Much like their companion, the bacon-wrapped hot dog, street tacos originated on the streets of Southern California. You’re not a true resident of SoCal until you’ve had one of these tasty little morsels. Not having a street taco is almost as blasphemous as paying for parking at the beach. But if you’re afraid to try a taco on the street or you don’t know how to go about finding and approaching a vendor, fear not, for Hot’s Kitchen has your answer.

If you’re from the valley and have been to Hot’s Cantina in Northridge, you’ll be glad to hear that Executive Chef Sean Chaney has opened up a “hot” new restaurant in Hermosa Beach. It features a surfer-meets-sophisticate styling, with chairs made with recycled plastic bottles, artwork featuring the South Bay, a bar made from reclaimed wood and a surfboard rack out front to make the transition from hang time to lunchtime easier.

To start, you are offered a selection of over 36 craft beers on draft (They only serve draft beer to reduce waste from bottled beer – yay eco-friendliness!), of which I recommend the Steelhead X.P.A. (Mad River, Blue Lake, USA) along with the Roasted Brussels Sprouts appetizer with summer squash, goat cheese and quinoa. It’s a nice, light way to start your meal. Also, if you have room for it, try any of the wings. I had grilled Grilled Korean Wings, and they were gone as soon as the plate hit the table.

I didn’t get the chance to try some of their salads, but the menu lists nine of them, of which “White Trash Party” sounds the most fun. Please try the veggie medley, cheddar, crouton, bacon bit, salad topper and ranch combination and tell me if you indeed felt like white trash, or at least if you liked it or not.

If a burger and fries is more your thing, there are 10 to choose from, and I’ll point out two for you. From what I was lucky enough to sample, I liked the Hot’s burger, which featured cheddar cheese, burger sauce, grilled onion, avocado and tomato, but my absolute favorite was the Mexicali burger with Oaxaca cheese, roasted poblano, corn-jalapeno mayo, and fried onion rings. It was melt-in-your-mouth good. The kitchen suggested the 24th St. Pale Ale (Strand Brewing, Hermosa Beach, USA) as a pairing, but really, it’s a burger, and will taste just as delicious with any type of beer.

If you want to skip straight to what makes Hot’s Kitchen so great, take your pick from 55 types of tacos. With something for everyone, these tacos have selections of natural and hormone-free meat, including beef, pork and chicken, but also seafood, vegetarian and even “exotic” plates, such as duck or alligator. To try all 55 requires multiple visits and stomachs, so take it easy with Slammin’ Alabamin’ (pork, onion, coleslaw, white barbecue sauce) or Mojo chicken (crispy chicken, caramelized onion, cilantro and mojo sauce).

My new personal favorite is the Steak & Potato taco. It’s like taking Mom’s Sunday-night supper and wrapping it in a mini tortilla: tri-tip, mashed potatoes, bacon, green onions and sour cream all in one bite. Another dinner in taco form is the Fried Chicken taco, which has mashed potatoes, gravy and cornbread topping. It only makes me wonder what other dinnertime favorites can be miniaturized and transformed to fit in the palm of my hand. Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey Taco? I don’t see why not.

My only quip about this place is that it does not have its own parking lot. You’ll have to hunt down parking meters or hope the locals don’t tow you for parking in their driveways. As a last resort, you could use and pay for neighboring beach parking, but as we have already mentioned, that is blasphemy.

Overall, Hot’s Kitchen merits a second visit, and it’s totally worth the drive. It is good for warm summer-night dinners, but best for hot summer days. If you’re interested, a good first date night plan: Stroll around the pier, eat at Hot’s and follow it with a visit to the comedy club the next block over. Guaranteed second date!

For more information, call (310) 318-2939 or visit