I am ALWAYS looking for an excuse to dine near the beach, and I am ALWAYS looking for an excuse to eat meals that have something to do with Brendan Collins. So when Tower12 in Hermosa landed on my radar I was genuinely ecstatic because in this case I’d get to have both. Chef Brendan Collins of Birch is one of my absolute favorite chefs in LA, and when I’d heard he had consulted on another menu for a new restaurant, I’d instantly made up my mind to go there ASAP. Chef Collins has his LA mainstay, Birch, as some of you may be familiar with, but he’s consulted on a menu for another one of my favorite (insanely underrated) LA local hideaways called Butchers Dog. Seriously, whatever he touches turns to gold, and Tower12 is no exception!
Tower12 opened up just a month or two ago and being that it’s located smack dab in the thicket of the Hermosa Beach Pier hubbub, it has already become the new local hang. The concept is laid back surf, old school beach vibes, with nicknacks and nods to the community displayed just about everywhere. It’s partially inside, partially outside, definitely caters quite a bit to the bar scene, but really it’d be a shame to come to this place and not eat. In fact it’d just be silly.
The menu is surprisingly large, like really large, and it’ll probably take you about 20 minutes just to decide which route to go – “do I want BBQ… fish… a burger… fried chicken sandwich… meatballs… a salad… a pizza… pasta…” – but the best thing about this menu! They literally have everything. It’s a dream come true in the weirdest way, and totally epitomizes how I want to eat while at the beach – carefree AF. The good news is that nothing on this menu isn’t bordering on incredible, sure it’s not “fine dining incredible” but it’s not trying to be. It’s laid back, casual, and simply delicious. And don’t even get me started on dessert.
Tower12, if you don’t already live in the South Bay or close to it, is completely worth making the drive to the beach for alone. I have already made plans in my head to take my friends from out of town for lunch or dinner there in the next few weeks because honestly, what is better than a quintessential “chill California vibes” restaurant right near the beach, that just also happens to have amazing food and cocktails? Not much, I’ll tell ya that!
Must Drink | “16th Street Spiked Rum Smash” – Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, muddled pineapple & mint, fresh lime juice, Myer’s Dark Rum float, Luxardo Maraschino cherry
This is Tower12’s “signature” cocktail, and while I don’t typically go the rum route, this one is truly somethin’ else. I drank this thing so fast it was borderline shameful, but it was so damn good I couldn’t help myself! It’s not too sweet, it’s refreshing, and it tastes like the beach and sunshine. Oh and the best part: you get to keep your Tower12 glass it comes in, and it’s only an $11 cocktail!
Must Order | Reminder: this menu is insanity, but in the best way. I barely had enough of the menu to give you a major run down, but I will say what I ordered was worth ordering again – especially the Ahi Tuna Bahn Mi Burger (sushi grade Ahi, Vietnamese mint, nam sauce, roasted peanuts, pickled carrots & cucumbers, cilantro, hoisin, artisanal sesame bun) and the Banoffee Sundae (banana, dulce de leche, graham cracker, cocoa, soft serve, house made whipped cream). Cannot quite express all the feelings both of these dishes gave me. Seriously, they’re two of the best things I’ve ever had in my life. Driving back to Hermosa as we speak to wait until they open again at 11am. Ok, but outside those two dishes I’ve heard praises on praises for the Fried Chicken Sandwich, as well as just about all of their BBQ dishes – they have an in-house smoker. How ’bout that. Clearly I have a lot more eating to do and will report back on the rest of the menu as time goes on. But better yet, if YOU go, let me know what your favorites are too!
Perfect Spot For | casual lunch/dinner // cocktails // whatever the f*ck you feel like eating // beach vibes // bar scene // a place to go near the beach // a meal that has something to do with Brendan Collins // al fresco dining // a place to take out-of-town friends // the best dessert ever created
TOWER12 // 53 Pier Ave Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
HOURS // Everyday 11 am – 2 am (Happy Hour 4 – 6 pm M-F)