Sea Level Appoints Executive Chef Craig Hopson

September 1, 2019

Industry recognized Chef Craig Hopson has taken over the kitchen from Chef Aaron Robbins at Sea Level Restaurant & Lounge.

A revered waterfront location with picturesque views of the King Harbor Marina, Sea Level Restaurant and Lounge sits on grounds of the premiere luxury boutique hotel, Shade in Redondo Beach. It opened in October 2016 along with the second location of the Shade Hotel brand.

Hopson hails from a small town outside of Perth, Australia called Geraldton. As a teenager dreaming to be a professional surfer, Craig stumbled on a restaurant job which allowed him to surf during the day and work at night. When he realized he had the talent and true passion to become a chef, he traded in his surfboard for four-years of schooling and apprenticeships around the country. He then moved to Europe to train at some of the world’s best restaurants. Stateside, he rose through the ranks quickly and lead some of Manhattan’s (NYC) most prestigious kitchens before landing in LA to further his creative journey as a chef. Most recently Hopson was the Executive Chef at Farmhouse in Beverly Center. Previously in New York City, he was Executive Chef at Artisanal, Picholine, One if by Land, Two If By Sea, Le Cirque and Beautique before starting his career in LA at Everytable. As evidenced by the list of successful restaurants, Chef Craig has so far had an illustrious career in the industry and has proven to be a trusted partner to restauranteurs both in New York and Los Angeles – two of America’s best food cities.

Outside of the kitchen, Hopson is an avid surfer. He is a part of Surfrider Foundation that works to protect our oceans, beaches and harbors and is proud to make Sea Level a certified Ocean Friendly Restaurant. One of his favorites aspects of being the Executive Chef at Sea Level is being near the water every day.

Hopson has updated the menu that features innovative California Coastal Cuisine with a twist. With a focus on fresh locally sourced seafood, he plans to continue developing an approachable menu with simple and robust flavors paired with creative presentation that is suitable for everyone who visits. He has recently rolled out a new menu at Sea Level Restaurant and Lounge and one of his select favorites is the Olive oil Poached Halibut with Lemon Verbena, green tomato caponata and fresh red tomato vinaigrette. New menu options include: Grilled Spanish Octopus, Heirloom Tomato Toast, Local Burrata & Strawberries, Grilled Yellowfin Tuna, Roasted Salmon Filet with summer squash, White Clam Pizza with charred corn and bacon, desserts and more.

Sea Level is open to guests of the hotel and the public for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, 7 days a week. Reservations are recommended.

For additional information, visit the website at

Sea Level Restaurant and Lounge is located at 655 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach, CA 90277.