Sol Cocina is a warm and welcoming restaurant that serves modern interpretations of traditional Coastal Mexican cuisine with a focus on fresh, sustainable ingredients. Executive Chef Deborah Schneider is always updating her delicious menu at this hotspot that sits on PCH in Newport Beach at 251 E. Pacific Coast Highway. With another location in Scottsdale, there are 2 other locations slated to open later, this year…one in Playa Vista, CA & another in Cherry Creek, CO.
Recently Sol Cocina invited me in to their restaurant to experience SOL’s new Baja Seafood Menu that had a large emphasis on the freshest seafood, brought in daily. According to Executive Chef Deborah Schneider she says, “With this menu we’re peeling back another layer of Coastal Mexican cuisine and diving deeper into the heart of Baja’s culinary culture-fresh seafood,” with this new menu! Sol Cocina will be turning 6 this summer and it is time to once again change up the menu. The new menu includes Seafood Samplers, Playa Broiled Oysters, Baja Blue Crab Stacks, Grilled Baby Octopus, and more.
Chef Deb had an elaborate spread at this dinner where I had the opportunity to check out all of the menu items which were a gorgeous sight to see! I tried several items that I would like to share with you below.
We started with mini micheladas which are a beverage prepared with a spicy Mexican beer with Clamato, fresh lime juice, Mexican seasoning, and a chile con limon rim. I can describe this as a Bloody Mary made with beer instead of vodka. It was very interesting in flavor. My hubby loved it. 🙂 Paired with the Micheladas there was a variety of tostadas and dips.
The first item served for the evening was 3 special types of ceviche. The Ceviche Del Dia is a chef’s daily ceviche creation of fresh, local, and seasonal seafood. The Hot & Raw Tropical Ceviche is raw fish mixed to order with fresh-squeezed lime and orange habanero chilies, tropical fruit, cucumber, pico de gallo and avocado, and served in a tall glass with beet and yam chips. Last, but not least is the Ceviche SOL which was prepared with sashimi-grade raw fish with fresh-squeezed lime juice, Serrano chilies, pico de gallo and avocado, served with tostadas!
The next items to arrive were several different platters of Chilled oysters on Platters with Sauces. These different oyster selections consisted of:
Oysters On The Half Shell, which were Fresh-shucked oysters on the half shell (varieties are subject to change daily and seasonally) Served on ice with lemon and SOL’s chipotle cocktel sauce.
Next for oysters, there were Oyster Shots which consisted of Single shucked oyster with SOL’s chipotle cocktel sauce and fresh lime.
Then along came the Mad Dog Oysters which were Fresh-shucked oysters with habanero salsa, fresh lime and a dash of smoky mescal.
Fourth in the oyster lineup were the Crispy Deep-Fried Oyster Bombs which were prepared as 5 crusted and fried oysters, served on the half shell on a bed of rock salt with creamy lemon-jalapeno salsa, green onion and pickled jalapeño.
Lastly the Playa Broiled Oysters came out to play. These were Fresh-shucked oysters broiled with Mexican cheeses and chorizo, green onions and pickled jalapeño. I think this one stole the show visually. Even though I do not eat oysters, these ones were quite visually appealing…It is probably because I am obsessed with cheese!
The next dish to arrive to the party was the Mussels & Chorizo which was prepared with Baja black mussels and chorizo in garlic, butter, white wine, and tomatoes, with chile-garlic toasts.
Prior to starting the next batch of seafood we had the opportunity to experience a lovely cocktail called the Fish Bowl that was prepared by the amazing mixologist, Colin Pflugradt. This drink was full of flavor and meant to serve a large group as can be seen in my photos.:)
Some amazing new items added to the menu that I enjoyed thoroughly were the Seafood Samplers. These dishes were:
SOL On Ice
Serves 4-6 – an assortment of oysters on the half shell, Gulf shrimp, lobster, crab, mussels and ceviche, served with seafood sauces.
Serves 1-3 – an assortment of oysters on the half shell, Gulf shrimp, lobster, crab and mussels, served with seafood sauces.
Create Your Own Sampler
Create your own sampler, ordered by the piece: oysters on the half shell, Gulf shrimp, lobster, crab and mussels.
Another new addition to the menu is the Crudo Plate prepared with ‘Fisherman’s sashimi’ – thin slices of raw market fish, dressed with cilantro and Serrano chile, served with soy, lime and creamy chipotle salsa. I hope to taste this one in the future as it was gone before I could photograph it. This means it had to be pretty amazing!
Last to arrive were the Seafood Specials which consisted of:
Grilled Baby Octopus
Prepared in the Spanish style with olive oil, garlic, smoked chile and lemon – served a la carte.
Baja Blue Crab Stack
Blue Crab with mango salsa, cucumber, avocado, salted lemon cream and cilantro oil – served a la carte. Also available with Maine Lobster.
T.J. Grilled Shrimp Ceasar
Romaine salad with authentic Tijuana-style ceasar dressing, cotixa cheese, green olives and garlic toasts, topped with grilled shrimp and sliced avocado.
TJ Whole Fried Fish
Whole sustainable fish slashed and deep-fried, decked out with salsas, onions, cilantro and avocado.
The last cocktail Colin prepared for the evening was the Farmers Market Margarita which had fresh flavors of berry. He also paired a peach version. This margarita is made with the fresh fruit that is in season.
For dessert we had Mini Blondie Platters which were ever so delicious and went so well with the cream in which they were served with! I will have to get one of these to finish off my meal once again the next time I go to visit Sol Cocina!
Have you tried anything from the amazing new Baja Seafood menu designed by Executive Chef Deborah Schneider? Please let me know your thoughts below in the comments section. Happy dining!
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