Tuesday, April 9, 2013

SOL COCINA – A little fun and sun of Baja in Newport Beach.

 Mexican food with a modern twist from its Lobster Tacos to its Chili Relleno, this place is a go to establishment.  Located on Balboa Marina in New Port Beach the views are of the beautiful boats marooned on the pier.  The calming water scenery only adds to the style and flare from the traditional oversize wood chairs and tables to the high beam ceilings.  The atmosphere rates an A+.   It is a mix of Southern California and Baja. 
Each dish is served with a healthy twist.  The guacamole is available several ways from traditional called Naked Guacamole to Guacamole Sol made with guacamole, mango, tequila, goat cheese, pepitas and cilantro.  For a fruity flare Guacamole Verano is made with raspberries, chile con limon, serranos, almonds and cotixa.  Each guacamole dish does not disappoint it just depends on what you are in the mood for that night.   The chips are taco shells halved and sprinkled with paprika and salt.

The menu has something for every taste bud from chicken to short ribs.  The Shrimp Chile Relleno is untraditional as it is lightly battered and baked not fried stuffed with arroz verde, shrimp and cheese served with salsa diabla.  The poblano chiles have a bite so be sure you have some thing to drink.  The Mojitos are spot on and compliments the dish perfectly.  This dish was light and not heavy so there is plenty of room for dessert.

As I was missing my lobster from Puerto Nuevo since I am deferring travel there for an undetermined amount of time, I had to order the Puerto Nuevo Tacos Al Mojo De Ajo.  The Baja spiny lobster meat was sautéed with butter and garlic and delightful.  You have a choice of accompaniments so I went with the spicy coleslaw and quinoa salad. Rice and beans are so uninspiring.  One word describes this dish best “delicious”!  Light, not heavy, tender lobster with just enough garlic and butter that it was not soggy it was my top pick. 

This establishment does have Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas Verde and they were triangle style with plenty of spices, sauce and a drizzle of sour cream.  A favorite of the restaurant is the Short Ribs Barbacoa en Cazuela braised with guajillos, avocado leaf, nopales and tomatoes.  The short ribs just fall of the bone and have a Baja flavor. 

The desserts were the only disappointment.  I recommend Sol Cocina for dinner than indulging in coffee and dessert at the Koffee Klatch located at 1440 S Coast Hwy Laguna Beach, CA 92651, but more about Koffee Klatch later.

Sol Cocina rates 3.5 Forks Up for service, experience and food.  The desserts were lacking so I had to spend the gas money to find me something sweet.

SOL COCINA - 251 E. Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92660

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