Fresh Catch

Ocean-to-Plate Dining at the Hook & Plow in Hermosa reels in locals

Written by Michelle Lynn | Photography Courtesy of The Hook & Plow

The last few years have introduced a spate of notable restaurant openings in the South Bay, and although Manhattan Beach is leading the charge, Hermosa is not to be overlooked. In 2014, the Hook & Plow dropped anchor on Pier Avenue, bringing farm-to-table, locally sourced cuisine with an international flair to town. Four hospitality industry vets teamed up to open their vision of the perfect restaurant with a familial atmosphere. Rustic and reclaimed décor pairs well with local seafood, “fresh off the hook,” organic meats and housemade specialties. Chef Alejandro Arrieta infuses his Colombian heritage into every dish, evoking memories of cumin and coriander wafting through his grandmother’s kitchen. Proudly making all ingredients from scratch, Arrieta honed his skills under influential mentors like Thomas Keller (Beverly Hills Bouchon, The French Laundry) and José Andrés (Bazaar by José Andrés in the SLS Hotel).

From exploring the local variety of fruits and vegetables in Colombian markets as a child to bringing fresh, seasonal seafood flavors to the South Bay, Arrieta relishes the opportunity to showcase dishes and flavors in their truest form. Unique menu starters include a Roasted Peach and Burrata Salad with apple butter spread, hazelnut pralines and truffle oil; Panko Crusted Avocado with parmesan cheese, radish salad and a lime cilantro sauce; and Furikake House Fries with housemade seaweed seasoning, parmesan cheese and truffle oil. During lunch, the sandwiches shine.

The 30 H is a pretzel bun stuffed with craft beer, braised pulled pork, Napa house slaw and a peppercorn mango chutney; while the Fresh Catch Sandwich features a grilled fish of the day with jicama green papaya slaw and a cornichon remoulade on a brioche bun. Dinner highlights include Scallops and Pork Belly with summer squash, creamed truffle corn, sofrito and Peruvian corn nuts; Fresh off the Hook, a globally-inspired fresh catch served over Moroccan couscous with yogurt sauce, ras el-hanout, cilantro and a mint gremolata; and for dessert, a one-of-a-kind Bittersweet Chocolate Pot de Crème with crème fraiche, pistachios and olive oil.

Given the owners’ extensive experience in bar management, it’s no surprise that the beer and wine program is so thoughtfully crafted. Reflecting their local focus, there are 10 tap beers from breweries located within 15 minutes of the restaurant, as well as an invitation to “Tour the South Bay,” with a beer flight of four draught beers. The wine list, meanwhile, also showcases primarily California wines. Nightly specials like Clambake Mondays and Tomahawk Thursdays keep it interesting and easy, luring in locals looking to make the Hook & Plow a regular spot to gather and savor the elevated culinary scene in their own backyard.

THE HOOK & PLOW

425 Pier Avenue

Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

310.937.5909

TheHookandPlow.com

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