Here in LA we are blessed with fantastic restaurants on every block. It seems there’s always a new “must-try” spot opening nearby, and when it comes time to pick a dinner destination, it’s almost overwhelming. I recently visited a few new restaurants in LA that you should certainly put on the top of your list, as well as an old favorite that I always love visiting. Next time you ask yourself “where should we eat tonight?” consider one of these three restaurants in West Hollywood. All three are delicious with great decor (and long wine lists!). Let me know when you give one of them a try!
Verlaine comes from renowned chef Diego Hernández, whose restaurant Corazón de Tierra in Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe is hugely popular, and is ranked No. 39 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants of Latin America. He’s following the recent LA trend of “modern Mexican restaurants,” AKA no wet burritos and gallon-sized margaritas.
Verlaine’s food is complex and unique. Fresh ceviche is served on homemade tostadas and a red “matcha” sauce made from fried guajillo chilies and scorched peanuts. Ingredients are sourced locally, or from Mexico, such as the heirloom corn used in the masa.
Even the cocktails feature produce-driven recipes and wine from the popular Valle de Guadalupe in Mexico. Enjoy a seat on the gorgeous outdoor patio at this new restaurant before it’s impossible to make a reservation.
If you love spaghetti, you can’t miss The Ponte. The former spot of Terrine, a new chef has come in to revitalize this menu of Italian classics. Of course, there’s the spaghetti pomodoro, the dish for which the chef is most famous. It’s a thing of simple beauty, a swirling pile of al dente noodles and bright red sauce. When you’re craving something simple and delicious, this is your order. Or, if you want to go a little more adventurous, the creamy polenta or dainty agnolotti is decadent and elegant for a special occasion.
The outdoor patio is an oasis to enjoy their expansive Italian wine list and a bowl of pasta under the stars. You might not think of LA as an Italian food hotspot, but the Ponte is giving sushi and kale a run for its money.
Sometimes, you don’t want to go somewhere trendy and full of Instagrammers. That’s when you go to Cafe D’Etoile. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to France, enjoying a warm evening of wine and people watching on the sidewalk. The servers feel like old friends, the ambiance is romantic, and the food is delicious.
Order a plate of well-seasoned comfort food, like a rack of lamb, risotto, and warm duck breast salad. Finish your meal with the chocolate molten lava cake, a dream come true for a chocoholic.
Grab your friends and cozy-up at an outdoor table for a leisurely evening of good food, good wine, and great company. This is my little corner of West Hollywood, enjoy it but please don’t tell everybody else about it.