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Home » Restaurant Review » Solita – A fresh taste of Baja in Huntington Beach
Solita – A fresh taste of Baja in Huntington Beach

Solita – A fresh taste of Baja in Huntington Beach

Solita – A fresh taste of Baja in Huntington Beach

Solita opens it’s doors on December 26th  at the Bella Terra Shopping center

Solita Exterior 1

Solita is attached to the Apartments in Bella Terra

I often ponder why businesses continue to open new Mexican restaurants  in a sea of suburban Taquirias, Oaxaca influenced cantinas, and gringo friendly cheese-bomb establishments. Occasionally a new and unique Mexican restaurant  will open that truly differentiates itself and draw in the local community.  For me, I had this moment when I attended a preview of Solita at the Bella Terra center, in Huntington Beach. I was impressed by the food, cocktails and ambiance.  Perhaps the X-Factor for me is that Solita’s food reminded me of my college trips to Baja. 

Solita Interior 04

The interior of Solita is inspired by up rugged culinary scene in Baja Mexico

 

I have many memories of going down to Baja when I attended San Diego State University and enjoyed all types of fresh seafood, tacos and street food. The restaurants were set up in shacks. The restaurant had humble looks, but  proud flavors in their food. Solita captures some of these memories with their Baja influenced menu.  The restaurant management team spent some time in Mexico discovering the best Baja cuisine.  They came back and attempted to recreate the magic of Baja. 

Solita Food 44- all food at pass

Solita brings fresh and seasonal cuisine to Huntington Beach

 

Just as in the Baja Mexico, Solita uses a wood burning style grill and smoker that imparts a rustic smoke flavor to their dishes.  According to executive Chef Deb Schneider, who spent considerable time in Mexico as a chef , “What makes Solita so unique is that we incorporated a wood grill like so many we have enjoyed in Mexico, and created a menu around it that offers fresh, simple preparations made with seasonal ingredients.”

Solita Chef Deb

Executive Chef Deb Schneider brings her experience with Baja Cuisine to Solita

 

Solita is more casual sister restaurant to the more posh Sol Mexican Cocina in Newport Beach. Solita reminds me of your beach bum brother who cleans up nicely for work, casual at the core, but all business. This casual neighborhood Mexican restaurant is approachable both from price point and style of food. There is something for every taste at Solita.

What we tasted

Guacamole Solita – Guacamole fresh made guacamole served in a fried tortilla bowl, topped with diced mango, tomato, onion, serrano chile, & cilantro. You have to try their guacamole at least once.

Solita Food Chips and Salsa 04

Solita’s Guacamole is delicious

 

Tequila shrimp & avocado sundae – lightly cooked shrimp with blanco tequila, salsa fresca, lime juice & chipotles layered with a creamy avocado sauce.. This dish was cool and creamy with acidic flavors from the tomatoes. 

Solita Food Tequila Sundae 1

The Tequila Sundae is a must try if you want a light and refreshing dish

 

Grilled corn elote – whole ear of sweet corn roasted & grilled with butter, chipotle salsa, California chiles, cotixa & green onion. This dish stole the show from the rest of the menu items. The sweet corn,  butter and cotixa cheese was accentuated by the subtle sizzle of the chipotle sauce. This is a must order item for anyone visiting Solita for the first time. 

Solita Food Elota 4

The best elote I have tried recently

 

Yellowtail ceviche tropicale – diced fresh Gulf of California yellowtail tossed with fresh-squeezed lime juice, serrano chiles, cucumber, bits of tropical fruit & salsa fresca, avocado. If you looking for something cool and refreshing, I would order the yellowtail ceviche. I liked the balance of acidity to fish protein, thus allowing the yellow tail’s natural flavor to shine through. 

Solita Food yellowtail ceviche 1

The yellowtail ceviche is authentic and refreshing

Taco Plates

Solita has an impressive selection of tacos from fish to chile tofu, something for everyone.  They are available in platters of three tacos plus two sides or their “Just Tacos”, which provides four tacos,  and no sides. To me  rice and beans are just filler, I recommend the “Just Tacos” platter so that you can save your stomach space for more tacos.  Below are some examples of tacos Solita makes from scratch:

  • Crispy fried fish taco – house made batter & secret sauce, lime –  The fish has a crispy crust and soft juicy meat center that is accentuated with their mayo based sauce. This was my favorite taco.
Solita Food Tacos 02

Solita’s crispy fish tacos

  • Los cadillacs -A little surf and turf taco, baja style with wood-grilled beef asada, topped with chipotle shrimp
  • Wood-grilled carne asada – If you are a fan of carne asasda tacos, these will not disappoint. Theiu carne asada is seasoned with a spice rub and cooked over the wood-grill. This taco had complex flavors and left me wanting another.
Solita Food Tacos 03

The taco platter

  • Wood-grilled ancho chile chicken – Wood grill rotisserie  dark meat chicken is served with garlic & ancho chiles.
  • Mushrooms with garlic & epazote – I personally did not try the mushroom taco, but it is made with sautéed mixed exotic mushrooms red chile beef ‘borracho’ – oak-smoked shredded beef, beer-spiked salsa.
  • Pork carnitas – Solita’s interpretation is of this slow-roasted pork is impressive and delicious in a taco with fresh guacamole.
Solita Food Tacos 01

Pork Caritas and Carne Asada tacos

 

Quesadillas- Two large tortillas are crisped using butter and stuffed with Mexican cheese, your choice of meat, salsa fresce and guacamole.

Solita Food Quesodilla

The Solita Quesodillas are large

 

Lazy enchiladas- 3 corn tortillas folded over Mexican cheeses & meat, topped with green or red enchilada sauce, sour cream, cotixa cheese, lettuce & salsa fresca. There is no need to roll your enchiladas in my opinion, as long as they taste delicious.

Solita Food lazy enchiladas

The Solita Lazy Enchiladas

 

Skirt steak asada with toreados  A really nice cut of angus steak is wood-grilled served with with avocado, grilled jalapeno toreados & scallions, chimichurri sauce. The wood grilling makes gives this steak it’s complex flavors. The steak was cooked perfectly, juicy and a hot pink center.

Solita Food Skirt Steak Toreados Chimichuri 2

Skirt steak asada with toreados – Packed full of flavor

 

Wood-grilled wild fish – Seasonal and local fish is grilled with lime butter. This is a very simple preparation, but it allows the natural flavors of the fish to shine through. This is the way I remember eating fresh fish in Mexico. 

Solita Food Wood Grilled Wild Fish 04

Delicate flavors dominate in the the Wild Fish dish. The fish has subtle hints of wood smoke.

 

Perro caliente ‘changa’ – (grilled mexican hot dog) rolled in a flour tortilla with bacon, cream cheese, pickled jalapeno & onion, deep-fried & topped with sour cream, lettuce, green onions & salsa fresco. This dish is the epitome of Ensenada style mobile cuisine.  Although this dish sounds funky it is extremely delicious and a must try. The picture you see below is a slice of the Perro Caliente.  

Solita Food perro caliente changa - grilled mexican hot dog 2

The Perro Caliente is a must try! Hot Dog and fixing wrapped in tortilla and deep fried. Sounds strange, but a MUST try! I ate a lot of these while I was at SDSU

 

Cocktails and Margaritas

Just as impressive as the food, their margaritas and other cocktails were equally delicious. Made with natural ingredients and house crafted mixers, these cocktails allow the natural flavors to shine through.  The two cocktails I tried:

Solita House Margarita made with 100% blue agave agavles blanco, housemade sweet and sour, a touch of orange juice and Triple Sec. This is a clean tasting margarita that can be enjoyed without getting the sick feeling from artificial ingredients. If you progress no further than their house margarita, you will be in good shape.

 

Solita Margarita 02

Solita’s House Margaritas is a must try

 

The other cocktail I tried and my absolute favorite is the Horchata Cocktail. This cocktail is made with Solita’s housemade horchata, agavales blanco tequila, 1921 crema and a dash of cinnamon that tied the cocktail together. This cocktail can be trouble in inexperienced hands, so order more than  one.

Solita Margarita 10

The Horchata Cocktail, goes down creamy smooth, but has a kick on the back-end

 

My Final Thoughts about Solita

Solita Food Chips and Salsa 611

Tom’s Foodie Blog highly recommends Solita because of the high-quality food and friendly service. As a disclosure I visited during a preview. Although judging by the attention to detail that they have placed on their sister restaurant Sol Cocina, I expect Solita will keep a consistent level of quality way past opening day (December 26th). Everyone in my group was very excited about the food and commented how much they liked the restaurant. For me there was something honest and simple about Solita’s food that made it so easy to enjoy.

Solita 

7631 Edinger Avenue Suite 1508 Huntington Beach, CA 92647 (attached to the Bella Terra Appartments)  <–lucky residents

www.solitatacos.com

714-894-2792

Hours

  • sunday – thursday 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • friday & saturday 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • bar closes at midnight daily

Solita Tacos & Margaritas on Urbanspoon

 View Tom’s Foodie Blog’s other posts

Seabirds Restaurant  -Vegan Food truck goes brick and mortar

Greenleaf Wine Cocktails

C4 Deli – A legit New York style deli in Downtown Santa Ana 

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.

19 comments

  1. I like mexican food, there is a place around me that has been around for decades and its always packed!

  2. I grew up in S. CA and live in Arizona now. I’ve found that the Mexican food from each state is very different from each other. Both are wonderful in their own way. The ceviche would be something I would definitely try.

  3. Solita has a broad menu with great Mexican choices. The roasted corn on the cob makes me want to jump in my car and head north right now. Thanks for the menus.

  4. Food looks amazing! The grilled corn, wow I can almost taste it!

  5. tom i want to eat out as much as you (and the same foods)!!

  6. I often wonder the something, but looks like you’ve hit the gold mine with this one!

  7. We have so many here, but nothing compared to what you’ve written and posted pictures of. Sure would like to try that elite!

  8. Yum!! I love this place:) Let’s go back again soon:) I want a Horchata!!

  9. That grilled corn looks fabulous. Was it spicy?

  10. Oh my word … that looks lush … will share on my page and see if anyone fancies taking me out to dinner :D xxx

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