Darren's Restaurant & Bar
Darren's Restaurant & Bar

Darren's Restaurant & Bar

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.darrensrestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 3108021973
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm; Closed Sundays
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian
  • Executive Chef: Darren Weiss
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Wine
  • Catering: Private Parties and Off-site catering are available. Contact Bart Thompson for details.
  • Private Party Facilities: Private party booking is available.
  • Private Party Contact: Bart Thompson 3106869069

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Manhattan Beach Blvd
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Valet available Thurs, Fri, Sat
A word from Darren's Restaurant & Bar
Inspired cooking presented by friendly, attentive servers rewards dedicated foodies and wine aficionados at this beautifully designed, comfortable space located in the heart of charming Manhattan Beach, just steps away from famous picturesgue Manhattan Beach pier. Executive Chef and owner, Darren Weiss, classically trained graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and finest restaurants and hotels, uses the finest ingredients, mainly locally grown and organic. Our knowledge staff proudly serves an award-winning, extensive wine list selected from reowned and boutique wineries. In addition, our full service bar offers popular brand name and craft beers and some of the most creative and exciting cocktails in L.A. County, created by Manager Bart Thompson and his staff.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
Darren's Restaurant & Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
64 reviews since June 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelEnergetic
80% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (44)neighborhood gem (41)notable wine list (25)special occasion (21)vibrant bar scene (19)hot spot (15)good for groups (13)romantic (13)late-night find (4)great for outdoor dining (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Love Darren's
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Always loved Darren and his staff. They have redone the restaurant and the menu and now has more of a small plates fun vibe as well as fantastic food. Can't wait to go back to try more menu items!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, very noisy
    JessVIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Most of the food we ordered was pretty good, but not great. The other reviews were right about the noise. I had to move from across the table and sit beside my wife so we could hear each other. It would be great for group of friends but not an intimate dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lovely Vegetable Dishes to Share
    harlemo25
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    The menu had a great variety of dishes and everything was delicious. The bruschetta was the best we ever had! The cheese rolls were excellent, too; so was the pear salad, broccolini with garlic, kale lollipops, and black rice! and the dessert brownie was divine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food
    ajayVIP
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Pork chop was great… the shrimp ravioli was too rich. I made a mistake and ordered the wrong drink and they took it back and had a very positive attitude about it. I thought it was a bit over priced for what you get, but that is somewhat normal for manhattan beach.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Loved the ambiance and the service. All of the food was great, except for the salmon entree which was a bit mushy. Would definitely go back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent and interestng
    YummyVIP
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Really excellent menu with interesting and delicious choices!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A visit to Darren's after remodel
    luveditVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    New much bigger menu with a lot of nice items for sharing. Also much roomier since the expansion and addition of community tables is nice. Really enjoyed the Risotto and the new salads.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • New Decor Awesome
    JimcaltiusVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The "new" Darrens is excellent and fun! Food as always was great and service as good as always! Just quiet it down a wee bit :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love Darren's
    LivluvsavorVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Dine here frequently and have brought numerous friends! Everyone says it is their favorite MB spot for great food and atmosphere!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • pierref
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Not a comfortable place to dine, menu just ok, noise unbearable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not a review.
    ExBOH
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    I'd hate to come off as a pretentious foodie with an opinion greater than all... But a few pointers from my side might be of use to this FOH team. Never tell a patron you've had a rough night. Never. You've merely visited our table twice. Are we the cause of your rough night? Did we take too long to order? Did we manipulate the order to oblivion? No. Also, When were waiting for a check... We don't want to see you sitting two tables from us, Drinking wine and eating, sending in ur coworker to bring out check. You know who had the rough night? BOH. That handle of a team, pushing nightly with merely a oui chef in return.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    I had high hopes with the vibrant dining scene and delicious sounding menu. Unfortunately my friends prok chop was over cooked and my husbands steak was under cooked. Both had to be sent back but we had to wait 30 minutes for thier return, In the meantime my friend and I had finshed our entree's before the return of the dishes. I was really let down. Not to mention the sprinkle of condensation from the airconditioning all night long. The food redeemed itself once it arrived, but I will not go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • successful makeover
    fdlvrVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Like the new decor...more open and modern tho' very noisy...expanded menu is more eclectic; more variety of choices from small plates to larger....taste and quality still excellent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The noise level is painfully unacceptable. Cannot carry on a conversation with friends, so what is the point in going out to a restaurant? Saw nothing on the menu that appealed. Sorry, but probably will not return until noise is lowered and menu is more diverse.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A great spot
    DaveHVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Comfortable environment, great service and outstanding food. Everything was flavorful, tasteful and satisfying. The new layout adds a lot to the overall experience. This will certainly be a favorite for us. So go forth and enjoy Darren's.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OUTSTANDING EXPERIENCE!!!
    DonnaMarie
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    We highly recommend this restaurant. The salmon, short rib and seafood pasta dish were superb! Darren is always visible and takes great pride in his fine restaurant. They recently opened the ceiling and expanded the restaurant to accommodate larger parties. GO THERE....you will be delighted!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Margaret
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    We are fans of Darren's and recently dined there following the revamp of their dining room and menu. The food is excellent and the service friendly, helpful and attentive. The new menu includes small plates and a greater variety of entrees than many restaurants seem to offer. There are always interesting choices and pairings to be had, and nice twists to familiar favorites. The atmosphere is convivial and fun, but you can actually have a conversation without shouting. Also, Darren is always there - he is quick to stop by and check on your meal or offer a comment or suggestion. I once ordered, "Bring me whatever the chef thinks is best tonight" - app, entree and dessert - and had an incredible meal. There's just a good vibe here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Enjoyable Upscale
    JaxChester
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I was there for my birthday on a Thursday night. They had just finishing their remodel so it looked larger than when I was last, which had an intimate appeal. Although it is now larger, it now has a little crowded look in the area where they remodeled. Also, I did not really appreciate the noise level that night. It may have been the customers around me, but I think the management may well intend it to have a bar like atmosphere. The food was delicious and there were changes to it since I last ate there. However the scallops were a bit too salty, as it was the last time. Overall, I like this place and I will return on a night hopefully not so noisy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    We enjoyed the 'new' Darren's. Several menu items we would like to try on a future visit. Very generous cocktails.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mixed review
    Hbchgrl
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The salmon was fabulous but we were disappointed in other choices. The seared ahi had some type of fat or something running down the middle, making it impossible to cut. We had high expectations for the Mac and cheese but it was lacking in cheese flavor. Very bland. I've been before and enjoyed it. It was also extremely loud because it was crowded - they could use something for acoustics.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Place In Manhattan Beach
    ChudReview
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    First impression of Darren's. Hostess meets you outside the door on Manhattan Avenue. A very modest intro to an extraordinary culinary experience in a low key yet stylish setting. The first impression is the mixed aroma of the food. Service was attentive without hovering. Our waiter really knew the menu and wasn't shy about sharing his opinions ("you gotta try the lollipop kale"). Salads are amazing. Making choices from the entrée menu is hard, so the small plate option is welcome. Had the duck confit - perfection. Kobe sliders, hangar steak, seafood orzo -- all came with subtle flavorful preparations without the overpowering sauces of a lot of fusion places. Oh, and the lollipop kale was delightful.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • WAY TOO LOUD
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    WAY TOO LOUD. The food was good. Because i need to write a review o 50 characters or more, did i mention that it was WAY TOO LOUD?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Friendly
    Diner
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Great food and great service. The owner, waitress and bartender were all really friendly and gave us excellent service!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What ????
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Found myself having to say that a lot in the extremely noisy space! Bummer, wasnt that way before the remodel! And it was so warm...why didnt they make the new windows moveable??? That doesnt make sense to me.... We'll go back, but we'll only sit at the bar.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wanted the food to be better
    myorryVIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Everything we ordered was executed appropriately and nothing was horrible but the food lacked flavor. The Jidori chicken should have come with a more flavorful sauce, instead it had a bland aioli. The cheese bread was okay, just a dinner roll with cheese melted on top, nothing amazing. The Hamachi was the best dish we had of the evening and even that was just a 7 on a scale of 10. I'm not sure why they call it a Kale "lollypop", it was just some sautéed Kale, not very exciting. Overall, nothing to really complain about but would definitely not go back for the food.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice find
    BethyZVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    I was in town on business and was looking for someplace away from my LAX hotel to eat. I went on Open Table & saw Darren's. Couldn't have made a better choice! It was easy to find, in a great location & the food was delicious!! Every choice on the well curated menu sounded wonderful. I selected the scallops & a Caesar Salad. The salad presentation was a new take on a classic w/ a unique & flavorful dressing. The scallops were perfectly cooked & served w/ a wonderfully creamy porcini risotto & deliciously seasoned braised leeks. The service was lovely & the atmosphere cozy & comfortable. I will definitely be recommending Darren's to my LA friends & returning again on my next visit!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love the food and service!
    JimcaltiusVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    New retro looks really good though noise is an issue. Need to figure that out somehow as we will consider alternatives on a crowded night. Would also have windows you could open on the street side as it felt stuffy and somewhat confined against the windows.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Updated restaurant & menu
    Lesliehaney
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Just reopened and terrific. Tapas styled menu now. Some of the old greats still on the menu. Old patio enclosed with a communal table. As with tapas menus, your bill grows large quickly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Best restaurant in the south bay. Best food and service.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding redo
    larznikVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Went to Darren's for the opening night after the recent "redo." The "New Darren's" sports a more open floor plan and a refreshed menu with many of the old favorites repackaged into smaller sharable plated. The New Darren's is a better version of the old.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful local restaurant
    DiningDocsVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Top notch food and service always await at Darren's. We are proud of this local chef! Our sole complaint is the high mark ups on wine. Even by L.A. standards the mark ups are steep.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Too expensive for the quality
    Barbasharku
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    In as few a words as possible so-so. The steak was great everything else was lacking. We had 3 appetizers and 3 desserts.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 32 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 386 reviews are from the Darren's Restaurant & Bar reviews archive.
  • Darren's is great
    JayfromHermosaVIP
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    Had the rock shrimp ravioli and the crispy quail. Both were excellent! Bottle of half price Cakebread Chardonnay which is the Monday special. While the patio is under construction the restaurant itself is working great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dissappointed
    sammiecakes
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    We chose this restaurant as our high end dinner on Fri evening and were disappointed on a few fronts. We sat on the patio which was nice and quiet but the way the table was situated all three of us were sitting in a row which made it hard for conservation. The food was ok for the price, nothing to write home about. The service was absolutely terrible. The server was rude and when delivering drinks dropped them on the table and had some of my drink spilled into a $25 appy we have just gotten! I am usually pretty easy going when it comes to busy restaurants etc but when you look at the overall experience compared to the cost of the food and the way the server treated us, its pathetic... Chose another restaurant if you can.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Worth the splurge!
    Brecky
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Great menu choices. From apps to dessert, you can't miss! My halibut melted in my mouth and my boyfriend's bone in filet (yes, bone in filet -- quite unique) was to die for. Both of our meals were the specials but the reg menu had great choices too. An added bonus is no corkage when you bring in wine from Friends of the Vine and a two other local places. Our waiter also helped make our dining experience enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another Amazing meal at Darren's!!
    jonathanVIP
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    Bart welcomed my wife and I, Jonathan the bartender cam and said hello...food was amazing...we love Darren's...hands down our favorite dining experience in the South Bay! Cheers!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful dinner!
    Corisha
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    I took my husband here for his birthday. He wanted fish. He had the Shetland Salmon. Let me tell you, my husband is a salmon snobe! He took one bite and closed his eyes in shear happiness! Everything was outstanding. I had the Chilean Sea Bass. Huge portion. I can never finish a meal, but not this time...I had to stay as long as it took to eat the whole thing. The presentation was also outstanding. The flavors were so vibrant. Each spice complemented the other. The salad was to die for! Beautiful ambience Highly recommend. My husband ordered a drink that he wasn't very happy with, they took it back immediately and made a recommendation that was spot on! It was a wonderful birthday dinner!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Darren's still great!
    JayfromHermosaVIP
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    Tuesday Prix Fixe special was great! Wonderful service and menu. Great salads and apps as well.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lived up to its reputation
    LADineVIP
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    This was the first visit to Darren's after receiving a recommendation from a work friend. The chowder was unbelievable and the salmon was superb. Jessica was our server and she was really wonderful - cool, comfortable and smiling! I would say the people at Darren's just get it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • sorta disappointed
    ParskiVIP
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    I live in MB and was taking a client and her husband out to dinner. Trying to decide where was a challenge... There are lots of great restaurants in town. I didn't want to go too trendy or loud. I just wanted great food. So I chose Darren's. Entrees can easily get in to the 30's and 40's. My husband had halibut (the special of the evening). It wasn't until the next day he said how disappointed he was - it was overcooked. The next day, my client mentioned that his halibut was also dry. (The wife had the scallops and she said they were awesome.) They said felt bad for me because they could see the menu prices…. We ordered 2 glasses of wine and 2 cocktails. The bill was 350.00. Sorta disappointed and won't be racing to go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic