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Jan 21, 2008 01:47 PM

Hermosa Beach Area

I am visiting over the weekend, will have a car and staying in Hermosa Beach. Would really appreciate brunch, lunch and dinner recommendations within a 15 minute or so drive. Casual, local, perhaps a view (not mandatory) and great food. Would also appreciate advice on a good mexican restaurant - same qualifiers as above.

I would also appreciate warm sunny days - although any temperature above 0 degrees sounds nice.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Sorry, but the prospect of warm sunny days are looking dismal so far.

    2 Replies
    1. re: justagthing

      We are spoiled! It's gorgeous today, even with the rain clouds and "chilly" 54 degrees. Anyone coming from 0 degree land will find respite, even with the relatively bad weather we are expecting this week.

      HB food choices and South Bay area in general do not rate much favorable discussion on these boards. These are some of my favs:

      Brunch-Martha's, Good Stuff are both near the Strand and are casual and local. Scotty's is on the Strand and is very local and casual for breakfast and lunch.

      Lunch: Gaja in Torrance for Japanese, Rock N Fish in Manhattan Beach (close to strand), good bar and expensive but decent seafood and meats-excellent mac and cheese served as a side and good sourdough bread.
      Petros-upscale Greek in MB, Pain Quotidien (sp)-next to Petros.

      Dinner: La Sosta Enoteca-may be best Italian in HB, definitely most "authentic". If you want to drive to Playa Del Rey along Vista Del Mar and you want excellent Italian with a bigger menu, try Caffe Pinguini. Japonica-Redondo Beach-we love this place. Excellent ambience, great sake selection, good small plate Japanese and decent sushi. Other places to consider: Christine's, Gina Lee's Asian Bistro, Jackson's.

      Mexican-sadly there is not anything to recommend. I always go to Santa Monica for Mexican. Local places here in South Bay include Pancho's on Highland in MB.

      1. re: Densible

        oh yes, I agree, we are spoiled. I was driving around with my convertible top down just yesterday, not too many places in the US can say that right now. But as a teacher, I never look forward to rain during the day, that means I have to stay in with the kids. I don't mind if if rains after school, lol.

    2. There are a couple of casual brunch/lunch places with a view of the beach within walking distance: Good Stuff, which is right on the strand (beach-side walkway) near the Hermosa Beach pier, and Martha's, which is on 22nd Street in Hermosa. Martha's has better food but less of a view and further from the pier. Good Stuff is right on the beach but the food isn't as good. If you want pancakes, it is a short drive to Uncle Bill's Pancake House near the Manhattan Beach pier. All these places have outdoor seating with at least some view. Food at Good Stuff and Uncle Bill's is solid but average, food at Martha's is above average. There is pretty good Mexican food at El Gringo in Hermosa Beach (just a little dive-y place frequented by locals), but I'm guessing there are better spots in the area. It's not a destination restaurant by any stretch of the imagination, but I really like their carnitas burritos and the proximity to home. :) The rooftop patio has an ocean view, but it won't be open for dinner since it will be cold. So if you want to sit outside go for lunch, otherwise this could be an inexpensive dinner option. Pancho's, a Mexican place in Manhattan Beach (a short drive) has a much more festive atmosphere and higher prices, but I actually don't like the food as much. I still go because it's a fun place with good margaritas. No view. Your best bet there is dishes with fish--the carnitas, my usual favorite, are inedibly salty. There is also a Mexican place right by the Hermosa Beach pier, practically on the beach, but the food is mediocre. These places are all super-casual. Note that Martha's, Good Stuff, and Uncle Bill's are not open for dinner. Enjoy your visit! It was been about 60 degrees lately which is cold for us but still pretty great for the rest of the country!

      1. Yes even rainy and 54 beats cloudy, snow showers and our current -3. We were -15 last Saturday and the high was a wopping -2. Thanks to all for the posts!

        1. When in LA, I like a beer and hamburger at Hennessey’s in Hermosa. I can get a burger at home, but there’s no beach and no Strand (web cam link below). I think the choices for a hardy breakfast are outstanding; I like Polly’s on the Pier (Redondo), Pacific Café (San Pedro), Uncle Bill’s (Manhattan), Eat at Joe’s ( Redondo), etc. There are outdoor, fresh-catch seafood restaurants on the pier in Redondo Beach. You can rent a bicycle and check it all out.

          1. Thanks to all of you for your recomendations. We were able to walk to Polly's from out hotel for brunch and sat outside, and it was exactly what we wanted. Based on a recommendation from a HB resident we tried Sushi Sei and I would give it a 3 out of 5. We also went to Coral Beach Cantina on PCH just north of Malibu, again sat outside and had excellent homemade mexican food (fish tacos and a great carnita burrito). Thanks again!