Hermanito, a bar-forward neighborhood Mexican restaurant in the heart of Sawtelle, is expanding to Santa Monica, located at 802 Broadway.
Amal Flores opened Hermanito in March 2020 and was forced to close soon after because of the pandemic. Once things were going again, Flores and Executive Chef Abraham Lemus pushed through the restrictions with a tight-knit team that operated like a family. Now, the company is ready to expand to a second location in Santa Monica, moving into the former home of Swingers, a diner that closed in 2019. There is no exact opening date for the new location, first reported by Toddrickallen.
When the new location opens, customers can expect a fusion of Mexican and Japanese flavors, the latter being a nod to the Sawtelle neighborhood. An example of this unique flavor comes from Lemus’ top pick: the braised chicken tinga bao buns, which come with cotija cheese, cabbage slaw, pickled onion, and cilantro. As for drinks, customers can expect a cocktail menu focused on mezcal and tequila. Despite the incredible food and drink menus, the restaurant itself doesn’t take itself too seriously.
“We would make blue corn tortillas at Hinoki and pair it with the Japanese fish. That kind of opened my horizons and then I took off with it,” Lemus told Santa Monica Daily Press when the restaurant first launched. “I was like ‘what if we made al pastor tacos, but we put in lemongrass and ginger?’ and it all started translating and making sense.”