Socalo

4.6
425 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
Located within Santa Monica’s Gateway Hotel, Socalo is a beachy, California canteen and Mexican pub from award-winning chef/owners Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken.

Socalo serves 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. 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 Tuesday - Sunday 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.

Offers

  • Taco Tuesday

    Multiple dates available

    Tue 4:00 PM - 8:45 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 9pm for dine-in only. Tacos include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options!
  • Happy Hour

    Multiple dates available

    Wed - Thu 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    Voted best happy hour in Santa Monica! Join us Wednesday - Sunday from 3pm to 6pm for happy hour on the outdoor patios or inside the restaurant. $5 tacos, $8 cocktails, $8 - $10 glasses of Mexican wine Dine-in only.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Staff is vaccinated
  • Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
What 425 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
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PA
PAVEL
Detroit
13 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Considering the history of the two owners and years of experience with their Frontier Grill, we had high hopes perhaps if we didn’t know what they can do we’d have come away more pleased. Then again, probably not. The two apps were the best part of an otherwise bland meal. The fish tacos were bland and forgettable and the hangar steak was mediocre, at best. We skipped desert, being unimpressed by the offerings.

Our server was nice but forgetful and inattentive.

Simply not what I had hoped for and a huge slide from Frontier Grill.

DS
vipDanS
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Guac was under salted and under seasoned. Server had no clue as to what the fish of the day was, gave the wrong fish and told me after the dish arrived, she gave me the wrong Aqua Fresca, and didn't know what the sorbet flavors were. Santa Monica bowl was good but Salsa Verde wasn't right so the dish was lacking. Maybe an off day for the kitchen and servers, but disappointing. Agua Fresca was delicious as was at the brownie sundae.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely staff

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful Latin fusion food in the innovative mode that Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken made famous.

J
vipJunie
Orange County
14 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great overall experience. Customer service was excellent, nice little touch with my name on our table. Cocktails were great and the tomahawk carnitas was amazing, not what I expected but it turned out great. It was more of a pork chop, but with the flavor of carnitas, creative and delicious take on a popular Mexican dish. We can’t wait to go back.

JL
JoanL
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service!

GD
GustavD
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Even though we were 4 at the table, ordering different things the food was cold when brought to the table.
Drinks arrived after the food.

SK
ShelleyK
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience3

Food delicious, I take out from there often. Ordered cocktails, appetizer and entrees. Before drinks and app, they brought entrees. Not good

S
vipSuz123
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience. We sat outside on a cold night but the heat lamps kept us warm. The tables are well spread out and the staff was amazing. Drinks and food are delicious. Overall great experience!

RM
RicM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and food was delicious.

PB
PatriciaB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I enjoyed every part of my experience at Socalo. It's the Two Hot Tamales in a new place with new menu items and in a new place, so it's a tried and true place.
The Santa Monica Bowl with Farmer's Market veggis and Jackfruit Tinga was delicious. I know my husband loved his chicken enchiladas and the margaritas were spot on.
We will be back!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great! Loved everything!
We left our wine bag at our table. Can you please keep it for us until next week?
-thx, Lori

OT
OpenTable Diner
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Each dish was delicious and exceeded my expectations. The service was excellent and I will definitely be going back.

SD
SheriD
Wilmington
3 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Food was tasty. Everything was ala carte so can get pricey. Service good have been better. Probably best to order for the table to share.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very enjoyable. Attentive service.

PA
PAULINEC
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Mgr of this restaurant is beyond amazing He makes you feel at home Mary an Mary Sue the the 2 brilliant chefs who own Socalo certainly know how to pick and train their staff
I will keep going back forever

S
Sarai
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience2

I was very excited to be here for the first time as they were going to have happy hour and a mariachi for día de Los muertos. The music was only on one side of the restaurant and could not be heard anywhere else. Service was horrible and it was not busy at all. Also, this is not authentic Mexican food and it was overpriced. $4.25 for one taco off of their discounted happy hour menu. $4.25 for one taco, really?

RF
RiverFred
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We dined on taco Tuesday, that is a real bargain. Dia de los Muertos was celebrated with Mariachis, a fantastic group. This restaurant uses the best ingredients as my wife is from Mexico and knows quality food. The regular menu is a little pricey but well worth it as the food is delicious.

LH
vipLisaH
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Socalo is one of our favorite restaurants. Delicious food and drinks, and many of the dishes are different from any other restaurant. The outdoor patio is beautiful and festive, and the noise level is low. Everyone who works there is friendly and helpful. We look forward to our next meal there. We highly recommend Socalo.

K
Kesa
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Put the special tama dish on the regular menu so I can get it again. So delicious.

JR
JonoR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Great place for a quick and tasty date night. GREAT service as well!!

S
iechenS
Caribbean
2 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this place, is really good for dates, diner with friends. Have a great customer services.

CS
CalS
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Spectacular take on Tex Mex classics with a continental influence. Tacos rock, appetizers kill and the pork tomahawk steak knocks it out of the park with tender seared juiciness. A real treat! We’ll be back. Oh, did I mention slinky cocktails and reasonable prices. Yup, they have it all.

MC
MeganC
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was amazing, as were the drinks and service. Everything is a little pricey though - $29 for a plate of enchiladas, $14.50 for a not-huge serving of guac, salsas, and chips. Would go again for happy hour though, where there is a decent selection of food and drinks at discounted prices.

DD
vipDebbieD
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent! We all had the sea bass. Yummmmm
Can’t beat the chips, salsas and guacamole 🥑 best chips of our lives! 🤗🥰🙏😜

d
vipdpsd
Los Angeles
57 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went during Dine LA and were pleasantly surprised at the high level of excellence of service and food at Socalo. Food was absolutely delicious, courses well paced and service warm and friendly but not uncomfortably so.
This was our first dinner at Socalo but fir sure will not be our last. Thanks to the restaurant for a lovely evening out.

t
ttjonfood
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Met friends for dinner, excellent all round. Food was great mix of flAvors and not the usual mexican fare. Loved it!

D
Douglastheatergoer
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious and everyone enjoyed eating there! It’s a restaurant we will go to again and again.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Sat on driveway under hotel entrance. Parking was a big plus.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience1

Dreadful. Awful food. The decor was worse.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

It was just ok. Very meh!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
566 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had dinner at Socalo during Dinela Week and enjoyed it. I had Pozole, Chicken Poblano Enchiladas and Strawberry Tres Leches cake from the set menu. My wife ordered a la carte from the menu and enjoyed her lamb birria tacos. This was our first time here and the atmosphere was nice, with the service very good. We hope to return soon!

IB
IzakB
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

excellent food, portions moderate but adequate, drinks a bit pricey but very unique and tasty!

RD
vipRobertD
Los Angeles
20 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience3

We have been there twice

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was fantastic. The atmosphere was vibrant. The service was superior. Loved everything about this restaurant!

P
Pooroldmama
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience3

Food was outstanding, service was lacking. Waited forever for drink order, dessert served without clearing dinner dishes, and waited forever for check. Loved the Santa Monica bowl. Chips were soo tasty. Empanada for dessert was perfect.

BG
BeverlyG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

A Mexican restaurant with the quality of food is good and healthy! The best part it tastes good.

CM
CraigM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Service was poor - sat for 15 minutes after finishing eating and finally had to get up and go find our server to get the check. Would like to to have dessert but the server had ghosted us by then.

s
stanf
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was excellent. Food came promptly. Servers were pleasant.

Food was good.

F
Filaleyches
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Great food, amazing service, place looks great, really enjoyed it!

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 4.6 stars by 425 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.