Unwind and Dig in at the Newest Seaside Hot Spot on Hermosa Pier
But don’t let the easy digs keep you from throwing on your Sunday best for date night, because the menu is equally suitable for the upscale palate, proving perfect for luxuriating at length over champagne on the patio at sunset along Hermosa Beach Pier.
The trio behind Playa Hermosa Fish & Oyster Co. includes owners Lisa Hemmat of Lido Di Manhattan in Manhattan Beach, and Levi Lupercio, former bar manager of The Strand House, also in Manhattan Beach, and Katana in Los Angeles. Along with award-winning chef Billy Lansing, the group has seamlessly blended years of success and experience with a fresh idea.
“We were inspired by a great fish and oyster restaurant in Chicago and felt the concept was perfect for Hermosa Beach since an upscale seafood dining experience was lacking in this area,” shares Lisa Hemmat.
The menu is a raw bar and seafood-driven with an outstanding line-up of oysters hand-selected by chef Billy Lansing, who stretched his modern seafood skills at three Michelin star-rated restaurant Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain, before returning to his home in the South Bay.
When visiting Playa Hermosa, opt for the chef’s oyster recommendation to score such treats as James River, New Zealand Shiikait, or Prince Edward Island oysters—just a few of dozens of examples from around the world.
“Originally coming up with a concept, we wanted to focus on an oyster program that I’d ran before; the entire menu, including the oyster program, are always changing and based on seasonality,” explains chef Billy Lansing. The restaurant proudly flies in fresh Maine lobsters and dungeons crab cooked daily.
Known for his philosophy of finding the best product possible, keeping it simple, and “focusing on your ingredients” is ever-present in chef Billy Lansing’s lovely menu. Among other diners’ favorites is the Hermosa Tower, a great option for groups, including half a Maine lobster, Peruvian Scallops, chef’s choice of oysters and shrimp cocktail. All raw bar seafood is perfect to share and presented beautifully.
Other seasonal hits include the Summer Peach Salad with fresh Burrata, balsamic, Shiso sauce and Pepitos, or Ceviche Tostada with Alaskan Cod, Fresno Chili, and avocado mousse. Everything is delicious and passionately inspired by the well-traveled chef Billy Lansing. A final note: the King Salmon from New Zealand melts in your mouth and the fresh twist on the Manila clams, made with Morcilla sausage and white wine sauce, is not to be missed.
The restaurant’s happy, light atmosphere is a credit to Lisa Hemmat, who designed the interiors, which feature open space and lofty ceilings.
“We wanted a beach-casual-meets-upscale look to identify with our concept, a place for locals and visitors to enjoy a great upscale dining experience without being stuffy,” shares Lisa Hemmat.
The décor is a mix of French Encaustic tiles trimmed in reclaimed wood and custom-built tables. A rustic driftwood chandelier sheds light on a collection of nautical original art pieces by Monica J. Ferrell. A lounge area with high-top tables offers great views of Hermosa Pier and the ocean while one enjoys a tasty beverage from Lupercio’s expert selection. Outside of the well-orchestrated wine list are popular handcrafted cocktails that include fan favorites such as the Spicy Watermelon Margarita and the Bon Scott, Lupercio’s spin on the classic Manhattan.
Service is attentive and friendly and Levi Lupercio admits that “having such a great front of the house staff really comes from the dynamic team that he and Lisa have perpetually worked with over the years in the South Bay.”
Ultimately, expect a great experience; fresh, savory seafood buttoned up in a delightful setting.
Playa Hermosa Fish & Oyster Co.
19 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, CA
310.504.0088 | PlayaHermosaOyster.com
Photographs: Courtesy of Playa Hermosa Fish & Oyster