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We also offer takeout with curbside pickup, delivery, and family meal kits.
Located within Santa Monica’s Gateway Hotel, Socalo is a beachy, California canteen and Mexican pub from award-winning chef/owners Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken.
Socalo serves conscientiously-sourced, seasonal SoCal Mexican fare with quick counter service during the day while dinner shifts to full-service dining alongside cocktails featuring small-batch spirits, craft beers on tap and Mexican wines.
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- Surfaces sanitised between seatings
- Common areas deep cleaned daily
- Clean menu provided to every guest
- Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
- Contactless payment available
- Sealed or wrapped utensils used
- Limited number of seated diners
- Distancing maintained in common areas
- Extra space between tables
- Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
- Waiting staff wear masks
- Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Exceptional service, Drinks tasted great.
Terrific evening out. Donald the manager took a liking to us the minute we got there -- we were early for our reservation but he found us a sweet outside table right in the front. The whole crew was so happy to have actual dining guests they really watched over us. Food was exceptional, the fish tacos and cauliflower fresh and tasty. They were a little slow with our dinner, but they apologized and brought us a half order of guac and chips on the house. This was a Saturday night and every outside table was taken by the time we left. I hesitate to tell too many people about this place as it may get too busy.
Mary Sue and Susan had me with the perfect Margarita with Guac/Chips/salsa!! Excellent food, and service.
Amazing flavors from appetizers to desert. Cocktails to die for...... I love this place.
Great food and service
It was nice to sit on the patio and enjoy the meal!
I ate four meals at Socalo in less than 72 hours. It was a destination for me, but I also happened to be staying in the hotel where Socalo is located. I really LOVED the margaritas, regular and passionfruit, the delicious soup chock-full of veggies, the fresh and flavorful salsas and meats for the tacos. The staff is absolutely wonderful, and I found my needs being anticipated, much appreciated. The happy hour offers great deals, and the beer and wine list is incredible, as it offers almost exclusively Mexican (largely Baja) options. I can't wait to go back on my next visit to Santa Monica.
This is the safest I have ever felt at any restaurant during this covid lockdown. Tables are generously spaced, plenty of outdoor seating, and all staff were wearing masks, gloves, AND shields! I have been seeing just masks by staff at other restaurants but not here. Also temp checks and disposable menus are a plus!! I felt super safe and comfortable eating here.
The food was amazingly tasty. I ordered a burrito and my boyfriend had the steak tacos. They tasted super fresh and we didn't leave feeling over stuffed--just perfect. Margs were fantastic as well. We will definitely be returning!
Only restaurant we have felt 100% confident and comfortable in their safety precautions. Plenty of parking and it is free (as of when we went tonight)
Despite strict Covid protocols being followed (or maybe because of) we felt comfortable and enjoyed our visit. We enjoyed the food and margs immensely and the service was fantastic and friendly. The only reason I knocked down a few stars is because of the makeshift patio which was in a hotel driveway... but on the flip side, they accommodated the need for extra patio space to provide a safe dining experience so they’re still pretty great in my book. So glad to see a fun restaurant in this space. PS- if you don’t love sweet margs, try the passion fruit marg with no syrup or agave. It was delish and refreshing. As a side note, temps were taken at the door, heavy PPE was worn, all of the diners were wearing masks when not eating, and they wiped the table down a few times which really felt like they were taking time to ensure cleanliness. I’d go back in a heartbeat for the vampiro tacos and cauliflower
Food was good - though, the guacamole needs work: lacked flavor. Very pedestrian and bland. Mixed a salsa into it to add life and character.
Hanger steak was cooked too well for carne asada tacos. Needed more juice and flavor. Lost cause over cooked.
Beans were bland. Mex rice was fine.
Service was pretty bad. Was their first nite back for in person dining. That said they tried. As did I.
What can I say? Food is great! Service is welcoming and diligent. My only complaint is the noise. When it’s full of people, there’s quite a din, which makes conversation with more than two people a challenge. I would appreciate some noise reduction efforts to make this a restaurant that is excellent for both food and good conversation...that’s what I love about going out to eat:-)
So glad to have the 2 Hot Tamales back on the Westside! The food and atmosphere are fantastic. Don’t miss the chicken chicharones and Vampiro tacos. The cocktails are super interesting. Go with a few friends and order one if everything. You won’t be sorry.
Overall my group and I had a positive experience at Socalo. The food was good (especially the tacos and the caesar salad)! The guacamole was underwhelming. The restaurant itself is cute and well decorated, I'd recommend people checking it out!
Lovely place with hideous noise level. Cannot go back
Great tacos but so loud in restaurant due to concrete floors. Also, I kept smelling diesel. Weird.
The noise level in this restaurant is unbearably loud. We could not hear one another across the table unless we shouted. It was so overwhelming it was difficult to focus on the food. I would like to report something positive about the food but my steak dish was salted as loudly as the restaurant is noisy. The drinks were decent but the waiter forgot our order and we watched every table around us get served before us even though they arrived after us. This restaurant received rave reviews on Eater but they are quite mistaken. I would never come here again or recommend this to anyone I cared about.
I have always loved the two hot tamales. I've eaten in every one of their restaurants. The food here is very good. The menu is limited but well thought out with choices for every way of eating. It's a little too noisy but Susan Feniger, one of the chef owners, came around to all of the tables and told us they are working on that. I'm so happy to have them back in the neighborhood. It's a great addition to the Santa Monica food scene.
Very nice. Love the food .
A little pricey for the amount of food you get. Dishes are small, but the food is amazing. I went with a group of 6 and we all chose a dish but still felt hungry after dinner. Good food but a bit pricey!
food was great! honestly 85% of it was excellent and the other 15% was good. drinks were fabulous too - alcohol forward, beautiful looking, creative and flavorful. the service needs definite work (even though chef fenniger came by our table, as she is one to do) but they just opened so i'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now. maybe more of a lunch spot but either way, definitely going to go back.
I've now had two great experiences at Socalo. Top notch service, great food and cocktails featuring fresh ingredients and a nice overall vibe. I do think things are a bit overpriced - if they could increase portions event by 5-10% would make a huge difference. I'm in the food industry and I know good food costs more and I'm willing to pay for it, but I think in some cases things are a bit extreme here. I also wish they would at least offer the happy hour pricing on drinks in the main restaurant - right now, you can only do happy hour in the bar area.
Food was great, but the noise level made it difficult to have a conversation.
Food very good service great much too loud. The place looks very nice and have been there a few times because people want to try but we cannot have conversations
Our server was excellent. The entry from the neighbouring hotel was weird, but free parking so that’s good. Drinks were subpar. It was very quiet, although we visited during the week, so they can’t be faulted for that. Overall, it was a decent dinner for two. Maybe a good spot for a first date since it was quiet but not very memorable overall.
Excellent food, great ambiance, just kind of noisy.
So noisy, cold surfaces, uncomfortable benchs/chairs. Food mediocre. So disappointed--can't believe this is from the Border Grills ladies!