Deaf Owned and Operated: Darren’s Restaurant

Darren's RestaurantIf you are searching for a comfortable, fine dining restaurant in Manhattan Beach, California, look no further than Darren’s Restaurant.  Located a block away from the beach, Darren’s Restaurant is ideal for a delicious dinner.  The restaurant features a bar and dinner menu, which offers a wide range of options including salads, pasta, seafood, meat (including lamb, duck, beef, pork, and chicken), small plates, and desserts.  With a partition separating the dining area and the bar, it is possible to enjoy a fine dining experience or a more casual evening at their full bar.  Additional seating is also available in the heated outdoor patio.  Darren’s Restaurant has gained popularity for its cuisine that has earned rave reviews from the public and generated recognition with Zagat, Open Table, and Wine Spectator awards.

Darren Weiss, owner and chef of Darren’s Restaurant, is Deaf.  He graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY in 1996.  Following graduation, he gained experience working in several restaurants in Hawaii until he returned to his hometown of Santa Monica in 1998.  In 2002, Darren opened his first restaurant, Cafe Catalina.  Although the restaurant was not in a prime location, this restaurant started to attract loyal customers and gained the attention of local critics.  Darren eventually sold the restaurant, and later opened Darren’s Restaurant in 2007.  He wanted this restaurant to be an opportunity to showcase American cuisine with Mediterranean and Asian influences.  Darren enjoys being fun and creative when he cooks, and likes to make people feel happy and comfortable.  With this appetizing food and new location, business is buzzing.  In such a busy restaurant, Darren has established communication methods that do not slow down the kitchen.  Darren lipreads well, so he can typically communicate easily with hearing employees.  However, in the kitchen, Darren makes use of vibrating pagers for servers to alert him when they are entering the kitchen to pick up plates.  Overall, Darren has expressed that being Deaf has not presented much of an obstacle in his restaurant business or his career as a chef.

Darren’s Restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 5:00pm – 11:00pm.  The restaurant is located at 1141 Manhattan Ave. Manhattan Beach, California 90266.  For more information or to make a reservation, visit