A Bit of Naples, South Bay Style

Stylish pizza eatery Locale90 opens a second location in downtown Hermosa Beach

Written by Constance Dunn | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason

A few years ago, a pizzeria popped up in Riviera Village that was special for the fact that it had people buzzing soon after its doors opened. Strange for a pizzeria, but not for this new-style one, which serves Neapolitan-style pizza neatly aligned with current South Bay dining sensibilities.

Pizzas are cooked in a giant bulb-shaped oven from Naples, Italy (said to be the birthplace of the stuff), and topped with health-conscious delights like shaved Brussels sprouts and pancetta. There is pizza rossa (red pizza) topped with Calabrese peppers and honey drizzle (entitled the Spicy Salame), and a Prosciutto & Arugula variety with lemon and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. There’s also a concise list of imported wines and beers; a bevy of creative starters (imported cured meats and cheese boards; small dishes of savory eggplant, ricotta and olives); and fancy salads, from the kale with dates and ricotta salata (a salted, somewhat firm type) to a salad of Italian tuna and white bean. And the design of the place is casual, roomy and smart. 

“We struck a chord with the South Bay,” says Jennifer Mentesana of the success of Locale90, which she owns with her husband John, whose Italian ancestry and culinary/food service skills proved a perfect match for her hospitality background. “I think there was a void, a place where you could come and have a delicious meal that was fresh and authentic, and also not spend a fortune. But still feel at home and comfortable and elegant.” 

With the original location well established, the Mentesanas recently opened another Locale90, this one in downtown Hermosa Beach, just steps from the intersection of Pier and Hermosa Avenues, with the kitchen helmed by Sicilian native Michele Galifi. It has the hits of the first concept, from its earthy-chic decor and elevated pizzeria menu to its relaxed atmosphere that caters equally to couples on a date, groups of friends or families with children. “We have young kids,” remarks Jennifer, “and we wanted a place where people could bring their families, but also enjoy a delicious glass of wine and an amazing meal and not have to sacrifice quality for a place where their kids could eat too.”

Though consistent with the original Locale90, the new location features a few tweaks that take its new neighborhood into account, including a convivial bar. “Our core menu will be the same as Redondo Beach,” says Jennifer, “but we’re going to try a few things here that are a little different. We know that Redondo and Hermosa have different personalities, even though it’s South Bay. .ere’s a little bit of a different lifestyle going on, so we want to be true to the community we serve.”

LOCALE90 NEAPOLITAN PIZZA MARKET

1040 HERMOSA AVENUE

HERMOSA BEACH, CA 90254

310.372.9090 | LOCALE90.COM

 

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