So I hadn't been to Fritto Misto in quite some time (and I had only been to the one in Santa Monica for lunch) so I did not know what to expect for dinner at the Hermosa Beach locale. Having been designated the culinary "picker" for our three out of town guests who simply requested "cheap, tasty, good Italian food", I hoped and prayed we'd be okay.
We'll start with the cons first:
- LOOOOONG wait for five people. We're talking we were told it would be 15 minutes, and ended up waiting more like 45 (which was wearing on ALL of our patience). Fortunately, the owner did come walking by with some plates of the tasty cheese/risotto something or other appetizers.
- VERY crowded. Very. Did I mention the long wait?
- Hostess seemed incredibly discombobulated.
- Beach cities people who have this sense of entitlement, and feel since they come there often they should get priority in getting seated first.
And the good:
- The food was actually exceptional given the price. I had the mushroom ravioli, which had the perfect al dente-ness and a great mushroom flavor. Everyone in our group LOVED their entrees, with comments such as "this was worth every bit of the wait."
- The server was fantastic, making any special accomodations to our order that we might want.
- Corkage: BIG PLUS HERE! The corkage is $1.50 per person, regardless of how many bottles you bring.
- Price: Again, our guests were treating us to dinner, so we did not want to make this some expensive venture. The cost for 5 entrees, 2 appetizers, corkage for 5 people, not to mention all the free bread they give you (and are more than willing to provide complimentary fresh garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil and balsamic), including tax, tip, and a dessert the owner threw in due to our wait, was $92.
If you just flew in from Tuscany, no, don't go to Fritto Misto expecting what you'd have had over there. But for a very good, reasonably priced (crowded on weekends) dinner experience, I'd totally recommend Fritto Misto.
NB: If you have 6 or more in your party, they will take reservations.