Inside a decidedly iconic West Hollywood space you’ll find chef Diego Hernandez, a Latin America World’s 50 Best winner for his Baja, Mexico restaurant Corazon de Tierra and a leader in the modern Mexican cooking movement. The highly sought-after chef is putting down some firm roots at the former long-running Dominick’s space with his next ambitious project, Verlaine, and in doing so hopes to engage a wider audience in what it means to cook, eat, and be Mexican.
Hernandez opens Verlaine tomorrow as a casual hideaway with a forward-thinking full bar and plenty of outdoor seating, but don’t be fooled by the easygoing look of the space: Hernandez is here to make waves. His Valle de Guadalupe restaurant relies heavily on the produce from nearby growers (including the restaurant’s own gardens) and seafood from less than 50 miles away — a tactic he’s hoping to replicate with the new Verlaine, if at all possible. The menu will lean seasonal, and the cooking is sure to be inspired.
As for the space, Verlaine is a breath of fresh air. The open-topped evening option certainly isn’t afraid of a little rain, opting for some heaters, plenty of cozy brick and bright green foliage, and the stars above. Chic, summery booths make for the majority of the seating, while a dual-sided bar keeps the party going all night long. This is patio dining at its finest, with a suitable chef to match the mood.
Verlaine is a partnership between Hernandez and Select Hospitality and Design, the folks behind Hinterland in Santa Monica. The restaurant opens for drinks and dinner tomorrow night, keeping evening hours from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday for now. Sunday dinner and weekend brunch will kick off down the line.
8715 Beverly Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA