In late 2014 Solita Tacos & Margaritas opened at the mall. The opening was significant because it was the start of a new wave of established restaurants coming to Santa Clarita. Let me explain. The Solita brand has a significant presence in Huntington Beach, Deborah Schneider, the chef/partner has published multiple cookbooks, and when they were looking for a second location, they chose the Westfield Valencia mall. Huntington Beach to Valencia is a significant difference, but luckily Santa Clarita has been welcoming. They also have a sister restaurant in Arizona! In the time since Solita opened, there have been other significant high profile openings like Bonefish, Cheesecake Factory, and soon Saddle Ranch. Regardless of what you might make of the large chains coming to SCV, there is no denying that it gives our town more exposure, thus making it a place that bigger stores/restaurants will consider as a viable location. So about that Nordstrom Rack?
And while Solita is not a chain, it is fantastic to see that they took the chance in being ahead of the game here in Santa Clarita. They have brought a beautiful restaurant, the type of place that makes for a fun date night or that makes you feel like you are out in LA all without having to leave town. And while there are many other Mexican restaurants in town, Solita’s food is different. Many of their items center around their wood grill, and there is a sense of fun and uniqueness with the menu with a touch of California. Along with the traditional chips and salsa they throw in some duros (those Mexican pinwheels) and elevate traditional street food like corn on the cob. Inspired by their travels throughout Baja, there’s something about Solita’s food that I love. I eat street food and I eat at hole in the wall Mexican restaurants all the time, but I can appreciate the upscale dining experience they offer here.
Solita held a special event last night where they showcased their new menu offerings. The food looked gorgeous, unreal almost. People assume that writing for eatSCV means that I run around getting invited to media dinners all the time, but that isn’t the case at all. I’m glad I attended last night though, because I got to see a lot of friends I had not seen in a while. And honestly? The food we got to sample was quite good. And you know I always keep it real with you guys.
Some of the standouts:
The Vampiro: a modern take on the classic baja dish, their vampiro looks like a taco at first glance but has a quesadilla as the base.
Chicken Mole Empanaditas: red masa empanadas filled with their fantastic chicken mole.
Bean Dip: Not your typical bean dip. This one is served in a cast iron cazuela and topped with pork rinds.
Pescado: an elevated fish taco that is so flavorful but very spicy.
Mole: this traditional mole is spot on flavor wise. Also served in a cast iron cazuela, this chicken mole has been a long time coming for Solita. So many people have requested mole that it was inevitable it would end up on the menu. Luckily it is very good!
Also, you can’t go wrong with the Valentina chicken (sold by the piece), the flautas, and any of the tacos.
Drink wise, bartender Tony Diaz, who also happens to be an eatSCV reader, made some excellent recommendations, including this watermelon margarita!
And of course, a classic:
The restaurant has a full bar (complete with TVs) and a menu full of the margaritas, beer, wine, and tequila.
On Valentine’s Day they’ll have a special drink: Casamigos tequila, hibiscus syrup, and a frozen rose. Right in the drink.
If you have never been to Solita it is definitely worth a visit, and if you haven’t been in a while then the new menu options should be reason enough to go back. I enjoy Solita, I think it is different from other restaurants, serving up Baja influenced dishes in an elevated yet fun way.
Solita Tacos and Margaritas is located at 24201 Valencia Blvd. Suite #3470. In the newer patios section of the mall to the left of Lyfe Kitchen and Bonefish.