Tag Archives: Hot’s Cantina

Hot’s Kitchen is worth a trip across the 10

by Scott Bridges
L.A. Biz
June 7, 2013

The South Bay is a world of its own, with its own colorful cast of characters and, of course, its pub crawl of a bar scene. The enclave is isolated from the rest of L.A. by 405 traffic and its location south of the 10. It’s just not a part of the dining conversation. There are a few establishments working to change that, however, and among the best is Hot’s Kitchen in Hermosa Beach.

For anyone south of LAX, this is very good news. Chef/owner Sean “Hot Sauce” Chaney (of Hot’s Cantina, North Hollywood), for whom the restaurant takes its name, presents a modern take on American comfort foods, as well as those from north and south of the border.

The beachside café may look like a regular burger and taco joint, but Hot’s Kitchen is more like haute cuisine working undercover. Hot seamlessly blends high art and street foods into single dishes.

Furthermore, every aspect of the restaurant attempts to be eco-friendly, including hormone-free, grass-fed beef, reclaimed wood for the bar, recycled plastic bottles used for chairs. Beer is served from kegs, not bottles or cans.
Why you should go:

The dining room at Hot’s Kitchen is typical of a Hermosa Beach eatery, open and airy, with sports playing on TVs at the bar and throughout. No white linens, classical music or romance; instead, it features a bustling atmosphere with a friendly vibe – perfect for a casual get-together.

What to order:
Hot’s Kitchen has the most exotic tacos I have yet to encounter – about 50 on the menu at any given time, and no matter what else you’re having, these should be sampled. Categories include chicken, beef, pork, ocean, vegetarian and, the exotic.

I sampled a handful: Korean, featuring beef, with kimchee and green onions; Ancho, with pulled pork, cilantro, crispy onions and ancho barbecue sauce; Thai, with chicken, spicy peanut sauce, carrots, roasted coconut and green onions; Eel, which includes enoki mushroom, avocado and eel sauce; Tofu Curry, with tomatoes, peas, green onions, yellow curry and sriracha. There are also exotic tastes for the bold – Italian Sausage, Gyro, Alligator, Duck Confit, etc.

Burgers are the other star of the menu, and buns are made fresh daily by Breadbar Bakery – possibly the best buns in town. From classics like the Chili Cheese Burger and BBQ Bacon Burger to original selections such as the Old Rasputin, with fried fungus, Rasputin sauce, roasted tomato, goat cheese and Dijon mustard; and the Spanish Burger, with Serrano ham, Manchego cheese and Piquillo pepper spread.

And for dessert, ice cream sandwiches come courtesy of Milk, with flavors like salted caramel, grasshopper, peanut butter and more.

For drinkers:
There is no hard alcohol here, instead, there is a wide array of artisanal beers, one of the better selections in town – about three dozen beers are available every day, and everything is on tap. There is also a strong wine list, and about 90 percent of those wines are from relatively local vineyards.

What people are saying:
Freelance critic and KABC radio show host Merrill Shindler wrote for the Daily Breeze, “Hot’s Kitchen, where the motto is ‘Small Plates – Family Style Dining” – a motto that doesn’t really express what needs to be expressed, which is: ‘Hot’s Kitchen – Where There Are More Tacos Than You’ll Find in All of Mexico!”

Eating in Bed, a local blog, had this to say: “These were definitely the best clams I’ve ever eaten. … These clams changed my mind; they were amazingly tender, meaty and flavorful in a spicy beer broth with linguica, spinach, onions, garlic and a piece of cheese bread. … Everything works together, and the amazing textural contrast between the linguica and clams was one of the best combinations I’ve ever tasted. … this dish changed my perception of clams. … If you’re within 100 miles of Hot’s, you should go just for the clams.”

The blogger says of the restaurant, “some of the best food in the greater Los Angeles area. … on a scale of 1 – 10, the food at Hot’s Kitchen in Hermosa Beach landed firmly on the 11 mark.”

What I think:
Hot’s Kitchen is well worth crossing the 10. Still, I wish it was in my neighborhood because I would eat there every week. Additionally, I’m very impressed with Sean Chaney’s commitment to sustainability, his creative cooking and his work with local charities.

Hot’s Kitchen: Cold Beer, Hot’s Summer in Hermosa Beach

by Daniel Drennon
LA Weekly
August 19, 2011

Beer Board at Hots Kitchen
Hermosa Beach has more bars per square foot than Sacramento has politicians, good ones anyway, so it’s impressive that the new Hot’s spot (yes, we can and will beat this to death if we so choose) is Hot’s Kitchen. Hot’s features “small plate cuisine” by exec chef Sean Chaney, also of Hot’s Cantina in Northridge. Hot’s has 36 rotating craft beers on draft. We usually talk about the beer first and the food as something necessary to soak up the brews. But Chaney’s tacos deserve top billing; he also offers excellent burgers, salads and appetizers.

Potato Wedges at Hots Kitchen

With no formal culinary training, Chaney began home-brewing tacos for friends that were so well received they earned him the nickname “Hot Sauce,” later shortened to “Hot” since we are increasingly a monosyllabic society. He became a personal chef for Indy Car drivers Jimmy Vasser and Paul Tracy, as well as a 12 year stint for pro hockey player Larry Murphy. After that, he opened Hot’s Cantina in Northridge in 2003.

Chaney opened Hot’s Kitchen six months ago, we’re guessing because it’s usually 20 degrees cooler in Hermosa Beach than it is in Northridge No Beach, and it has been an immediate hit with locals in a space that has previously seen restaurants come and go like hookers at a Figueroa motel. Chaney offers a mere 55, yes 55, versions of his signature taco — a dozen chicken, another dozen beef, “ocean” tacos featuring either shrimp, fish, or anything else he can find in the sea, vegetarian, and, our favorite — exotic tacos. This may sound like something you’d find in the escort section of the Weekly, but no, it’s alligator, ox tail, a couple of ducks, and crawfish.

Bar at Hots Kitchen

And now about the craft selection. Mike Siordia is the beer guru/surfer dude, fitting for Hermosa, and our favorite thing about his chalkboard of 36 beers is the one he calls “Mike’s Dank Deal.” The Dank Deal of the Day is one beer Siordia picks each day to sell for three dollars. A good craft beer for $3 is a surfer-stroke of genius in a beer bar world that increasingly, and sadly, lays claim to $8 and $9 beers. Local favorite 24th Street Pale by Strand Brewing, both the brewer and beer names coming from Hermosa Beach itself, is always on the Hot’s board as are an additional 35 other rotating taps, mostly California brews.

Our least favorite thing about the Hot’s beer board is Bud Light and too many other masquerading-as-craft beer-selections from the evil Anheuser-Busch InBev empire. But Siordia, to his credit, does his best to offset that deal with the Devil by getting some top-notch, hard to get stuff on the rest of the board. With 36 handles to play with, he has enough left to please discerning craft beer fans.

Siordia has also pulled off a coup in getting Stone Brewing CEO Greg Koch to come up Thursday, August 25 for an all-day Stone Tap Takeover event. “There will be at least 20 vintage Stone brews,” according to Siordia.

So go for a cold beer at the beach on a Hot’s summer day (we warned you) and stay for the tacos. Or come for the tacos and stay for a Dank Deal on a great craft beer. Either way, you’re leaving happy.

Hot’s Kitchen Serves Over 50 Types of Tacos in Hermosa Beach

by Hadley Tomicki
Grub Street
March 18, 2011

Hot's KitchenEven if it’s not up to the same standards of the stuff you’d find in, say, Highland Park, there’s no denying that your typical South Bay beach bums have a passion for burritos and tacos. At recently opened Hot’s Kitchen, a new place from former Four Daughter’s consulting chef and Hot’s Cantina owner Sean Chaney with partner Michael Lindenlaub, you’ll find over 50 varieties of tacos, including some fun stuff that we haven’t even seen on the zillions of local food trucks twisting tacos. What’s on the menu here?

We’re talking alligator tacos, oxtail tacos, Philly tacos, fried fungus, and duck confit tacos, all made from natural meats and produce. In addition, the green business, which is also teaming up with local schools and non-profits, sells burgers (including one with mortadella), salads, and has 36 craft beers at the taps, which it calls its “dank drafts.” Sounds like we might have to hit the beach this weekend, come rain or shine!