What does a Denver-living Southern California girl do when she wants comfort food?
Find a Baja Mexican restaurant, of course! It seems appropriate to feature SOL Cocina for today’s “What in the World is on Their Menu” Wednesday (WIMM Wednesday) since I am making a trip to Southern California next week.
I’m from Southern California – San Diego county born and raised! Home of carne asada fries, delicious seafood dishes and some of the best Mexican food in the world outside of Baja California, Mexico proper. Because of this, SoCal Baja Mexican food is my comfort food. So when I heard the posh Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver, Colorado, had a restaurant of this fare, checking it out was a no brainer – maybe I was feeling nostalgic.
You immediately feel the SoCal vibes when entering SOL Cocina – open kitchen, counter seating, lively bar, and coastal décor. I was transported back home, with a sense of familiarity sitting at their glass fire pit, waiting to be seated with a margarita in hand. I couldn’t place it until I was informed that Executive Chef & Partner Deborah Schneider was inspired by her countless surf trips down the California coast to open SOL. There is even another SOL Restaurant in Newport Beach & Playa Vista, California.
SOL’s Signature Drinks: CUCUMBER JALAPENO
Muddled cucumber slices and fresh jalapeno with Corralejo Blanco, fresh lime and agave nectar
To start, I ordered a fresh Margarita (WIMM Wednesday today – Margarita Day, everyday) and without asking, fresh chips and salsa were placed on the table. With over 24 fresh salsas, you’re bound to find one you like. Bonus? Warm bean dip with it! Extra bonus? The chips, salsa and warm bean dip aren’t an additional charge!
For those of you scratching your head about this (who charges for chips and salsa?), I’ve noticed that many Denver restaurants consider these nibbles an appetizer, and charge accordingly.
HOT & RAW TROPICAL CEVICHE
Spicy, lime & orange, habaneros, tropical fruit, avocado, cucumber & pico, with yam & red beet chips
While I love chips and salsa (who doesn’t?), I crave ceviche – it’s my favorite. And SOL’s ceviche did not disappoint!
LOBSTER & SHRIMP ENCHILADAS
Golden tomatillo sauce, azafran, crema, mole
A Baja California regional staple, order the seafood enchiladas, delicious!
GRILLED SWEET CORN
with butter, lime, chiles, cotixa cheese & chipotle drizzle
Always order the side of corn, roasted and grilled, then cut off the cob tableside, and mixed with chipotle salsa, cotixa cheese, ground ancho chile and lime.
SOL Cocina is a great WIMM Wednesday choice – a little bit of my SoCal home in Denver. For more of “What in the World is on Their Menu” – check the Sol Cochina Online Menu. Executive Chef Deborah Schneider is a 2009 James Beard Foundation Book Award Nominee. Lastly, for those of you in NewPort Beach, Playa Vista and Scottsdale, there are SOL locations there. We will be adding these to our list!