251 E. Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92660
It is probably no secret to any of our regular readers of this blog that we really like Sol Cocina. We have visited this restaurant numerous times. This was the venue for our first media event, it was also one of our highest rated restaurants in 2011, and Sol was also the restaurant where Katie and I celebrated Valentines Day this year. It is always a treat coming back to Sol Cocina, and we were really excited when we were recently invited to celebrate the return of Tequila Thursdays and to get a first look at their new Spring/Summer Culinary Offerings.
Let's start with the return of Tequila Thursdays. On Thursdays guests can enjoy a complimentary taste of the featured tequila of the night from 6-8 pm. After you have your taste, you can then take advantage of that featured tequila being offered at half price for the rest of the night. I have included the remaining dates and tequilas below.
April 11th: Patron
April 18th: Tres Sietes
April 25th: Partida
May 2nd: Cinco De Mayo
May 9th: Patron
May 16th: Tequila Ocho
May 23rd: Pura Vida
May 30th: TBD
June 6th: Partida
June 13th: Restaurant Buyout
June 20th: Dos Armadillos
June 27th: Casa Noble
We were lucky enough to be able to try Sol's latest addition to their 70 plus tequilas, the Sol Single Barrel Reposado. This extremely limited tequila is only offered at Sol Cocina in Newport and Scottsdale. As the name suggests, this tequila is made in a single barrel at the Casa Noble estate in Mexico. This means that there are only 360 bottles of this tequila available. Talk about being rare. A lot goes into making this tequila, starting with the wood used for the barrel. It is French white oak that is slightly charred for the optimal aging of the tequila. The tequila is then aged for 364 days, monitored during that time, then placed in hand-made bottles, which are numbered and signed by the makers. The result is a tequila that is able to be sipped, or is able to keep its presence felt in a cocktail. I am not too much of a sipping tequila kind of guy, but this Single Barrel Reposado was very smooth and I detected hints of caramel in it. Even in the Margarita you could tell that this was a very special tequila.
After all of this tequila I was definitely ready for some food, and lucky for me some of the newest seasonal offerings were headed out for us to try. Sol Cocina has had some of the best guacamole we have ever had. Now they are offering two new ones. The Guacamole Verano caught my attention right away. This guacamole had raspberries dusted with chili con limon, toasted almonds, spicy Serrano chiles, and cotixa cheese. Talk about having a little bit of everything in this guacamole. Every bite contained a new element. The sweetness from the raspberries, the earthiness from the almonds, and the spiciness from the chili were very evident here. The Corn Goddess Guacamole was a little more traditional. This one used their regular guacamole as a base, and then added grilled and crunchy corn, cotixa cheese, pico de gallo, minced Serrano chiles, red onions, cilantro, and a first for me, Inca Corn, which is like a version of corn nuts, very crunchy. I just had a small sampling of this one, but this guacamole also had layered flavors, that played nicely against each other.
My favorite food item of the night was the Taco Viper. I could not control myself with these, and probably ate close to five of them. This taco started with a corn tortilla, and then melted cheese and grilled chicken is added. Then the viper salsa is added to the taco. This viper salsa is made up of dried chipotle meco, caramelized onions, agave, a splash of tequila, and just for good measure, ghost chili, the hottest chile on the planet. This taco had a good heat, but was not as scary as it sounds. Katie even tried this one, but she did not have another one. The heat was good, but you could still taste the other elements of the taco. A very hard balance to find, but Chef Deb definitely did it here.
I was pretty full from the Taco Viper, so I limited myself to only one of these Taco Adobado D.F.. These are the taco that is most closely associated with Mexico City, which Mexicans call the the D.F. In this version of a taco, the pork is added to a marinade, diced onions, and pineapple, then that filling is put into a puffy fried flour tortilla. This was a different taste for me. It was a little on the sweeter side. I also wanted the pork to stand out more than it did. Not bad, but maybe for people that enjoy a more mellower taste.
This of course is only a small portion of the new seasonal offerings at Sol Cocina. When I got home I perused the new seasonal menu and found a few other things that caught my eye, including the Puerto Nuevo Lobster Tacos, the Spicy Chicken Milanesa Torta, and the Hangover Changa, which is basically a breakfast burrito deep fried. Wow, that sounds amazing, but that one is only available at brunch. I guess we will have to make another trip to Sol Cocina to try their brunch soon.
I would like to thank everyone at Sol Cocina for this great event that they put together. Starting with the driving force behind Sol Cocina, cookbook author, James Beard nominee, and too many more accolades to list here, Chef Deborah Schneider. The three times that we have met her, she always takes the time to talk with us and she is so passionate about her restaurant and her food, which shows in the end result. We would also like to thank Sol Cocina Partners, Rich Howland and Matt Baumayr for sharing with us the process about how the Sol Single Barrel Reposado came to be, and was brought to the restaurant. Another big shout out to one of the best PR people in the business, the wonderful Mona Shah-Anderson at Moxxe PR. We always enjoy your events Mona, especially when they are at Sol Cocina. Lastly, we would like to thank all of our fellow food bloggers, and media that we get a chance to catch up with at these events. We are all such a close knit group and it is great to swap stories, get tips from one another, and just catch up with all of you. We look forward to seeing you all again real soon.
For more information about Sol Cocina, and everything that they have going on there, check out their web site here: http://www.solcocina.com/