Día de Campo

Dia de Campo1That picture should say it all.

But since I have a couple minutes and not much makes me happier in life (particularly at dinner time) than Mexican seafood… here we are.

Oh man. This place was good. I had been looking forward to checking it out since early January. And nothing’s better than when high expectations are actually met – especially in the kitchen. Well, their kitchen. On my table. That they own.

Día de Campo calls itself a “modern surf lodge” – and I don’t know when those surfers had time to perfect those squash blossom quesadillas or crab guacamole, but I dig it.

Just a block off the water in Hermosa Beach, the menu is a mix of Los Angeles-style Mexican food and fish house/raw bar favorites. Think: a surf shack with empanadas and chicken taquitos.

We got to Día de Campo last Saturday night about 20 minutes early for our 9pm reservation. (Side note: I’m beginning to realize just how big of a personal motivator food is for me these days considering I’m only ever early for dinner reservations.) Inside the entry is a little lounge area with leather couches and chairs and low-sitting tables, perfect for either happy hour or a post-dinner drink + change of scenery.

Dia de Campo13

Dia de Campo12Check out Costas up there just spreading the joy of Russian pinkeye with the residents of Hermosa Beach.

Maybe it was their opening weekend buzz or just the long communal tables in the middle of the restaurant, but Día de Campo is a social place. Everyone was chatting. People at one table leaning over to talk to another table, whether they came in knowing each other or not. Even I felt like I needed to socialize. And I’m (arguably) one of the least social 23-year-old in LA.

Dia de Campo10Since my preferred form of restaurant socializing (or any public location, really) is ordering drinks, we opted out of squeezing next to the guys on the leather chairs drinking scotch to grab some bar seats. The bartenders were attentive and friendly; again, this might just be a front for opening weekend’s first impressions, but I’m willing to go back and test them anytime.

Dia de Campo11Ryan (Mr. Predictable) ordered a beer while I (Ms. Wild Card) got a claremont, one of their handcrafted cocktails that’s made with cucumber-infused grey goose, lime, cilantro, and chartreuse.

Dia de Campo9

the claremont

Be careful on this one. It doesn’t feel strong while you’re drinking it, but it’ll sneak up on you. But I guess when I’m having two (or three) drinks, I can’t really warn you guys about one. So, in that case, go nuts. And try a passion over function while you’re at it. This one, made with serrano peppers, acai, tequila, and passion fruit, was coming out to tables by the trayful.

We sat toward the back of the restaurant by the open kitchen and wood-fire grill. It’s like we went camping but instead of s’mores, we had running water and a salsa trio.

Dia de Campo8Now, let’s eat.

Dia de Campo7

homemade tortillas and salsa

Mmmmm… homemade tortillas. Two corn and two flour.

Dia de Campo6

guacamole w/ dungeness crab

I’ll never be able to go back to regular guac. Día de Campo, you’ve created an even bigger guac monster.

Dia de Campo5

scallop ceviche w/ yam and corn nuts

Corn nuts in my ceviche… are you kidding me? Where do I sign my lease?

Dia de Campo3

lamb taco and carnitas taco

Ryan’s taqueria tacos.

And for the grand finnnnaaalllleeeeeee………

Dia de Campo4

whole market fish w/ all the fixins

Our whole market fish (I named her Beyonce shortly before I took a picture with her head and dipped her body into mole sauce) was a red snapper and dairy-free and delicious. My favorite dish of the night. And those sides… I know it’s only 10am, but I could really go for that Mexican fried rice right about now. It physically pains me that this place isn’t next door to my office.

My only complaint about Día de Campo is that my stomach wasn’t big enough to try more. I can’t wait to go back to sit at the raw bar and order some oysters and the habanero-salted jellyfish. One of the best parts (for me) about eating seafood-Mexican vs. traditional Mexican is knowing I’ll have a mess of cheese-free options. Unlike regular Mexican food, seafood isn’t usually cooked in butter or loaded up with cheese and sour cream. Much less to steer clear of.

But if you can eat dairy, I demand you 1) go to Día de Campo tonight, 2) order the chocolate duck quesadillas and mexican street corn, and 3) GET THE CHURROS. They’re coated in chili lime sugar and come with spiced coco sauce and what else do you need to know?

Website {at) http://diadecampohb.com/

Find Día de Campo {at} 1238 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Reservations {at} (310) 379-1829

Open {at) Mon-Wed: 5-10pm
                 Thu: 5pm-12:30am
                 Fri: 3pm-2am
                 Sat: noon-1am
                 Sun: noon-9pm
About these ads

One thought on “Día de Campo

  1. Pingback: Herringbone Los Angeles | D.W.A.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s