Chef and owner Carol Wallack
fame) dots her West-Coast tinted menu with casual, Hawaiian and Asian influences, particularly among the appetizers. A mostly domestic wine list nicely augments Wallack's "surfer girl" motif, and sola's twin dining rooms (separated by elegant luxe drapes) sparkle beneath champagne flute-looking lights.
Go seaside with the trio of tuna tartars; a medley of Thai cucumber salsa and ginger confit flanked by crispy fried wantons is one of the most unique takes on this old standby this city has seen in years. Spring rolls are tasty and larger than life and the Asian pear salad with cumin seeds and blood orange vinaigrette is the perfect blend of sweet and sour.
Not everything at Sola is exotic, however. Comfort food like braised short ribs with white cheddar macaroni and cheese and roasted chicken breast deliver a homey, stick-to-your-ribs kind of vibe. All dishes, which also include miso black cod and five-spiced roast duck, are executed with a zeal for artistry. Appetizers average $9, while entrees hover around $25. Desserts are simply awesome. The mai'a hot fudge sundae (banana ice cream, hot fudge and macadamia nuts) rocks out with Polynesian glory. Try the Macarini Moscato d'asti (a steal at $6), instead of coffee for a truly divine finish. The sweet dessert wine pairs well with any of Sola's homemade confections.
Centerstage Reviewer: Adam White