SoCal Sydney
1 Young St
Neutral Bay, Sydney

SoCal Sydney recently turned 1 - and we were lucky enough to be there to help them celebrate.

If you haven't been to SoCal before you should try it - it's an experience.

The gang behind Applejack Hospitality, Hamish Watts and Ben Carroll, have created a laid back, beachy Southern Californian inspired haunt that transports you to another place and time. They're also the mob behind The Botanist in Kirribilli, Bondi Hardware and their new place that's also going so well - The Butler in Potts Point. They're obviously doing a lot of things right.

Importantly it's a restaurant and a bar - so they have plenty of great food and drinks.

Head Chef Zac Smart has really unleashed some great Southern Californian inspired creations on their main menu, which is all so easy to share.

We'd sampled quite a few of these on a previous visit (click here to see it).

Around 100 people were there to help Hamish and Ben celebrate - and it was a great bash.

Drinks were flowing fast and furiously - and we weren't about to have a dry night. Sir started with their Margarita, made from Reposado Tequila,Cointreau, lime, a dash of sugar and a half salt rim. He loves Margaritas and had quite a few of these! Mlady tried the other main offering, the Garden Party, made from blueberry-infused Tanqueray gin, elderflower liqueur, spiced blueberry syrup, rhubarb bitters and basil. She enjoyed her second as much as the first one! The guys behind the bar were working hard this night - but doing a great job and having fun at the same time. The fun was infectious!

We started our eating with some corn chips that came with house made guacamole and chunky salsa.

It's a hearty dish we'd had there before and enjoyed so we were glad it was on the list for this evening.

This was soon followed by some lovely lamb, ricotta and raisin empanadas.

The tasty filling was spicy, tangy and totally delicious.

It was all encased in a lovely crisp pastry too - just as it should be!

The food and drinks  kept on flowing - so like everyone else we kept on enjoying it!

Next out was Sriracha chicken quesadilla's - we just love these toasty, tasty treats!

The dish of the night for Sir was undoubtedly the next one - the ceviche lettuce cups.

He loves ceviche and these little bite sized morsels were simply delicious - with the fresh fish and citrus juice blending so well.

He particularly liked this all being served in small crisp lettuce cups - making them both tasty and easy to eat!

Then there were the chicken and sopressada sliders - quite tangy again and quite substantial.

We were filling up fast and more food was still to come!

Later they also brought out spiced eggplant tostadas, grilled vegetable empanadas, flank steak and chimichurri (and Sir loves almost anything that comes with chimichurri), Southern fried chicken and slaw and spiced vegetable cous cous.

Soooo much food - and all of it so good!

We washed it down with a few glasses of red (after our earlier cocktails) and grabbed a cab home! 
SoCal has a really laid back relaxed feel to it.

If you're looking for somewhere to just escape life for a while and sit back sipping a few good brews and sharing some tangy and tasty food with a few friends then head here!

There's some great retro music playing and it has both an indoor and outdoor area - covering all options.

Sir and Mlady were guests of SoCal for their first birthday. Special thanks to Ben and Hamish for a great event. A big thanks also to Olivia Warne of Pendulum Communications for inviting us. 

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