Verlaine Opening (West Hollywood)

They put Monica’s email wrong on their post @CiaoBob , there’s only one R in her last name. Just lurked her on lnkedin :smiley:


I need to do some partying with these cats - they make the characters in Trainspotting seem sober.


pardon the obvious, you have clicked on the picture right? lol

Thanks, man!

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Ahhhhh, that’s the fucking ticket. No I did not. IG and I have never been on speaking terms.
Thanks, man!


Not to mention they misspelled the celebrity chef-owner’s name as well in the same post. :stuck_out_tongue:

“Please join us soon.
Christopher Brandon, Matthew Hechter &
Chef Deigo Hernandez”

People make mistakes I get it, but is it so hard to make sure you put the correct email address and spell your boss’s name right? :wink:


I did hear back from Monica - a very, very nice note and confirmation of their offer to give them a second chance.
I am looking forward to it - there is a lot of heart in the IG note.


keep us updated on the revisit…almost went tonight on a date for drinks, but hit tavern and baltaire instead :hugs:

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Decided to “take one for the team”, and try Verlaine for our first time in this post-Rodell/Instagram apology world.

We had no issues with waiting, given it was an earlier booking, and were promptly seated out in the beautiful patio area.

A server came by, took our drink orders, and described the special of the night not listed on the menu – in addition to the Sardine Taco, they also were offering Short Rib and Octopus. The fish for both the ceviche and the tostada was Hiramasa (no provenance given).

Obligatory Menu Pics

It did take more than a few minutes for our drinks to come out - maybe 15? - but we weren’t terribly bothered, as we were enjoying the atmosphere and a chat.

My wife’s Singapore Sling was nice, though not nearly as good as the ones she makes (See: PDT Recipe), and my Chartreuse Swizzel was lovely … the perfect thing for a pleasantly warm LA summer’s evening.

Of note, there still is not a single Mexican wine on the list - either in bottle or glass form - which truly is head scratching, given Hernandez’s background in the Valle de Guadalupe. C’est la vie … and we were in the mood for cocktails anyway.

We’d discussed our menu plan and were ready to order when our server came by with what I thought was a manager - nope. His “section is changing”, and she was our new server.

Odd, given the place just opened, but hey-o, let’s roll with it (for the record, both were absolutely pleasant).

Our new server asked if we had any questions, and we didn’t; time to order!

Except, wait. After ordering the half dozen grilled oysters, and then trying to order the ceviche, she asked “the hiramasa, or the octopus”.


As it turns out, we were fortunate to have this new server, as our prior one had neglected to mention all of the specials - the ceviche could be done with either the hiramasa, or octopus (the latter having different sauces, ingredients, thus an entirely different dish); the aforementioned tacos; and, I’m absolutely blanking on the last.

Regardless, we said we needed a few more minutes - fine, no problem - and then eventually ended up placing what we originally intended to order:

Half Dozen Grilled Oysters and the Hiramasa Ceviche

Soft Fried Black Beans and the Short Rib Taco

Sorrel Tamal and the Chochoyotes

So, the verdict?

We enjoyed everything, save the taco (well cooked short rib, but bland all around)

  • Sorrel Tamal: that masa is ridic. My favorite dish, and I could’ve eaten several more

  • Ceviche: really well done; better than some of the ones we had just had in two weeks traveling the Yucatán peninsula. And, if I wouldn’t have embarrassed my better half, I would absolutely have licked that Peanut & Guajillo sauce container straight clean.

  • Beans: The tortillas were a little too thick for me, but damn were they freshly made. So hot I almost burned myself. And the beans were very nice.

  • Oysters: I mean, freshly grilled oysters in a sage butter sauce? I may or may not have drank them all. Le sigh …

  • Chochoyotes: honestlly, the trotters didn’t do anything for me. I “liked” this, but didn’t love it.

  • Short Rib Taco: meh

  • Drinks: We had the Singapore Sling, Chartreuse Swizzle, and Trinidad Sour. All nicely made, and at the least, solid. Nothing AMAZING, but then nothing remotely similar to other reports of sickly sweet drinks.

  • Service: aside from the server switcheroo, and the intitially forgotten mention of the specials, we were quite happy. There are still little signs things aren’t 100% smooth, but we encountered NONE of the issues mentioned here, Yelp, by Rodell et all, or elsewhere.

“Would you go again?”

That’s the question, isn’t it? I think we settled on this: we enjoyed it, and would HAPPILY return if someone wanted to go. And we would, based on this experience, really enjoy it.

But (here it comes), when friends, colleagues, etc ask for a restaurant recommendation, this will not be on the list of “you really must go”, perhaps unless someone reeeeealllly wanted a lovely patio experience.

Fire away with any questions.

What if I was at the opening in spirit?

Verlaine was really an AMAZING experience last night.
They were 100% good to their word/offer on giving prior, unsatisfied diners a comped meal to experience the place as it was meant to be, not as it was at the start. I offered at least to pay for our drinks but they would not allow it (of course I left a tip but that was it).
From the greeting, the seating (great corner table) and the saying hello (to the new bar manager and the chef), everybody was super nice and cared about it being a top notch experience for us. And it was.

Drinks were awesome. The old fashioned with Apple Brandy and Martini were excellent
Tried a few of the Baja wines everyone raves about - but were not on the menu previously -lovely.

The food was markedly improved.
The Sorrell Tamal was fantastic.
Octopus Taco was wonderful.

The only dish was did not like much was:
Mixed Green Salad - Lavender vinaigrette, fennel seed meringue
(maybe it is just us but we find the sweetness of the meingue and the dressing to be too much for the greens).

All in all it was a great evening.
You really have to admire their honest assessment of opening issues and heartfelt offer and desire to make it up to their customers. Can’t wait to return.


A brief note, I must concur with you after dining at this establishment. It looks like they are not patronized heavily due to their rough start, but the kitchen appears to be operating at a fairly high level now, though this is only based upon a single visit from me.

I must say, as much as I disagree with Johnathan Gold about certain things, I think he was correct to wax poetic about the beans at Verlaine. I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten beans outside of Mexico that had that certain flavor and texture one finds there, infused with that certain “improbabilia” of Mexican culture somehow. Would the beans cost you a buck or two nearly anywhere in Mexico? Sure, and yet, I found myself grateful for the $11 comfort in the middle of West Hollywood, CA.

Sad, donso just shy of 1 year. Seemed like they were really trying to make this work.

it sucked, other than the drinks and a few decent bites.
Not sure why he is so lauded in Meh-hee-Ko and was so crappy here.

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You have to read between the lines bro.

They comped the second meal, so I tried to be nice and post about the “experience” (service, drinks, hospitality) without unduly praising the food, which, other than a few bites, did not rise anywhere near greatness.
Maybe I overdid it with the Can’t wait to return line – I never did


Fair enough. Mostly just did the side-by-side for the giggles.

And I was just surprised because based on your comped meal report and some others, Verlaine was on the short list of places I most wanted to go this year. So I’m a bit sad not to have tried it, but maybe sounds like it wasn’t all that + a bag of chips.

Maybe if he didnt go to WeHo his food could have been appreciated elsewhere.


Oh. I liked it. I thought some of the food was quite tasty! I think they settled into being a pretty solid restaurant in the end.

I think their faceplant opening was their downfall.
Amazing? Nah. Destination? Nah. But I had a few solid meals there.

Yes, it was quite funny!