More Naughty Than Nautical, This Los Angeles Dive Bar Has Character & Characters
It was a chilly Monday night, a friend was in town visiting and for dinner instead of walking the half mile toward Pier Plaza to what was no doubt going to be an empty bar for something to eat and a couple of beers, I suggested we go to the Hermosa Beach Yacht Club in the southern part of this Los Angeles beach city.
No place could be more appropriately misnamed than the Hermosa Beach Yacht Club – or HBYC as locals call it – because it’s not a “club,” it’s not on the marina, there are no boats and there’s nothing nautical about it.
But hey, why rock the boat when it comes to names, right?
It does have some salty characters, tho, as well as big schooners of draft beers and sensational burgers. As well as a kind of Hooters-ish element: sexy and seductively-dressed bartenders. The latter makes this place more naughty than nautical.
It’s all four of those things that I wanted to my friend to experience and he enjoyed each one of them.
The bartender was a tall, thin, sleek girl who was dressed to expose her flat belly and long (very long) legs. This just happens to be the type of girl that sends my friend into full throttle. When ordering his beer, he played her like a captain docking a ship, carefully maneuvering her from tap to tap to give him samples of each until finally tapping out at the 805.
Around us were a couple of the salty characters that make this such a quirky neighborhood bar – I often laugh because some guys go in there when a certain girl is working and sit as silently as a submarine while she moves around the small space – but this was interrupted when the burgers arrived to us.
And man, what burgers! A half-pound 80/20 Angus beef, juicy to the bite, a crisp onion providing a finishing touch every bite. On the side is a mound of the “HBYC chips,” kind of a hybrid between potato chips and french fries.
“Man this is a great burger,” my friend said.
We were so distracted by the burgers, we failed to notice a tall and nice-looking brunette had come into the bar and sat next to me. She said something and we whipped around in our tall barstool chairs and my friend immediately pulled her into a conversation.
Tho she seemed pretty stable, my friend got her to open up about her interesting and bizarre relationships, including one in which a boyfriend poured red wine all over her walls while she was gone for a business trip. You just never know what kinds of conversations you can find in this quirky bar.
“I love this place!,” my friend exclaimed as we existed, two schooners later, out onto Hermosa Ave.
Hey, Tower 12 its not. But people in the South Bay should pop in on occasion to go “yachting” while not on the water.
And to get some pretty darned good burgers, too.