The lights are adrift in this holiday weather as chilly winds beat warm hearts together. As the snip of cold winds bite at the fingertips, a warmly lit shelter and hot, rich food are a welcome for this California winter, especially if you live near the coasts. Luckily, an Italian restaurant by the name of Fritto Misto exists near the pier of Hermosa Beach to help take away the kiss of Mother Nature and encourage hearty laughter with pasta and wine.
The exterior is simple, with a few parking meters out front and wood framing to hold together the clear glass facade, welcoming people to the restaurant. Above, the name of the restaurant is large and bold, stating Fritto Misto being a "neighborhood Italian cafe", a humble statement to match the humble exterior. Handwritten signs and simple menus are present. In fact, the interior, though homey, isn't anything that would dazzle a diner once entering. Instead, the simplicity helps you slip in as comfortably as a kitchen at a friend's home. You feel relaxed here and luckily, pretentiousness is lacking, giving you the go to be yourself.
You know the food will be wonderful when the server tells you the specials of the day with zeal and gusto in their descriptions. Passion truly comes from love, and love is necessary for astonishing food. Luckily, the service is an act of love, with constant attention to the needs of the diners. Though at times it can feel a bit daunting from all the attention given, the care shown is welcoming compared to the opposite.
When reading a menu can be considered sexy, your mouth watering is a sign of anticipation to the richness coming your way. It's hard to believe, but a careful perusing of the entrees could make even the most sure-minded diner second guessing, and that's great because it means there's reason to come back for future experiences. However, what would be a great choice for someone who loves bacon? Well, that would be the Pasta Pancetta. This pasta dish has thick tomato fettuccine soaking up the amazing garlic cream sauce it's tossed in. With huge chunks of pancetta (an Italian cured pork similar to bacon), sun-dried tomatoes, and caramelized onions in the mix, every bite will be explosive. Honestly, this is one of the most meatiest, richest pastas you can experience, and the food coma afterwards will be well worth it. The pasta is hearty and the ingredients are fresh. It tastes like everything was made from scratch, which if you've never had fresh pasta, you need to come here and cross that off your flavor bucket list.
What about for those in need of something more subtle? How about giant green ravioli stuffed with prosciutto, mortadella and chicken, tossed with a garlic cream sauce, caramelized onions, pancetta, and sun-dried tomatoes? Is that subtle enough? The Jumbo Ravioli, as it is called, are UFO sized green raviolis filled with what dreams are made of. The garlic sauce accentuates the meats itching to burst from the ravioli, whilst the sun-dried tomatoes add just enough tang to create a palate contrast. It is a feast not only for the stomach, but also the eyes. It is a beauty to behold.
If you are still hungry (bravo), the homemade desserts will definitely be where your inner fat kid wants to go. The desserts are a waste of time explaining. Instead, go here and try their tiramisu. Even if you don't want dinner, come here for the tiramisu if you enjoy eating. You'll definitely appreciate the freshness, richness, and dessert-ness of it all.
Winter is a great season to fall in love. Whether it's the holiday spirit or the desire to come close in colder weather, love is in the air and this feeling is worth indulging in, especially when it comes to your appetite. Draw friends close and potential lovers closer by taking them for an authentic Italian dinner in a tiny restaurant called Fritto Misto. With great food and a comfortable atmosphere to fill the bellies, it'd be hard to not enjoy yourself. Plus, what better excuse than food exhaustion to spend some time together under some covers afterwards?
316 Pier Avenue
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254