Hermosa Beach’s Pier Avenue has a new gastropub with a very unlikely name: American Junkie. The restaurant opened in late April just steps from the sand in the former Sangria space to serve a $15-and-under selection of traditional U.S. pub grub from chef Hector Cruz, including fig and prosciutto pizza, pork confit and tinga tacos, bison burgers, elote, and sweet potato tater-tots, among lunch and dinner menus focused primarily on burgers, pizza, and tacos, including different vegetarian options. Drinks adhere to U.S. craft beers, whiskeys, bourbons, and California wines, as well as takes on classic cocktails.
While the smacktastic name is certainly attention-grabbing, American Junkie is sadly not a tribute to William S. Burroughs, Jim Carroll, or Charlie Parker. The name is meant more to describe a patriotic fanaticism that should fit right into this neighborhood. Judging from its promos for the DJ nights held on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturday, it reeks of a Jersey Shore-meets-Sharkeez kind of vibe, and comes descended from a Scottsdale restaurant of the same name. Add about 20 Plasma screens, a big rowdy patio, and a fixation with UFC, and suddenly you’re reminded you’re not in Bohemia, just stuck in the thick of South Bay nightlife.
American Junkie, 68 Pier Ave. Hermosa Beach. 310-376-4412.