Sunny surf energy, Californian food and a touch of fiesta have all found their way to a private deck on Young Street, giving Neutral Bay’s decade-old rooftop bar a charming holiday narrative. And though there isn’t a body of water in sight, that hasn’t stopped Applejack Hospitality (the team behind Rafi, Bopp and Tone, the Butler, Forrester’s, June’s Shoppe, Hester’s and the Botanist) going full seaside on the SoCal fit-out. Palm trees and hanging plants, a coastal paint palette and coloured festoon lighting channel cool, carefree Venice Beach vibes.
Taco Tuesday is the busiest night of the week and for good reason. You can wrap your fingers around $3 tortillas filled with fresh fish, pork al pastor or crunchy okra, while throwing back $15 Classic or Spicy Margaritas.
SoCal offers up plenty of predictable Latin American and Mexican tidbits to share including crisp fried wings, four cheese empanadas and chorizo quesadillas. Of course, when you’re in beach holiday mode, what you really want is seafood – and that's where SoCal doesn't disappoint. You can start with kingfish ceviche, before diving into their standout share plate of crisp skin barramundi with snow peas, radish and mole verde. Get handsy by adding warm tortillas and a trio of salsas on the side.
Save a seat at the party for SoCal’s staple Margarita with Olmeca Altos Plata tequila, orange curacao, lime and sugar. You can also get it frozen; with a dash of grapefruit soda (just ask for the Paloma); with a chilli salt rim (say Spicy Señorita); or as a Frozen Lagerita topped with Freshwater Wedge Cerveza.
SoCal also has ten Australian and Mexican beers for you to crack open, along with a succinct selection of bubbles, wines and even tequila flights for those planning on having a big night.
If you’re itching for your next getaway, take a dip on one of Sydney’s northern beaches and then make a pit stop for at SoCal for a Pacifico and a serve of ceviche. It’s a teeny-beachy mini-break, any time you want it.