Hot’s Kitchen — Hermosa Beach, CA
Posted by Shannon on 05/01/2011
Hot’s Kitchen | 844 Hermosa Avenue | Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
A few weeks ago I was working from home on a Friday. The combination of sitting inside during a near-80-degree day and not talking to anyone aloud for half a day finally got to me. I was driven out of the house for a solo lunch in the open air somewhere. My shoulders released their tension as I walked through Hot’s door. The restaurant front is garage door style, a slight breeze drifted in as I sat at a two-person table.
Just as set my camera phone and InStyle down and took a look at the beer menu (see above) my waitress came over and greeted me. There were only a few other groups sitting down since it was just hitting high noon.
The Beer: First thing is first people. Scanning the menu, all I could provide when asking for guidance was, “I like light beer, like Allagash White, Hitachino White Ale & Red Stripe. My waitress suggested Oskar Blue’s Mama’s Little Yella Pils. ” She is good y’all. On top of that… this glass was $3.
More often than not, I pre-search (preemptive research) a menu before I eat somewhere. Reason being? Well, yes I am a tad OCD-organized. I’m also a modifying-maniac who takes 5-10 minutes to decide on items, especially when hungry. Layer that with conversation with friends and you could be looking at a solid 15 minutes. I do it for my and my dining companions’ sanity. I’d picked my trio of tacos before I left the house…
And we begin.
Taco #1: Korean BBQ with kimchi and green onion starts us off.
This is a fun & safe starter taco for people wanting a new kind of taco; those journeying beyond the cheesy/beefy gordita. The beef and kimchi flavorings are less intense than you’ll find in K-town or in Korea. I understand the reasoning.
If the kimchi was as spicy and anchovy-essenced… if the bulgogi beef was as umami-blasted with sweet soy and tinge of MSG… if the green onion were the garlic slices used when I had it in Seoul this past summer? Well, many could unduly scared off. And some would also have the “second burn.” Neither here nor there… final summary is this was aight. It made me smile and brought back the taste-memory of Korean BBQ.
Needing that full flavored bit, I wrangled all the elements onto one fork-bite.
Transitioning continents, we segue…
Taco #2: Hawaiian pork with guava dressing and pineapple salsa.
A surprising realization the more I thought about the flavor construction of this taco. The pineapple salsa was at first disappointing because I didn’t taste as much as expected. Then I realized if it tasted like Dole pineapple it would have completely masked the taste of slow-roasted pork. The guava sauce drizzle took the same supporting role, boosting the overall combination of flavors.
Aloha. As in, “Hi, I’m about to annihilate your taste buds in the most enjoyable way possible.” Touche Hot’s, touche.
Taco #3: Duck Confit with cheese grits, braised greens and a maple glaze.
You must dig deep below the surface to find the hidden goods, the best is near the bottom. The greens were there, but might possibly have been overcooked. A little bite and a little bitterness would create a nicer contrast of texture with the softer grits and yummy shreds of duck.
Duck Confit Taco: looks innocent enough
The goods in one neat package. Small, yes, but powerful. The cheese grits were the reason I ordered this taco and I liked it overall. There is a small amount of cheese melted onto most of the tacos on the menu, oh so tasty in this particular taco.
The check: Very happy with the food and overall price. Ended up getting a to-go box because I took so many pictures the beer and tacos settled, making me full before I wanted to be truth be told. Luckily, I was hungry again in an hour or two and finished them off.
End-of-Lunch damage… happy at the balance for what I ate!
This restaurant is a welcome addition to the neighborhood in-and-around the beach/pier area of Hermosa. It’s a sit-down spot without pretentiousness but still retains modernist touches w/ unique chairs & decor, a hand-drawn chalkboard menu of draft beers, and a staff w/ relaxed “uniforms.
Menu: The rest of this article is simply menu photos. I do this for fellow pre-searchers…
Then for those a tad hungrier…
I’ll make it over to Hot’s again soon. I thoroughly enjoyed the food and time there. Next go ’round I’ll be sitting at the bar w/ an icy beer and a few savory little tortilla creations with friends!