywood, California.  Following sixty-nine years along Beverly Boulevard, the painstaking planning and design engineering of the space spanned one entire year, with a mandate to honor and preserve what came before, as well as effectively utilize the entirety of the space, much of which has never before been enjoyed by the public.  Fans of the old Dominick’s will immediately note that the entrance has been relocated from the front, indoor dining room to a side garden corridor that was previously utilized only as a service entrance.  This long, graceful entrance corridor is flanked with lush new trees and plantings, offering a nod to the past with a glimpse of the original Dominick’s neon sign that rested atop the building for decades. The corridor sweeps guests into the main bar area, a  uniquely recognizable area of the old Dominick’s, now offering a surplus of marble topped seating arrangements and ample gathering space for cocktails and small bites. The rear gardens now comprise the main dining room of Verlaine, a refreshing garden patio that celebrates the eternal sunshine of Southern California, with open skies and blooming, fragrant plants serving as the casually elegant backdrop to Los Angeles’ most anticipated new menus.  Pinstriped banquettes are arranged in the fashion of old Hollywood, with brass design points merging with black marble, brick, antique floor tiles, and emerald green plaster of paris walls, seamlessly offering a fresh, vibrant vision of Hollywood new and old. The indoor bar and dining room is reserved exclusively for private functions and events.

Hechter and Brandon have partnered with Chef Diego Hernandez to bring an altogether new vision to the Verlaine table. Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Valle de Guadalupe in Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, Hernandez has led the kitchen of the acclaimed restaurant Corazon de Tierra for six years, celebrated among the World’s 50 Best Restaurants of Latin America (#39 #LatAm50Best), a coveted award that the restaurant has enjoyed for four consecutive years. Hernandez mentored alongside esteemed Chefs Enrique Olvera at Mexico City’s acclaimed Restaurant Pujol (#5 #LatAm50Best) and Chef Guillermo Gonzalez Beristain at Monterrey’s Pangea Restaurant (#19 #LatAm50Best). With Verlaine, Chef Hernandez introduces his first restaurant home in the United States.  Hernandez plans Verlaine to speak to the philosophies of his award winning Baja dining room, offering an intensely focused celebration of California’s organic farming and fishing communities. Hernández’ motto is “organic, local, sustainable,” – his Baja restaurant grows herbs, fruits, and vegetables, producing olive oils and honey, with other ingredients supplied locally. As well, chef has established his restaurant among the most highly coveted by culinary tourists from Southern California and around the globe.  Chef has spent much of the previous year establishing these close, personal relationships throughout the farming regions of California, with a unique vision of seasonality and artistry presented on each Verlaine dinner plate.

Select Hospitality & Design was created in 2014 by partners Matthew Hechter and Christopher Brandon, the company behind Santa Monica’s Hinterland, and part of the team behind Hudson Clearwater Restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village.  In partnership with Chef Diego Hernandez, the group will debut Verlaine Restaurant in the iconic former home to Dominick’s Restaurant in West Hollywood, CA on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Additional chef focused restaurants, lifestyle and design projects are slated by the group to debut throughout Southern California in the coming months.

Chef Portrait

Verlaine

8715 Beverly Boulevard

West Hollywood, CA 90048

www.verlaine.la 

424.288.4621

Hours of Operation

Dinner service in the main dining room only

Sunday through Thursday, 6pm until 11pm

Friday & Saturday, 6pm until 2am

The Verlaine Social Media Platforms

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

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WISHING A SAFE, HAPPY AND HEALTHY HOLIDAY SEASON TO ALL !

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I welcome 2017 with one positive resolution:

Share the table more often with good friends and loved ones,

And surround myself with brilliant people of good heart and mind -

The thinkers, artists, writers, musicians, chefs, and entrepreneurs

That make our world a better place for all.

The DCPR holiday gift list this year includes

Donations in your honor

To the following  organizations:

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

ACLU

Southern Poverty Law Center

Sierra Club

Planned Parenthood

Human Rights Campaign

Lambda Legal

Wishing a safe, happy and healthy holiday season to all!

Dan Cox

COMMERSON Debuts Mid Wilshire Neighborhood Bistro & Bar

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COMMERSON RESTAURANT

ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING 

Chef Sascha Lyon Debuts Mid Wilshire Neighborhood Bistro 

(With A Slight French Accent)

After quietly enjoying a recent soft opening along a busy stretch of La Brea Avenue, just south of Wilshire Boulevard, Chef Sascha Lyon announces the grand opening of the chef’s very personal passion project, COMMERSON Restaurant on Thursday, December 15, 2016.  Each guest arriving Thursday evening will be greeted with a complimentary glass of champagne to welcome new friends, neighbors, and diners to the COMMERSON table.

A native Angeleno, Chef Sascha Lyon began his career early, working in the L’Ermitage kitchen of Chef Michel Blanchet at the young age of fourteen.  He attended the Culinary Institute of America, going on to mentor alongside Chefs Michel Richard and Alain Giraud at L.A.’s iconic Citrus Restaurant. At the recommendation of Chef Roger Verge, Lyon was hand selected to join twelve young cooks to open Chef Daniel Boulud’s four-star Restaurant Daniel, where he remained for three years. Lyon cooked in London and Miami, returning to New York City to serve as Sous Chef for the grand opening of Keith McNally’s celebrated restaurant Balthazar. McNally later named Lyon Chef de Cuisine for the opening of Pastis, the game changing Manhattan dining room where the young chef devoted the next six years. As Lyon reminisces, “It was a very special time when I was training. All of those great chefs – Blanchet, Boulud, Verge, Richard – they were all in the kitchen cooking every night, they were hands on, they were perfecting their craft and training their cooks every single day. They had yet to begin empire building, and the experience of working alongside them every service was priceless. It was a very different time, when craft, skill, and execution were demanded, and perfection was the aspiration.”  Lyon eventually departed McNally’s team in 2006 to open his own Manhattan dining room, SASCHA Restaurant and Bakery, receiving critical acclaim for years before selling his restaurant and relocating to Los Angeles. Most recently Chef Lyon debuted Delphine Brasserie at Hollywood’s W Hotel, and serving as culinary consultant on numerous projects throughout Southern California.

Named for the French botanist Philibert Commerson, a practicing physician that was among the first to circumnavigate the globe, where he studied and discovered a wide variety of botanicals, nature, and wildlife, COMMERSON presents Chef Lyon’s personal vision of cooking and dining – pristine ingredients, presented simply, and properly executed.  Lyon’s bistro menu is designed to reflect the offerings of the seasonal local markets, yet retain iconic dishes to allow locals to enjoy a sense of continuity, comfort, and familiarity. Large blackboards displayed throughout the restaurant will detail bar menu offerings and daily, market driven specials. Diners will discover new favorites and old classics, combined with the intense French training and execution that remains Chef Lyon’s hallmark, as well as one of the sole restaurants in the city to now offer dining service into the late night. As with Lyon’s mentors, he purposefully conceived the size of the dining room to enable him to remain in his kitchen cooking, every day, and every service behind the stoves alongside his culinary team.

The COMMERSON interiors were an intimate collaboration with Chef Lyon and his wife, artist and designer, Rita Lyon.  “I tried to create a restaurant space that transitions magically from morning to night, an unobtrusive, pleasant place to gather and dine, a raw space that isn’t overly designed yet somehow feels luxurious and elegant. The space naturally echoes the openness of California landscape, while quietly referencing french modernism and functionality with intimate details like the Ada sconce (inspired by Charlotte Perriand) by Brendan Ravenhill and lighting by Workstead. The floors are left concrete, the walls unembellished. The pride of place is in the integrity of furniture, lighting and menu. I chose every material, finish and fixture carefully and manipulated them so as to celebrate each one. The back bar for example is maple ply and designed in a way that highlights it’s beauty and strength. The walls are plaster of Paris, the benches built efficiently in solid ash. I worked with a wonderful craftsman to build the wood and leather benches and the back bar who has been in business in L.A. for over 60 years. Sascha’s relationships with farmers and purveyors are of the same nature and significance. We both believe strongly in collaboration, involving skilled passionate craftsman and artisans in our work.”

Lyon has surrounded himself with an impressive roster of hospitality professionals in both the front and back of house, including:

Pastry Chef Liz Sencion – Following culinary school, Sencion mentored with Chef Malika Ameen at Chateau Marmont, leading to pastry stints at the Beverly Wilshire and Four Seasons Hotels with Chef Lee Smith, The Peninsula Hotel, and Executive Pastry Chef at Hollywood’s W Hotel with Chef Sascha Lyon. Sencion prepares all of COMMERSON’s desserts from scratch, as well as the daily baking of the restaurants many breads, buns and pastry products.

Sommelier Sam Rethmeier mentored alongside Bobby Stuckey at Boulder, CO Frasca Food and Wine, L.A.’s Chi Spacca, and Santa Barbara’s Les Marchands with Eric Railsback and Brian McClintic.  “Each wine is sourced from a producer that is making their wine with the tenets of organics and biodynamics. They’re smaller producers, most revolving around several generations of winemaking skills, passed down one generation to the next. I wanted wine that doesn’t require this extended time of smelling, discovering. I want you to be able to get the glass in front of you, smell it, taste it, drink it, think ‘Oh my god, that’s delicious,’ and then go right back to your time with your friends and family. The wine shouldn’t steal the show, rather add to the beauty of the evening. I hope guests leave and only think ‘that was awesome.’”

The COMMERSON bar and spirits program is led by Judson Stone, a veteran of Steven Starr’s Parc Restaurant in Philadelphia, most recently serving as a brand ambassador for Pernod Ricard and Avion Tequila, with an expertise of the tequila distilleries of Jalisco, Mexico. Stone’s menus reflect the fresh simplicity of the restaurant, utilizing only freshly squeezed organic juices. Say Judson, “We believe that less is more…a great spirit prepared with the freshest ingredients creates the best libation experience. Our drink offerings pair perfectly with the rich flavor subtleties that can be found in chef’s cuisine.”

To celebrate Thursday’s Grand Opening of COMMERSON, Chef Lyon and his staff will welcome diners with complimentary champagne to toast the arrival of the neighborhood’s newest gathering place and dining destination.

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COMMERSON Restaurant  | 788 S. La Brea | LA, CA 90036

323.813.3000 | www.commersonrestaurant.com 

Hours of operation: Tuesday – Sunday 5pm until 1am

Reservations: www.opentable.com and 323.813.3000

Valet parking is currently available

Friday – Sunday, 5pm – 11pm, $5.00.

Two hour parking validation is offered

for complimentary garage parking,

with entrances on 8th Street and Sycamore.

 

Brunch and lunch will arrive in the coming weeks.

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Planning for Paris.

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WHAT WE’RE EATING

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North African Roasted Half Chicken

Mary’s free range, Spanish style Israeli couscous,

North African gremolata

The Briks

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WHAT WE’RE EATING

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English Peas page1image2808

w/ Blueberries, Strained Yogurt, Mint, Sweet Garlic, Granola

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WHAT WE’RE DRINKING

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A sip of something cool with Chef Keller

Bouchon, Beverly Hills

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WHAT WE’RE EATING

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Direct from my hometown,

Memphis’ own Gus’s World Famous Hot & Spicy Fried Chicken

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