Four buildings east of the Peninsula Beverly Hills and Waldorf Astoria on Santa Monica Boulevard is newcomer Velverie Cafe and Teahouse. The European-style café opens today in the attractive ZIP Code 90210 where service includes coffee, champagne, cocktails, all-day dining, modern contemporary interiors, plus afternoon tea.
Velverie’s home is in the former Sfixio restaurant space with a coat of glossy paint for the former dark exterior positioned next to the nearly 30-year-old Da Pasquale Trattoria’s home. With a capacity of 55 people, in the preceding hours a full-service breakfast and brunch are available with pastries from Eagle Rock’s Sugarbloom bakery along with Pitchoun Bakery, or items such as cacio e pepe on toast, or a poached egg tartine with onion jam, and French ham. , my frisee on croissant bread.
For lunch, there are salads and sandwiches including BLTs rolls with smoked bacon, gem lettuce, Dungeness crab salad, and heirloom tomatoes. If you’re heading out for dinner, on the menu you’ll find roast chicken, steak fries, and complimentary chicken Milanese. Or check out the prime rib for two, followed by a croissant, olive oil cake, or cream bowl for dessert. Chef Junior Perez developed the menu and previously worked with Los Angeles chef Celestino Drago, at Café Vida, and at Fraiche in Santa Monica now closed.
Velverie is the business of first-time restaurant owner Chloe Strumpf, who until recently was engaged in marketing and public relations. Her father is a contractor who built the space, with her mother an interior designer helping with the design. General Manager Charli Weie has a lot of experience from Rich Table in San Francisco and Montage Resort in Laguna Beach.
Strumpf wants to change ideas about tea service, calling it “the taking of modern day tea.” Its price is much lower than the Peninsula Hotel near Beverly Hills. Three options – 10 tea options (soaked in white or brown sugar), Luxxe coffee, or a cup of Anna Cava Brut – are available paired with appetizers. If that’s not in order, flat whites, cappuccinos, and matcha drinks are available. As well as cocktails.
The Velverie cocktail menu is familiar in Los Angeles, but a few surprises like the after-hours cocktail with vodka, coffee liqueur, oat milk, amaro, and cocoa nibs. There are daytime drinks like the bellini-like bellini with peaches and prosecco, or just one drink called a live soiree with vodka, honey, Aperol, and prosecco. The wine list also includes natural and organic wines.
Velverie doesn’t try to be a great addition to legendary neighborhood sites like Crustacean, My Chow, or Wally’s. Velverie’s transformation into Beverly Hills parallels Vartan Abgaryan’s day restaurant Tommy’s Beverly Hills. “If someone gets scared to get in, we’re doing something wrong,” says Strumpf. “I wanted to create an experience that is luxurious, yet affordable. Velverie is not fast casual, it is not fine dining. Everyone can have a special time without being judged.”