Fried chicken, cornbread tacos, local brews, and a remote control video helicopter were among the surprises at a summer kick-off dinner hosted by Hot’s Kitchen, where attendees could try some of the Hermosa Beach eatery’s cuisine.
The culinary celebration Thursday night featured a variety of small plate samplings from the restaurant’s new menu served with beer and wine pairings.
Guests tasted gourmet plates, such as the smoked trout salad, roasted brussel sprouts, grilled lamb lollipops, Hot’s burgers, grilled Korean wings, and even steak and potato tacos.
As diners enjoyed delectable treats, waitresses’ refilled wine glasses and Chef Sean Chaney and “Beer Geek” Michael Siordia made personal appearances at each table to chat with eaters.
Mid-dinner, a remote-control helicopter with a camera flew in through the window and filmed the dining festivities.
“I can’t ask for a better response by the locals,” Chaney told Patch. “The South Bay community had been incredible and very supportive.”
He said that he picked the Hermosa Beach location for Hot’s Kitchen so that he could bike to work. The open-air dining restaurant by childhood friends Chaney and Michael Lindenlaub has been thriving since opening its doors in March.
The concept behind the restaurant is based on experimenting with food and trying new things, said Chaney, whose childhood nickname is “Hot Sauce” (just “Hot” for short.)
“I started the concept as food that I wanted to make for me and my buddies but we were never getting it anywhere around so I decided to do it myself,” he said. “If it doesn’t work we never do it again and if it works we keep on doing it. We aren’t really one style of anything. We’re whatever we feel like doing that day or that week.”
The menu at Hot’s Kitchen contains a variety of small plates, meant to be shared family style. Dishes are prepared with the freshest of ingredients and the chefs use natural and hormone-free meat.
Products are sourced locally when available. Out of the bar’s extensive wine list, about 90 percent are from local vineyards. Local beers, such as from the 24th St. Pale Ale, are available on draft.
The Hot’s Kitchen interior is a modern take on a beachside café. The back wall features a piece of artwork titled, “South Bay Portal,” a Bo Bridges original that showcases a variety of surf-inspired images.
Artsy light fixtures trickle down over the bar and lanterns are scattered throughout the ceiling inside. The décor is a mixture of sleek wood and crimson hues.
The restaurant is broken down into two separate dining areas, with the most popular overlooking Hermosa Avenue and facing a giant window that retracts open on balmy days.
The bar area is a popular place to grab a bite after a big day at the beach. And to accommodate those strolling in from a day at sea, the front of the restaurant is equipped with a surfboard rack.
In addition to a fun and decorative interior, Hot’s Kitchen prides itself on being eco- friendly. The “111 Navy Chairs” inside are made from 111 recycled plastic bottles in collaboration with Coca Cola. The main bar was constructed out of reclaimed wood from Pennsylvania.
Plus, the establishment serves only draft beers in an effort to reduce the waste from bottled beers, an idea that, Chaney said, was inspired by his daughter.
“The kids know a lot more about recycling and being eco-friendly than adults. I guess they teach that in school now,” he said.
Hot’s Kitchen at 844 Hermosa Ave. is open everyday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.