These tacos and cocktails rock! They also talk. Seriously, they cheered me up when they said, “Eat, enjoy, relax. We are here for you!” (Disclosure)
Maybe it wasn’t actually the tacos talking. I haven’t flipped out that far, yet. But I wasn’t feeling well when I went to the media preview at the new Solita restaurant in Valencia last week. I couldn’t pass up such a wonderful opportunity to sample some amazing food and drinks prepared by the extraordinary Author and Chef, Deborah Schneider. I couldn’t disappoint my hubby either, he was really looking forward to sampling the Baja style menu items. I would never let down my wonderful blogging friends, Carolyn and AJ, who recommended me to the PR firm organizing this event. I am glad I went because the restaraunt was fabulous, inviting, comforting, warm and spoke volumes to me. Yes, the owners, chefs, servers, and fellow diners spoke to me. They said, “Eat, enjoy, relax. We are here for you.”
I went away with the sense that I will be back again soon, hopefully feeling better, with the knowledge that I will be comforted and treated especially well, like family at Solita’s.
solita Tacos & Margaritas Brings Authentic Baja-Style Mexican Cuisine,
Craft Cocktails (and 40 Tequilas) to Valencia!
There is a new resto on my list of faves! It’s the Baja-inspired, chef-driven Mexican cuisine of solita Tacos & Margaritas coming to Valencia on Tuesday, November 18, 2014.
The story behind solita Tacos & Margaritas involves a trio of restaurant-industry veterans and some serious Mexican-food cravings. While living in San Diego, co-founder and Operations Director Matt Baumayr fell in love with Baja’s casual roadside restaurants he discovered on frequent surfing trips south of the border. “Everything is fresh and local,” he says. “They order just enough food to last the day.”
It all started when…”Baumayr brought one of his close friends, his former boss and mentor, Rich Howland, who had started the RA Sushi concept, down to Baja to explore the food scene further, and the pair decided to find a way to bring the experience back across the border. A little research led them to ¡Baja! Cooking on the Edge, one of the first English-language cookbooks highlighting the cuisine of the region. And by sheer coincidence, it turned out the author, Deborah Schneider, lived less than a mile from Baumayr’s home.”
“Originally from Toronto, Schneider left a job as an editor to pursue her cooking dream more than 30 years ago. She worked as a cook on private yachts in the Mediterranean and Florida before settling in San Diego and beginning her chef career in earnest, working her way through San Diego’s best kitchens. In time she became the first female chef at the Grant Grill and was the first (and only) female Executive Chef in the Hilton hotel chain at the four-star Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. For several seasons, she oversaw eight kitchens and more than 200 cooks running the dining program at the Del Mar Racetrack during thoroughbred race season.”
“No matter what you are cooking, in the kitchen, you talk about food and what your grandmother used to make,” Schneider says. “So I learned about authentic Mexican food by cooking next to Mexicans.”
I am all about finding life’s passion in all that we do. It turns out that Mexican food became Chef Schneider’s true passion. She has now published a total of five cookbooks, including Baja! Cooking on the Edge (a Food & Wine Best Cookbook choice), Williams-Sonoma’s Essentials of Latin Cooking, The Mexican Slow Cooker and Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta, which was nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award. (Schneider’s sixth book, Salsas and Moles, comes out next March.)
Baumayr and Howland convinced Schneider to quit her day job, and the trio opened SOL Cocina in Newport Beach in 2009. That led to a second location in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the first solita Tacos & Margaritas in Huntington Beach last December.
“With solita, we wanted to reinvent the neighborhood restaurant,” Baumayr says. “We wanted to build a great restaurant with quality food where you could still walk out the door full (and with a buzz) for twenty bucks.”
From the Copa de Frutas to the Horchata Cocktail, everything is fresh, inviting, warm, and wholesome. At solita Tacos & Margaritas, nearly everything on the menu is grilled or smoked over oak, giving it the deep, rustic flavor that distinguishes authentic Mexican food. “It’s real flavorful, but simple. It’s very traditional flavors without any unnecessary bells and whistles,” Schneider says.
Tacos are the main attraction, with 11 choices for fillings, ELEVEN!
These are my faves:
Oh heck, just try The El Primo Taco Taster Plate and you can choose four tacos to sample!
Any of those fillings can also come in a burrito, quesadilla, enchilada, rice-and-beans bowl or a Panzón, which is sort of like a Mexican calzone: a large flour tortilla stuffed with fillings, folded in half and cooked until crisp on the comal.
There are plenty of shareable Antojitos as well, including made-to-order Yellowtail Ceviche Tropicale, which is both sweet with bits of tropical fruit and hot with fiery chiles. The best-selling Grilled Corn Elote with butter, chipotle salsa and cotija cheese is served with flair, with servers slicing the kernels off the cob tableside.
Schneider likes to combine that dish with the Queso al Forno, a bubbly combo of Mexican cheeses with green onions and Serrano chiles in an iron cazuela served with both corn and flour tortillas. “If you mix the corn into the cheese and then dish it out on a tortilla, it’s really tasty,” she says.
Solita’s has the traditional stuff, and off the hook specialties, too:
The desserts! House-made Churros come with cinnamon sugar and chocolate dipping sauce, while the Deep-Fried Ice Cream is a scoop of vanilla with a crunchy corn flake-coconut coating served with nutella, dulce de leche and chocolate sauces.
So, make the trip to Valencia to experience all that solita Tacos & Margaritas has to offer, because the city coined “Awesometown” just got a lot more awesome…Mexican style!
My hubby and I received a free meal at the preview and were each gifted with a goody bag, a few copies of Chef Schneider’s books, and some samples. I really loved the restaurant, the food, and the location. I can’t wait to go back! All opinions in this review are my own. I was not asked and it was not required of me to write about my experience, however, I am happy to do so. All facts and quotes in this post are directly from the press release sent to me by Lawrence Moore & Associates Inc.
Come back to MizMeliz.com and read my review about the bar at solita Tacos & Margaritas.
It might be because of their great Skinny Margs that made me hear Baja calling me!
I know I am. I have three sons and the youngest is turning 15 in a few weeks. The thought of planning another teen party is making me nuts!
We’ve done all the parties I could think of:
I would love to come up with something new!
Yes! I am tired of the same old same old. I definitely don’t want to have a bunch of teens over to our house, if I can help it! No offense to the kids – they are great! But they eat a lot and it takes all my energy to throw a party these days.
I think this may be the answer!
This time, I am going to…
Instead of letting the kids climb the walls at our house, I will enjoy watching them as my son’s party SOARS above all others on Sky Zone’s patented, all-trampoline, walled playing courts.
Give it a try and let me know what you think:
Maximize your FUN and create a truly memorable experience with one of these out-of-this-world party packages:
Double Your Jump Time! – For a limited time only, book your child’s birthday party with us and receive double the jump time!
That’s 2 hours of Wall-to-Wall fun!
Call to reserve your party time today!
Available at the Riverside, Van Nuys and Covina locations!
Look for my party review and see pictures of the Sky Zone experience here and on the US Family Guide @usfg.
“I am for love, not fear. I stand for freedom, not hatred. I can be tough if I need to be, but I lead with my heart.” ~Melissa Reyes 11-8-14
This week I am starting a new weekly prompt for “creatives” from Honelife.com. It’s a great website that gathers like minded people together to share their interests and creativity,
Here is the prompt:
Put your creative spin on “opposites“. Capture opposites in your writing, photography, illustrations, and other creations.
-Write, draw, and create one piece of work using two opposite styles. Create half of the piece in the morning, inside, with your right hand, and the other half…the opposite. Share your work and your experience.
-Observe opposites throughout the week. Shoot a photo, and then search for the “opposite” scene or an opposite point of view.
In my house when something isn’t going our way, we say it must be because this is “opposite day” or because we live in “opposite world.”
To be honest, I am the one who says that. It’s my way of getting out of an argument. I don’t like conflict. I am okay not being right. I am always willing to hear someone else’s side. I welcome a debate, if you have a position. Tell me why you believe what you believe. If it is a matter of opinion and I don’t agree with you, then let’s agree to disagree.
If it is something I know is one way, for example if something is supposed to start at a certain time or is on a certain day and I am defending myself that I know when it is – man, I have a good memory and if you don’t want to believe me, then fine. You can be late. You can go on the wrong day. “It must be opposite day, because in the real world, I know I am right!” (I might say, to myself.)
There are some things that are open to interpretation. There are some subjects that have varying perspectives. My husband and I come from opposite views on a few of these. We have had some heated discussions over the years on gun control and the death penalty. We both are steadfast in our positions on those subjects. We rarely argue about anything anymore. I don’t get hurt if he doesn’t agree with me or if I can’t seem to understand his point of view. We are okay with agreeing to disagree. It’s strange that we have such similar upbringing, same religion, same schools, both come from similar family backgrounds, yet we can have a stance so far apart on the same subject.
My parents were the same way. I don’t know for sure what position they would take on either subject of gun control or the death penalty. But I could guess. Mom was Republican. Dad was Democrat. They both were raised Catholic. Just like my husband and I. You can guess which one of us is the Republican.
I will not speak for my husband or his side of either debate. Just know that for as strongly as I believe this to be true in my heart, he feels the exact opposite.
This is what I believe to be true in my heart about gun control and the death penalty:
I have always believed these things and I always will. That is my prerogative. These are my feelings, my beliefs, my opinions. These statements reflect WHO I AM. That is all.
I do not put these truths on you. You might have a completely opposite point of view. We are only human, we have many reasons to believe what we believe. You have the right to take your own stance. Tell me why you believe what is true in your heart.
This is why I believe what I believe:
I love life. I love my life. I love living. I honor and respect all people and their right to live. If we don’t control the usage of weapons that can kill, innocent people will be killed. I believe gun control can reduce the instances of accidental death. I believe that gun control can reduce the amount of murders. I believe that gun control can reduce the amount of school killings and violence among teenagers and young people.
I value all life, I believe all people have the right to live their entire life as it unfolds naturally. Every person has the right to dignity, forgiveness, and love.
It is not up to me, personally, to decide if someone deserves death over life in any situation. I am not a judge or a jury. I am not in a position to enforce laws or serve the public. I am for love. I am about love. I stand for love in all cases. Everyone is someone’s child. Everyone deserves to be treated with love and respect. I can’t believe that to be true based on circumstance, because then I would have to judge. I would have to have the conscience of one who decides who should live and who should die. That is not up to me. My part in life is to love. To forgive. To pardon. To respect. To honor.
I have faith that all people would choose to live rather than die at the hand of another person. When it comes to punishing the criminal acts of someone, I do not see the sense in ending their life. How does that make them pay for what they did? How does that make them responsible for what they did? How does killing someone for punishment solve anything? The only thing that killing someone for punishment serves is to remove that person from the landscape. It cannot remove the act. It cannot stop the crimes from happening. It is a vicious cycle of death.
My husband and I may disagree on this and I still love him, with all my heart and soul. He is a remarkable man. He is my best friend in all the world. He is a wonderful father. Why do I love a man who has such opposing beliefs to my core values that I feel so strongly in my heart? All I can say is that it is a law of nature that opposites attract. It may be nature’s way of checks and balances. We challenge each other. We make each other think. We defend ourselves as well as each other. We value our relationship over all else. I love him because he respects my opinion and views, even when he disagrees with them. I love him because he is willing to speak up and disagree with me when he feels strongly about something. That is true love. That is respect. That is faith.
Keyara Fleece likes to travel. Her idea of fun is just getting in a car and going somewhere! Living in Virginia, it is easy to go to Washington D.C. for a weekend which she loves to do. But to make it especially interesting, she will stay in a hostel where she can meet people from all over the world. She loves meeting people.
Keyara is very outgoing and delightfully forward. She found me on a website that listed the top 100 personal development blogs for 2013. She liked my blog and she sent me an email asking if she could interview me. She wanted to know what it was like to be a life coach. Now, she is teaching me about what it means to be a “wantrepreneur” and living your dreams!
Keyara is a preschool teacher by day, but she lives and breathes entrepreneurship. She is most passionate about self-love. She believes that is where it all starts from. Loving your self for who you are.
“I think the world would be a better place if we stopped worrying about everyone else and started worrying about yourself.”~Keyara Fleece
We talk about the lessons that are most difficult to learn in life in my interview with Keyara on Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town. We discuss why it seems easy for her to embrace some things that chalenge other people their entire lives.. What does it take? Is it maturity, or age? I don’t think so because I am still coming to terms with these issues and I am twice Keyara’s age. She is gifted with understanding. She has a sense about life that most people never quite get.
In her own podcast that she is launching in December, Keyara dissects what makes amazing people amazing. She hopes to inspire and empower others who are searching for success by showing them her interviews of these shining examples. She aims to prove that we are just like they are and that we can have what they have. “These people are just like you,” she says.
Interview with My Good Friend, Horror Expert, Joe Moe
Spooky Tinsel Town Tales
a Very Special Halloween Episode
of Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town
I am thrilled to death to have as my Halloween Special Guest, a real life Hollywood horror expert!
Joe Moe is an expert in horror having been a published writer, producer and designer of films and having worked in special FX makeup. He was best friend and caretaker of the late Forrest J. Ackerman, who is best known as the world’s greatest private collector of memorabilia from horror films, science fiction epics, and monster movies.
Joe really knows his stuff! Like other “Monster Kids” like Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, Peter Jackson, Stephen King, John Landis, Ray Bradbury and many more, Joe was inspired at an early age by Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. He currently promotes a national horror convention called Mad Monster and he is the editor in chief of Mad Monster magazine. Joe edits the retro issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine and the auction catalog for Profiles in History, the leading auction house for movie memorabilia.
View this special thirteenth episode of Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town…if, you dare!
See me in my Halloween costume as my daydreaming spirit takes me to another realm…
Joe and I discuss horror from classic literature and how it has influenced writers of today’s scary movies.
Joe shares rare and inspiring pieces from his own Monster Memorabilia Collection.
We talk about what influenced Joe and why he loves the horror genre.
Did you know Joe Moe sings? He has his own eclectic style of music.
Where do you think Joe likes to hang out?
Viewers ask questions that only Joe can answer so eloquently.
We cover all the “M” Words – Movies, Monsters, Memorabilia, Miz Meliz and Moe!
…and Much Much More!
Do YOU have questions for the master of horror, Joe Moe?
It’s funny, the things you remember…