Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stay Local Chapter 2

Let's face it you can't afford to buy gas. So once again I am singing the praises of one of my own local places.

The North End in Hermosa was once known as Critters and one of the diviest bars in all of the South Bay. Surfing legend Dewey Weber drank himself to death there. Two great friends of mine formerly owned the Mexican restaurant across the street. But since it changed hands I can hardly bring myself to go back.

The news about the North End is that it actually has a very talented executive chef, Jessica Jordan. The big guy on the left is Salvador. He has a counterpart, Servendo. I've seen these guys cooking in back, then washing glasses at bar triple sink and then bussing tables. There is a lot of multitasking going on! Jessica herself frequently works at the bar.
Now to the food. The regular menu is typical bar food. But the lunch specials are typically pretty good. However Monday is "gourmet night" with a special menu of five courses. Wednesday is "tapas" with a choice of eight small plates. Both nights are wonderful. I think in between there is the traditional LA "taco Tuesday" but I'm not going there...
The special menus change all the time. On recent visits (Monday) I've dined on pan seared duck crepes with hoisen and plum sauce, as well as a bay scallop and crab saute over cold angel hair. Both dishes are obviously Asian inspired but you might also find fire grilled jerk chicken with mango salsa, sweet pepper rice, roasted corn and pineapple saute'. Doesn't that make your mouth water!
This past week I stopped in for tapas and had delicious tempura battered squash blossoms with a yellow pepper-jalapeno sauce.
Chef Jessica's cooking rocks! And I encourage all of my friends to go.

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