Ah, good ol’ Hermosa Beach. Through the years, via outings with friends, I have watched the influx of places that have opened up and closed near the Hermosa Beach pier. From the now defunct, very divey hole in the wall dive bar Poop Deck to the loud and crowded college kid haven Sharkeez to the classic tapas and wine spot Mediterreaneo, it’s always been a hybrid of unique eateries and happy hour spots. In the beginning of this year, a new addition to the Hermosa Beach eateries surfaced via Dia de Campo.
When I first heard of new Dia de Campo opening up, I instantly bookmarked it in my places to try. It’s a sister restaurant of another Hermosa Beach favorite of mine, Abigaile. Dia de Campo is owned and operated by Jed Sanford and Chef Tin Vuong of Abigaile fame, who I had previously met one evening out at the lovely Abigaile restaurant. The executive chef of Dia de Campo is Ken Johnson, who was previously Abigaile’s Chef de Cusine. I am a fan of Abigaile’s mix of Italian, French and Asian, American entrees and I was intrigued to see what Dia de Campo had to offer. Dia de Campo’s theme is more on modern Mexican.
My friends and I came here for Bandito Power Hour. “Bandito,” is the Spanish name for Mexican bandit and from initial look at their menu, I knew that this place like a bandit would quickly steal my little foodie heart.
The first item I got to try were the crispy brussel sprout nachos. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m an adult but I sure am a fan of brussel sprouts now. Those are definitely words I never would’ve thought of saying as a kid. Now I see brussel sprouts on the menu, and I’m all about trying it out. Here at Dia de Campo, these brussel sprout nachos are definitely worth a try. I was such a fan of this dish. Crispy chips, crunchy brussel sprouts are sprinkled with cilantro goat cheese crema, pico, cilantro and jalapenos. It’s nachos with a twist with a little bit of healthy via the brussel sprout veggies and a lit bit of spice with the jalapenos. It’s a grown up version of nachos and I like it. 😉
The other food item that I really enjoyed this night was the duck mole quesadilla with apple pico. This is Mexican fusion at it’s finest. Tender pieces of shredded duck paired up with tasty Oxacan cheese in a fresh baked tortilla and then topped with apple pico made for a delicious dish. It’s unique and oh so blissful tasting.
To add even more taste and for little extra fire, they offered us some of their Bandito XXX Cock Sauce. This hot sauce is homemade and very similar to Mexican Sriacha. It definitely adds that fiery spice to the meal.
Aside from the above entrees, my friends and I got to try some of their drink specials as well. My friend tried the Claremont and I got to try some of this. With cucumber infused vodka, chartreuse, lime and cilantro, this was a very unique libation. The cucumber fresh taste was abundant in this one. I also got to try the La Leona. It has tequila blanco, peach and lemon mescal. Now it’s no secret that I am the “Tequila is not my friend. Bacon, egg and cheese please” girl. Even with a little sip, this drink definitely had more tequila blanco infused versus peach and lemon mesal. It’s more the smokey side versus the sweet side. I wasn’t screaming “bacon, egg and cheese please” after though. It was more like “brussel sprout nachos and duck mole quesadilla please” after. 😉 Similar to their dishes, the drinks at Dia de Campo are deliciously different. It’s not something you’d find at your ordinary happy hour spot.
My first time at Dia de Campo was great and just what I needed after a long and somewhat rough week. The modern surf lounge atmosphere is nice and relaxing and great place to spend time with friends. Their food and drink offerings are fabulously fusion and Mexican influenced with a twist. Dia de Campo is the newest addition to the eateries near the sand and strand of Hermosa Beach and as beach loving, happy foodie, I definitely welcome it to the beachside town with open arms.
For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Dia De Campo.