SOL Mexican Cocina – Tops for Baja

SOL Mexican Cocina opened March 20 at Scottsdale Quarter, 15323 N. Scottsdale Road.

Celebrating the unique Baja magic of sun, sea and land, SOL Mexican Cocina debuted in Newport Beach, Calif., in 2009. The Scottsdale restaurant continues the success of that original location and the vision of founding partners Matt Baumayr, Rich Howland and Executive Chef Deborah Schneider.

Other business partners are Dennis, Mike and Jeffrey Mastro and Scott Troilo of Dominick’s Steakhouse, also at Scottsdale Quarter.

“This is a chef-driven menu, with an emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients,” says General Manager Jessica Kortas. “Everything chef and her staff makes is from scratch, and we are known for our ‘bar kitchen’ as well. We add delicious ingredients such as citrus, chiles and pineapples to our fresh-made drinks so that the many wonderful tastes of the Baja shine through.”

She adds: “Chef Deborah and the ownership and management team have traveled many times to Baja and mainland Mexico. You can feel how SOL Mexican Cocina captures the essence of Mexico in our food and design. We want you to feel transported, to get a carefree feeling when you experience SOL restaurant.”

“The SOL experience is not just about the food; we have a unique personality. We’re sophisticated but casual. We reflect what’s happening on the Mexican food scene but with our own twist, while respecting authenticity,” says Rich, a Scottsdale native who also founded Scottsdale-based RA Sushi Bar Restaurant.

SOL’s lunch and dinner menu features fresh seafood and premium meats, with more than 17 fresh salsas made daily. On June 24, weekend brunch begins, including many of the items on the everyday lunch menu as well as unique brunch specials.

SOL is already well known for unique dishes such as Taco Vampiro, Hot & Raw Ceviche, Shortribs Barbacoa, grilled Fish Taco Zarandeado and Kobe Skirt Steak. Other favorites are the Ensenada Beer-Battered Fish Tacos and the Carne Asada Street Tacos.

The desserts include the lush Tres Pecados (Three Sins), a dulce de leche flan with caramel, dark chocolate-almond bark and whipped cream, and a Warm Chocolate-Banana Bread Pudding.

“Our menu changes several times a year to showcase the best of the season,” explains chef, who has authored five Mexican cookbooks and oversees the kitchens of both locations. She notes that SOL is committed to using sustainable fish and beef and pork that has been humanely raised and sourced and that she buys local and/or organic produce whenever possible. In addition, much of her menu can be prepared vegetarian and vegan-friendly, and many items are gluten-free.

The SOL bar features handcrafted-to-order fresh fruit margaritas and cocktails and more than 70 artisan, premium and ultra-premium tequilas and mezcals. Also offered are Mexican beers, micheladas, bulldogs and coastal wines.

A daily happy hour, 3–6 p.m., offers special pricing on select food and drinks, such as the House Margarita, and tequila tastings. In addition, patrons enjoy live music Tuesdays, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Designed by Janet Henrich, the 192-seat restaurant features a large outdoor patio with a fire pit, an indoor/outdoor bar, an open dining room and an intimate private dining room for special functions. The exhibition-style kitchen allows guests to experience the sights, smells and sounds of SOL and the vibe of Baja.

“SOL Cocina plays up the best of coastal Mexico,” says Matt, a longtime Arizona resident and ASU alumnus. “It’s about creating an experience that makes you feel like you’re on vacation, with no worries and the many joys of Baja all around you.”

For more on SOL Mexican Cocina, call 480.245.6708 or visit Follow SOL on Facebook at and on Twitter at @SOL_COCINA.

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