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Chefs/Owners Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken - Socalo, Santa Monica, CA

Socalo

4.5
4.5
609 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
Socalo is a beachy, California canteen and Mexican pub from award-winning chef/owners Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken.

Located within Santa Monica’s Gateway Hotel, Socalo offers conscientiously-sourced, seasonal SoCal Mexican fare with quick counter service during the day while dinner shifts to full-service dining alongside cocktails, craft beers on tap and Mexican wines.

We are open for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as counter service dining prior to 4pm (no reservations necessary). Please note your seating preference in the notes and we will do their best to accommodate. We also offer takeout with curbside pickup, delivery, and family meal kits at socalo.com.

For large parties (5 or more), please call 310.451.1655 to talk to the manager onsite to discuss accommodations, or contact us at socalo.com.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 6 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Other options

  • Order online

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Mexican, Californian, Cocktail Bar

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sat, Sun 9:30 am–3:00 pm Lunch Tue–Sun 11:30 am–4:00 pm Happy Hour Tue 11:30 am–8:30 pm Wed–Fri 3:00 pm–6:00 pm Sat, Sun 3:00 pm–5:00 pm Dinner Tue–Thu 4:00 pm–8:30 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–9:00 pm Sun 4:00 pm–7:30 pm

  • Phone number

    (310) 451-1655

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Owned/operated by

    LGBTQ+, Women

  • Executive chef

    Gio Lopez

  • Catering

    Breakfast meetings, office lunches, holiday parties and celebrations of all types - we can help with your next event.

  • Private party facilities

    Socalo offers private dining menus to accommodate gatherings of all types from sit-down dinners to al fresco cocktail parties with tray-passed hors d’oeuvres. The entire restaurant accommodates up to 99 guests seated and is equipped with a full bar and outdoor patio. For large parties, please contact us here www.socalo.com/private-events or call 310.451.1655.

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Monica

  • Cross street

    20th Street

  • Parking details

    First 90 minutes free parking, with restaurant purchase. Self-parking is available in the underground parking lot at The Gateway Hotel.

  • Public transit

    17th Street / SMC Station - Expo Light Rail Line

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Vegan, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Offers

  • Happy Hour

    Multiple dates available
    Sun - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM,Wed - Thu - 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM,Fri - Sat - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Voted best happy hour in Santa Monica! Join us Wednesday - Friday from 3pm to 6pm and Saturday & Sunday 3pm to 5pm for happy hour on the outdoor patios or inside the restaurant. - $5 tacos - $5 beers - $8 cocktails - $8 to $10 glasses of Mexican wine Dine-in only.
  • Taco Tuesday

    Multiple dates available
    Tue - 4:00 PM - 8:15 PM
    Join us all day, every Tuesday for $4 tacos, $5 beer, and $8-$10 cocktails and wines from Mexico. Taco Tuesday menu is available from 11:30am to 8:30pm for dine-in only. Tacos include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options!

Popular dishes

What 609 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.5
4.5 based on recent ratings
  • 4.5Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.2Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Westside

    Mexican

Sort by

Filters

  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience1
    Disappointing food
  2. JL

    JesseL

    Los Angeles

    5 reviews

    1.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall1food1service5ambience2
    if i could i would give their marketing department and photographer the five stars. because that is what sold me and sold it... the head chefs and owners must not have been in on my night BECUASE plates did not deliver. no doubt plates are colorful, but sadly they lacked flavor and the temps were off. in my honest opinion this is not an OpenTable type restaurant.
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fantastic experience. Easy reservation system via phone for larger group, easy to modify reservation via OpenTable, accommodating and flexible staff. *Delicious* food and drinks. Friendly, helpful service. Loved the handlettered reservation card with our name on the reserved table itself, it was such a charming detail! A nice surprise to be personally greeted by the manager(?) who took our reservation over the phone earlier. All in all, a wonderful night out. Looking forward to coming back again, thank you so much! This establishment is a gem, and I hope it remains success for years to come.
  4. KH

    KathrynH

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We sat outside and Emma was a phenomenal server! The food was superb. Customer service is the best, from Emma to everyone who delivered drinks and food. We were pleasantly surprised by this little gem we found in Santa Monica!
  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Las Vegas

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The ambience was awesome. They had my reservation written on a paper very nicely on the table reserved. The food was amazing and the cocktails were great! Will come back… even though I live in the OC
  6. NG

    NancyG

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, great drinks, great vibe---it's always consistent in those things which is probably why it's a go-to for us on our own, or when we bring friends and out-of-towners.
  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service. On Tuesday’s they have deals on food and drinks. Staff was very friendly.
  8. j

    jacquiei

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Loved everything about my experience there! Casual yet delicious!
  9. R

    ronaldR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    World class cuisine inspired by regional Mexican dishes; complimented by a well- curated bar menu. No waiting, friendly service. Highest recommendation!
  10. JS

    JohnS

    Los Angeles

    11 reviews

    3.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on October 29, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience2
    Came here for DineLA. The appetizers were small and the entrees were above average in flavor, but just that. Not worth the $45 per person. This would have been a two-star review if not for the dessert, which was quite tasty.
  11. S

    Saraht

    Los Angeles

    47 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    47 reviews

    Dined on October 23, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience3
    Very casual with personal touches. Tried different dishes. Everything super salty. Ac is full blast.Steak came cold. Guacamole was not eatable. The crudo was good and the Agua Fresca.
  12. t

    tiramisu

    San Francisco

    76 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    76 reviews

    Dined on October 22, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    Came in for the DineLA dinner. Everything was delicious! I wasn’t aware that SOCALO is a Susan Feninger and Sue Millekin restaurant until we got into the elevator and saw the poster. We had the salad, scallops, enchiladas, rice/veggies bowl w salmon, apple tart w raspberry ice cream and plantain donuts with chocolate syrup. Excellent service. Best part too was the 90 min free validated parking in the Gateway Hotel, but parking spaces were cramped for our SUV. We sat outside in the small patio in front of the restaurant. Our conversation was interrupted by occasional sirens from ambulances and throttles from motorcycles roaring by. Close to St. John’s Hospital.
  13. F

    Foodislife

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 22, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience3
    It was our first time to Socalo. We opted for Dine LA menu. Shredded fennel salad and California bowl were okay. Ordered plantain dessert. It wasn't good at all. My husband ordered steak and it came out cold. We had other 2 friends with us and their food was okay too. Server was very friendly and service was prompt. Drinks were watered down. Overall okay!
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 22, 2022

    overall4food4service2ambience3
    Host was pleasant and had reserved table already setup with our party’s name(booked via OpenTable). Unfortunately we had slow service during our meal. Food was good; salmon in quinoa bowl was cooked well with crispy exterior,however, quinoa and vegetables were cold. The hanger skirt was slightly over cooked from medium and too little chimichurri sauce. Passion fruit mimosa was overpriced for quantity compared to similar establishments. Overall experience was okay, although, very loud due to restaurant location being on a busy street next to a hotel. First 90-min parking was free at hotel’s underground parking lot.
  15. LV

    LuvVC

    San Diego

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on October 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    This was a recommendation, and very glad we ate at SoCalo. We were warmly greeted. Because, we made reservations, our table was ready. The food, lovely and delicious. Drinks, complimentary and creative. Ray, our server, was outstanding! Super helpful describing the food and drinks. The only issue, was the emergency vehicles, would drive pass, due to Cedar Sinai Center, across the street. But, it is just a slight deterrent.
  16. CJ

    CharJ

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing food and service. Great attention to food allergies.
  17. MT

    MichelleT

    Chicago

    4 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on October 21, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Delicious!!! Tomahawk Carnitas =wow!
  18. GP

    GeoffreyP

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    This is the best Mexican bar food and drinks on the westside. Better value than the Kalaveras stuff! Donald is the man!
  19. S

    Sandyjk

    Los Angeles

    325 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    325 reviews

    Dined on October 14, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Other than a bit of traffic noise the outside dining here was very good. We opened DineLA here for a delicious dinner. Choices were varied enough to taste the offerings of this excellent restaurant. Highly recommended for regular menu as well.
  20. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Phoenix

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Incredible as always!
  21. CR

    CaseyR

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Food and drinks were delicious and service was great! Happy hour until 6pm. They accommodated a large party for outside dining and even had cute signs with the name of our reservation on it. The only dock stars are for ambiance and noise because the outdoor tables do face a busy street, but it wouldn't be an issue for smaller parties or indoors. Will definitely be back!
  22. EK

    ErikaK

    Los Angeles

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was outstanding - we enjoyed the chilitos rellenitos, the yellowtail ceviche, and the steak. Love the outside patio and because we made a reservation there was a beautiful hand-lettered welcome card with our name when we arrived at our table!
  23. SM

    SaMoBC

    Los Angeles

    29 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    29 reviews

    Dined on September 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Get the CHILITOS RELLENOS! And the Socalozerac is my favorite cocktail
  24. BM

    BruceM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 11, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience3
    The food was amazing and service was very good too. Only bad marks were because the A/C was broken, I'm sure not their fault. this place is amazing, so glad we went. Highly recommend.
  25. EA

    EvelynA

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    Music was a bit too loud and not conducive to having a quiet conversation. Food was good but larger portions would be nice. Wait staff was very attentive. Happy hour menu was okay but would be nice to see a greater variety.
  26. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Sydney

    3 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 31, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Bad staff attitude. Greasy corn chips. Pork raw and fatty. This was acknowledged by chef. Substituted chicken enchilada microwaved and tasteless. It had been microwaved so much that the tortillas had disintegrated into the sauce. It was like a bit bowl of mush.
  27. TS

    TaylorS

    Tahoe

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 31, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience3
    Went for Taco Tuesday and there were some incredible deals. Wish I had selected indoors since the patio definitely lacked the ambience of the rest of the restaurant (like many outdoor dining spaces hastily constructed to adapt to the pandemic). But the food and drinks were super tasty and the Taco Tuesday prices for tacos and margaritas can’t be beat!
  28. D

    Dave

    Los Angeles

    5 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on August 26, 2022

    overall2food2service3ambience3
    While I had high hopes, I was disappointed in this establishment. On the plus side, the food came quickly, partially because the place was deserted on that Thursday night. Also a positive was that the price was reasonable. On the minus is the drinks came in batches instead of all at once. The food was just ok. It is as if good ideas for dishes were poorly executed. Overall I couldn't tell if this Socalo was trying to be a hip, stand alone restaurant with good, innovate Mexican dishes, or was just content being a captive hotel restaurant without anyone really caring about it.
  29. SS

    SonjaS

    Exclusive

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding restaurant with delicious drinks and food.
  30. JZ

    JanZ

    Los Angeles

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love Socalo! Fresh, flavorful, delicious dishes. The waitstaff is always friendly and professional whether the restaurant is packed or having a quieter night. Donald, the Manager is engaged and friendly and keeps a watchful eye out so all things front-of-house run smoothly. Love the charming patio areas too.
  31. e

    elbonobo

    Los Angeles

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This was our second time at the restaurant and it still fails to disappoint. Great food and great service. The ambiance is chill too.
  32. CP

    CatherineP

    Los Angeles

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Service was spectacular and food was amazing and prepared beyond perfect!!
  33. J

    John

    Los Angeles

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on August 17, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Good value, flavorful food, inventive cocktails, smart wine and beer selection.
  34. k

    kathleenw

    Central Coast

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on August 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Delightful server - healthy, delicious take on Mexican food. Can't wait to come back!
  35. s

    smeadows1978

    Los Angeles

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on August 10, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience3
    Service was excellent. Food and ambiance were okay. The outside seating was very loud (most of it is either on 20th Street or part of the driveway to the hotel. Went for Taco Tuesday. Chicken taco was excellent, the others were average. Not a lot food for the price. Would maybe go again but try something different and sit inside.
  36. DN

    DateNight

    New York Area

    34 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love Socalo! The food is always delicious, the service is always kind and we’ll informed. And the margaritas go down easy! We will be back!
  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on August 6, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Food was fantastic. They created a special menu in celebration of the Day of Fisherman. Ambiance was great, and overall vibe was in point. Donald the manager was attentive to each detail and ensured we had a memorable experience. Our server was a bit challenging to find at times as we were looking to order cocktails.
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Exclusive

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 6, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience5
    Loved the mariachi band. Food was decently priced, drinks were tasty and strong.
  39. WM

    WilliamM

    Los Angeles

    17 reviews

    4.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on August 3, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience2
    We came here for Taco Tuesday. The setting is attractive, casual, but a trifle noisy. The food across the board was pretty good, with a couple of standouts and a couple of misses. The ceviche was excellent, as were the beef barbacoa and chicken tacos. The fish taco was just OK, and the lamb was very "lamby." Recommended, but even with the drinks at roughly half price, not a bargain. Dinner for the 2 of us was around $140 before tip. The Girls have been doing their thing in So. Cal. for decades now, and SoCalo is a solid performer.
  40. RB

    RoyB

    Los Angeles

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 27, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience3
    I know it was early evening, but for happy hour it was pretty empty. Drops fell on my dates head from the AC. They were very nice and did move us. The food was very good!

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Staff is vaccinated
    • Staff temperature check required

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Socalo using the Order Online button. Socalo also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (310) 451-1655.

Socalo is rated 4.5 stars by 609 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 6 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Other options

  • Order online
Google Map for Socalo

1920 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404-1909

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street

    20th Street

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Monica

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sat, Sun 9:30 am–3:00 pm Lunch Tue–Sun 11:30 am–4:00 pm Happy Hour Tue 11:30 am–8:30 pm Wed–Fri 3:00 pm–6:00 pm Sat, Sun 3:00 pm–5:00 pm Dinner Tue–Thu 4:00 pm–8:30 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–9:00 pm Sun 4:00 pm–7:30 pm

  • Cuisines

    Mexican, Californian, Cocktail Bar

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Parking details

    First 90 minutes free parking, with restaurant purchase. Self-parking is available in the underground parking lot at The Gateway Hotel.

  • Public transit

    17th Street / SMC Station - Expo Light Rail Line

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Owned/operated by

    LGBTQ+, Women

  • Executive chef

    Gio Lopez

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Vegan, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (310) 451-1655

  • Catering

    Breakfast meetings, office lunches, holiday parties and celebrations of all types - we can help with your next event.

  • Private party facilities

    Socalo offers private dining menus to accommodate gatherings of all types from sit-down dinners to al fresco cocktail parties with tray-passed hors d’oeuvres. The entire restaurant accommodates up to 99 guests seated and is equipped with a full bar and outdoor patio. For large parties, please contact us here www.socalo.com/private-events or call 310.451.1655.

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