I used to live in Hermosa Beach. I think everyone should live at the beach at least for a year of their life, just like owning a convertible, it's one of those experiences that is necessary to the experience of life. Sometime once is enough and sometimes it isn't, but either way you can always go back to visit and act like a native.
I recently went back to Hermosa Beach right before sunset and strolled around Hermosa Avenue, noting with nostalgia all the places that had changed or were simply gone, all the while noting with pleasure that some places are still there after nearly twenty years.
Greeko's is still there (and has been since 1990) selling hippie hemp wallets, sandals and smoking paraphernalia. It's like time never moved inside the store full of tie-dyed clothes and incense.
Hennessey's tavern is still where it was at the end of the Pier, but with an upgraded sundeck giving a spectacular view of the beach. Still great for drinks and burgers.
Across the pier, there is the Cantina Real with great Margaritas. A good breakfast can be had at the Cafe Bonaparte bakery/cafe right next door.
A new addition is Mediterraneo with great drinks like the Helvis (a spicy peppery martini) and a good happy hour special of tapas (but be careful what you order - I had half cooked shrimp and over cooked lamb skewers).
There is a convenient new parking lot next to the pier and a bike path along the beach for those who want to work off their drinks and food with some exercise. Maybe you can't go home again, but you can make visiting Hermosa a happy habit.