Name of Restaurant: Baran's 2239. Owners and brothers Jonathan and Jason Baran opened the restaurant in mid-March in Hermosa Beach. Back in 1937, the Baran family opened Brotherton's Farmhouse on 2239 Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. The restaurant served fried chicken and biscuits for more than 50 years before closing.
Concept: The restaurant brands itself as casual American dining, and while the atmosphere is casual, the food is not. The grilled romanesco cauliflower is topped with an unlikely combination of balsamic cherries, horseradish and sage. And the smoked and fried chicken with a soy and chile gastrique is not the classic fried chicken that was once served at the Brotherton's Farmhouse, although the restaurant's exposed wooden ceiling and the communal high-top table is reminiscent of the farmhouse.
Some of the food comes from Weiser Family Farms, owned by chef Tyler Gugliotta's family. You may remember Gugliotta from the team that helped open Bistro Bagatelle in West Hollywood. And although you could easily finish an entree alone, everything is meant to be shared. You and your friends order whatever you're craving and the dishes are arranged so that everyone can sample as they please.
What's around: Hermosa Beach. The water is about a mile away from your table, and the restaurant is lodged between Purple Haze Smoke Shop and Rotisserie Chicken Kebabs.
Order this: If you like crab and shrimp, you'll like the crab and shrimp sausage toast. The crisp bread is topped with a layer of remoulade sauce, the sausage and a celery herb salad. It comes cut in half, so you can share.
And this: The Indian egg is an egg encapsulated with lamb sausage, served with curry jus and a cucumber salad.
Why you should order dessert: Because it's dessert, of course, but also because the restaurant does dessert and beer pairings. And who knew that peanut butter stout pairs so nicely with coffee toffee pudding? The draft beer list includes 12 (mostly) California beers such as San Diego's Modern Times rotational Fruitlands varieties, Mammoth's Double Nut Brown Ale and L.A.'s Honest Abe cider. And the bottled beer list has a range of IPAs such as the 22-ounce, 10% alcohol-by-volume Hooloomooloo DBL, lagers/Pilseners and browns/ambers, to name a few.
Who to bring: Your chatty friends. There's something about family-style that makes people feel at home — especially when the food is paired with beer.
For the ambitious: You and your hungry friends can split the 2-pound dry-aged rib-eye on the menu — for $95.
Don't forget to: Make a reservation, as the restaurant is small and fills up quickly. You can make reservations here or by giving them a call.
Info: 502 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach, (424) 247-8468, barans2239.com