A look at Solita, the Mexican restaurant that will replace Rock Bottom Brewery • Long Beach Post News
When Rock Bottom closed in May 2020 due to COVID-19, it was the first major restaurant to close due to the coronavirus and it was a clear signal that the pandemic was going to have a significant impact on the physical and financial health of the city .
The restaurant’s vacancy since it closed has been a dark spot on Pine and Ocean, reminiscent of the virus’s darker days.
Now, perhaps signaling a brighter future for the abandoned space, comes the announcement that Mexican restaurant chain, Xperience Restaurant Group, will reactivate the 9,500 square foot space with the opening of adventurer Solita Tacos & Baja themed margaritas. in the spring of next year.
Xperience has plenty of Mexican restaurants you’ve heard of, aside from the beloved so-called holes in the wall that faithfully serve traditional Mexican food to devotees of the real thing.
Among the holdings of the Cypress-based company are El Torito, Acapulco, the magnificent Las Brisas de Laguna Beach and a half-dozen others.
Xperience CEO and President Randy Sharpe is excited to trap the Rock Bottom site. “We couldn’t be luckier to be able to take this corner,” he said. “The property (at the Landmark Square building) questioned us. They didn’t want a ho-hum restaurant to move in. They wanted something unique and exciting, which Solita definitely is. We showed them that Solita would appeal not only to locals, but also to tourists and congresses.
Sharpe wanted a location in Long Beach, he said, because “Long Beach is exploding right now with great restaurants. It’s exciting to see how much the city has changed with the rise of skyscrapers and the return of conventions.
If Solita’s deals aren’t hole-in-the-wall deals, they are certainly adventurous and unique.
Its Baja-style menu is inspired by charro cuisine from northern Mexico, with a Santa Maria-style grill and smoker. Here are some highlights of the menu:
- Pork Belly Dorado Taco: pork belly smoked on the spot for six hours, served with spicy amarillo sauce, onions, cilantro and coleslaw.
- Vampiro Taco: double tortilla with carne asada or grilled chicken, with cheese, serrano peppers, green onions, guacamole, chipotle sauce, cotija cheese and salsa fresca.
- Cadillac: wood-grilled carne asada, melted cheese, chipotle-garlic shrimp, avocado and salsa fresca.
- Grilled Corn Elote: Sweet corn roasted and grilled over a carved wood fire next to the table with butter, chipotle sauce, ground California chili, cotija cheese and green onions.
- Steak Carne Asada, wood-grilled Angus steak, avocado, toreados with jalapenos, green onions and chimchurri; served with 2 sides.
There are Solita restaurants open now in Huntington Beach and Valencia, and a new one will open in Anaheim in February, Sharpe said. The Long Beach Solita will be the chain’s largest incarnation, moving into the cavernous Rock Bottom site of over 9,000 square feet, accommodating over 300 guests, including 45 on the 1,360 square foot patio, which includes l ‘access to an indoor-outdoor bar offering handcrafted cocktails, using a range of tequilas and mezcals.
“The Solitas were originally designed to fit in smaller boxes, but it has really been shown to handle larger places,” he said. “It’s a very relaxed and comfortable atmosphere and we have a great weekend brunch and great happy hour and unique cocktails that will appeal to a wide range of people, from locals to convention attendees. It’s very relaxed, not tense.
Sharpe said he hopes to open Solitas in Long Beach in April.
Mexican restaurant Solita to take over former Rock Bottom brewery location