After nearly a decade serving Larchmont, Vernetti Restaurant – owned and operated by local couple Steve and Joanna Vernetti – will be closing at the end of May. The Vernettis took over the family-owned Girasole Cucina Italia in 2014 and elevated the level of food on Larchmont Blvd. In fact, when the Vernettis re-opened after a renovation and expansion of the space, EaterLA noted that “Larchmont Village is seriously on the up and up… It looks like Vernetti, the new concept taking over the 20-year old Girasole space, is well on its way to opening sometime next month, with a solid selection of Italian-American dishes.”
“As of May 31st, Vernetti will be closing permanently,” Steve Vernetti told the Buzz. “We have thoroughly enjoyed these years of serving the Larchmont community, but have decided to exit the restaurant business and pursue other avenues. While we will miss our wonderful customers, we are thrilled to be handing over the space to another neighborhood family with a long track record of restaurant success.”
Hancock Park resident Shereen Arazm of Terroni will be taking over the space, continuing Larchmont’s good fortune of high quality authentic Italian cuisine in the neighborhood. When Arazm heard the Vernettis were looking to sell, she actively pursued Steve, tracking down his cell phone through mutual friends from their days as parents at the same neighborhood preschool.
“I told Steve, we have to be the next owners, it just has to be us!” Arazm told the Buzz. “We live in the neighborhood, we love Larchmont, this space has to continue to be a fabulous family-owned Italian restaurant on Larchmont!”
Arazm and her longtime friend and partner Cosimo Mammoliti opened Terroni on Beverly Blvd. in the Fairfax District in 2007, bringing its highly successful Italian cuisine developed in Toronto to LA. At Terroni, the focus is on high quality ingredients, explained Arazm. Pasta and pizza dough are made daily with ingredients imported from Italy, including a huge inventory of Italian wines. Arazm told the Buzz they are planning to open the Terroni concept La Bettola di Terroni, with traditional Southern Italian cuisine made with seasonal ingredients, on Larchmont later this summer after a remodel that will include installation of a large pizza oven.
“We will offer items from our Terroni menu as well as some special dishes created for this wonderful jewel box space on Larchmont,” said Arazm.
Vernetti said he is thrilled that he was able to choose his successor, a rarity in the restaurant business, and promised he’s staying in the neighborhood. He said he’s looking forward to new adventures and proud of his successful legacy on Larchmont.
As huge fans of Vernetti, we wish them well and plan to visit often before the end of May! And, as longtime fans of Terroni, we are very excited to welcome them to the neighborhood with more stories to come!
End of an era! We love the Vernetti’s. Glad someone good is coming phew