Socal Neutral Bay
Socal’s bottomless fiesta includes two hours of unlimited drinks (with a cocktail on arrival) and a southern Cali-style banquet for $89. Friday to Sunday, with live music on Saturdays.
Socal is an ode to sun, sand and surf in the heart of Neutral Bay. Inspired by a surf trip to southern California, Ben Carroll and Hamish Watts of Applejack Hospitality (the team behind top Sydney venues Rafi, Bopp and Tone, The Botanist and The Butler) have brought the flavours and laid-back energy of the Californian coastline to the lower north shore – it’s as close as you’ll get without having to leave Sydney.
Design firm Luchetti Krelle (Momofuku Seiobo and Ananas) have imbued the space with bright colours, plenty of timber and lush greenery throughout. The breezy outdoor terrace is strung with coloured lights and evokes the beach bars of San Diego.
Head chef Keith Dsouza’s menu is a snapshot of southern Californian cuisine, combining vibrant Mexican flavours with a focus on seafood. Think Baja fish tacos, quesadillas filled with chorizo and Oaxacan cheese, and large dishes like boneless whole snapper and classic pork carnitas.
To drink, there’s a lengthy selection of agave spirits behind the bar. Margaritas here are a must. There’s also a good selection of local beer (think Grifter, Young Henrys and White Bay breweries) and a tight but considered list of new-wave and classic wine varietals.
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