Living it up in Hermosa Beach, California

Mexican Protein Breakfast at Good Stuff

On a spur of the moment trip last week, we flew west. We spent a couple of days in Hermosa Beach, an endless stretch of beach in the South Bay of Los Angeles flanked by swanky Manhattan Beach on one side and chilled out Redondo Beach on the other. By 7 a.m., this beach town paradise would greet me wide-eyed and bushy-tailed with friendly beach volleyball games already underway. A continuous parade of runners, bikers, and skaters rocked the sandy trail known as The Strand, with miles of pristine sand and a dark blue ocean to urge them on.

That first afternoon after our arrival, we rented a couple of cruiser bikes and joined the locals on the Strand, ending our ride sipping smoothies on the beach. The next morning, we grabbed breakfast at a nearby café called Good Stuff, and replenished with some healthy California fare. I ordered one of the restaurant’s signature items: a superfood dish with grilled barramundi fish, whole grain rice, fried eggs, and fresh fruit. This was a far cry from the bagels and hot chocolate coolatas I’ve been living off in NYC – clean food to fuel you up for hours of volleyball and surfing.

Chalk graffiti on The Strand

Cactus on the beach

The following day, I squeezed in some work and later in the evening grabbed dinner with the family at Mediterraneo, an eclectic tapas joint on Hermosa’s main strip where we snacked on eggplant fries and Arancini, and capped off the night with drinks at MB Post. This restaurant in neighboring Manhattan Beach is run by Michelin-starred chef David Lefevre, and serves up a creative menu of seasonal dishes with a global flair. Imagine pomegranate couscous with lavender feta, marcona almonds, grapefruit, and mint, and confit pork belly with grilled asparagus, béarnaise, fried egg, and chicharron. Drooling yet? I can’t wait to go back and taste the food, but I was able to sample an amazing Napa Cabernet that blew my flip flops off.

The next day, I met a friend at Java Man, the oldest coffee shop in Hermosa Beach where we refueled with breakfast burritos and pumpkin tarts, a perfect pit stop after a few hours of riding waves in freezing water that left me shivering like a leaf.

Paddle boarding Hermosa

We headed out to Redondo Beach the following day and grabbed some Tex Mex and margaritas at the pier as we watched the crashing waves below. We were also stuck in traffic for an hour, but I guess that just comes with the territory. At the end of the day, I got a good taste of California living. And I think I could get used to it.

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