June being National Seafood Month, was the perfect opportunity for SOL Cocina, Newport Beach’s popular hot spot for Baja-inspired Mexican cuisine and cocktails on the bay, to launch their expanded sustainable seafood offerings for the glorious summer months ahead. Just in time for the warmer weather, the menu includes stunning Seafood Samplers, Playa Broiled Oysters, Baja Blue Crab Stacks, Grilled Baby Octopus, and much more.
Last week, I attended their media tasting for local food writers, bloggers and IGers at SOL’s scenic location overlooking Newport Harbor and came away with a few favorites that I’ll be returning for – SOL has been a frequent haunt of mine since their opening six years ago (wow, where does the time go?!)
Corner patio table at SOL
Sure the food is fantastic, but what’s most fun about these tastings is being able to chat with chef/owner Deb Schneider, partner Matt Baumayr, and get silly with drink meister Colin Pflugradt (SOL/Solita’s beverage director).
Chef Deb Schneider
Beverage director, Colin Pflugradt
The Fish Bowl – Party Time!
SOL’s Baja Seafood Menu changes daily, based on what is fresh and available, and includes the following dishes:
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
‘Fisherman’s sashimi’ – thin slices of raw market fish, dressed with cilantro and Serrano chile, served with soy, lime and creamy chipotle salsa
Ceviche Del Dia
Chef’s daily ceviche creation of fresh, local, and seasonal seafood
Hot & Raw Tropical Ceviche
Raw fish mixed to order with fresh-squeezed lime and orange habanero chilies, tropical fruit, cucumber, pico de gallo and avocado, served in a tall glass with beet and yam chips
Made-to-order sashimi-grade raw fish with fresh-squeezed lime juice, Serrano chilies, pico de gallo and avocado, served with tostadas
Oyster Bombs are the bomb!
Oysters On The Half Shell
Fresh-shucked oysters on the half shell – varieties will change daily and seasonally. Served on ice with lemon and SOL’s chipotle cocktel sauce
Single shucked oyster with SOL’s chipotle cocktel sauce and fresh lime
Fresh-shucked oyster with habanero salsa, fresh lime and a dash of smoky mescal
Crispy Deep-Fried Oyster Bombs
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
Playa Broiled Oysters
Fresh-shucked oysters broiled with Mexican cheeses and chorizo, green onions and pickled jalapeño
Striped Bass – tender, sweet meat with avocado, onion, tomatoes, and lime. Served with tortillas and salsas.
Grilled Baby Octopus
Prepared in the Spanish style with olive oil, garlic, smoked chile and lemon – served a la carte
Mussels & Chorizo
Baja black mussels and chorizo in garlic, butter, white wine, and tomatoes, with chile-garlic toasts
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
TJ Whole Fried Fish
Whole sustainable fish slashed and deep-fried, decked out with salsas, onions, cilantro and avocado. Served with 2 sides and warm tortillas
Prices range from $99 for the SOL on Ice to $3 for an oyster shooter.
Full menus will be updated online at http://www.solcocina.com.
251 E. Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92660-6131