Baja Bliss

Sol Cocina Brings Baja Sun to Los Angeles

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SOL Cocina's Baja-style tacos
SOL Cocina serves vibrant Baja-style food like this Viper Taco with grilled chicken and ghost chile–chipotle salsa. (Photos courtesy of SOL Cocina)

Updated Jul 2, 2017 @ 8:06 am

If your idea of Baja-style Mexican cuisine is limited to greasy fried-fish tacos, then get ready to get fresh.

SOL Cocina, an upscale-casual Mexican spot that recently opened in Playa Vista, is offering L.A. an overdue introduction to the healthful pleasures of Baja California cuisine. It’s the brainchild of chef Deborah Schneider, whose extensive surf-trip travels through the region have inspired her to replicate the spirit of Baja’s roadside stands selling wood-grilled tacos, just-caught seafood ceviches and healthy salsas.

SOL Cocina's main room is inviting
SOL Cocina is slick enough for a date but relaxed enough for a family dinner.

Accordingly, seafood figures prominently on the menu, and sustainability is a priority. All of the restaurant’s fish—primarily wild-caught—has been “green” certified by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program; selections change daily. On our visit, we enjoyed moist, wild ono served over flavorful (non-GMO) sweet corn esquites with tomato, basil, lime and epazote-avocado butter ($38).

The meat sourcing is also conscientious. Beef lovers will savor the grass-fed carne asada tacos ($14.75) and the organic, grass-fed grilled kobe skirt steak served with cilantro sauce, raw tomatillo salsa and cebollitas ($31). Chicken and pork selections, like the mixed-meat taco bufalada ($8.50), are antibiotic- and hormone-free.

But the vegetable dishes, made with primarily organic produce, are just as tempting. Be sure to try the “guacamole SOL” studded with mango and goat cheese ($10.75) as well as the vibrant kale, spinach and quinoa salad with citrus dressing ($13). Vegans (and gluten-free folks) will find abundant choices; the sweet potato-black bean taco ($5.75) is especially delicious.

Ready to blow your fried-fish taco stand?

SOL Cocina
12775 W. Millenium Dr., #160, Playa Vista
(424) 289-0066
solcocina.com/playa-vista