Around the World in 48 Tacos at Hot’s Kitchen
On a Saturday night, the pleasantly boisterous vibe at Hot’s Kitchen is exactly what you would expect from a hip, beach-adjacent eatery: a cheerfully packed house of beachgoers slaking their thirst with a glass or two from Hot’s selection of 30-plus beers or equally respectable list of wines.
To go with these libations? Chef Sean Chaney offers an extensive menu of casual bar fare served as small, sharable plates. “The menu started out as a few tacos,” noted Chaney. “And sort of just grew from there.” Indeed it did. In addition to the 48 tacos on deck, there are copious riffs on burgers, chicken wings, salads and appetizers from which to choose.
I know it’s kind of hard to yammer on about tacos in Los Angeles, considering they are practically ubiquitous and, since the food truck revolution, filled with nearly everything imaginable. That said, although a handful of the tacos underwhelmed (ie, the gimmicky Steak and Potato and the overly salty Dirtybird), there were quite a few on Chef Chaney’s menu worth squawking about. The meaty tartare of the Spicy Tuna topped with delicate enoki mushroom, briny seaweed and sesame seeds delighted in two bites. Ditto the green curry, which combines the best parts of my favorite Thai dish (eggplant, longbeans and basil) with a fish taco. For those not in an Asian-inspired mood, the barbeque-in-your-hand Slammin’ Alabamin’ provided a sweet little mouthful of tender pork, white BBQ sauce and coleslaw.
For me, though, the belle at this ball was Your Mom’s Favorite. Presumably inspired by the ground-beef-and-spice-packet taco of a suburban American childhood, this incarnation was oh so much more. Sure, it had the iceberg lettuce and diced tomato you remember, but the juicy, flavorful beef blend of chuck roast, short rib and rib eye pulled together with the bold and complex “secret spice” mix made me wish I had ordered ten of these little beauties. (I think next time I will.)
Hot’s Kitchen is located at 844 Hermosa Avenue, Hermosa Beach, CA
Call 1-310-318-2939 for reservations or more information.