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Socalo Opens

Restaurateurs and renowned chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken make their return to Santa Monica with the debut of Socalo within the Gateway Hotel. The duo is known for their beloved restaurant, Border Grill, which opened in Santa Monica in 1990 and has since expanded to locations in Downtown Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Inspired by the Spanish word Zócalo, meaning a central gathering place in Mexican cities, and the restaurant’s home in SoCal, Socalo offers conscientiously-sourced menu options. The restaurant provides quick counter service at breakfast, including pastries and fresh juices, as well as at lunch. The dinner menu shifts to full-service dining with raw bar offerings and an array of small plates, salads, taco selections and large plates. To start, Socalo will be serving breakfast and lunch, with the addition of dinner service to follow. The beachy California canteen and Mexican pub features Milliken and Feniger’s Mexican fare with a California sensibility, alongside Mexican craft beers, wines and cocktails. Breakfast highlights include: Sweet or Savory House made Granolas with chia passion fruit, oat milk yogurt or Straus yogurt, topped with farmers market fruit or veggies; Buenos Dias Bowl, made with impossible chorizo, crunchy quinoa, fried egg, spinach, queso fresco, and salsa verde; El Mañanero Burrito made with scrambled eggs, refried beans, Oaxacan cheese, crispy potatoes, and chipotle aioli; Impossible Chorizo and Potato Empanadas; and Guava Cheese Empanadas. For lunch order up Ensenada Mixta made with shrimp, tuna, octopus, lime, jalapeño; Vampiro Steak and Shrimp Tacos with griddled cheese, and salsa macha; and Jackfruit Tinga Tacos, roasted poblano, crispy jalapeño, with avocado tomatillo salsa. Dinner includes the Baja Seafood Platter with oysters with chipotle mignonette, Ensenada mixta, Mexicali ceviche, shrimp campechana, seasonal veggies, and tortilla chips; Farmers Market Cazuela, stew of summer squash, corn, red beans, kale, served with grilled artichoke, and chimichurri; Lamb Birria, slow braised lamb shoulder, consomé, escabeche, and tomatillo mint salsita; and Grilled Steak Arrachera, garlicky citrus skirt steak, calabacitas, broccolini, and charred spring onion. Los Angeles mixologist Juan Martinez created Socalo’s cocktail menu highlighting small batch mezcal and tequila-forward craft drinks, sourcing many of the spirits from Mexico, with standout selections including: Break In Oaxaca, made with chamomile infused mezcal, licor 43, lemon, maple syrup, egg white, and xocolatl bitters; Diego & I, made with mezcal, aperol, citrus, mango guajillo shrub, and tajin; Day of the Dead, made with pox, ancho reyes, mint, lime, and watermelon chipotle shrub. To complement, there will be Mexican wines and craft beers from Ensenada, Tijuana, Mexicali, and beyond.

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