After our amazing experience at kō•än in Cary we had to try their sister restaurant SO•CA in the Village District of Raleigh. So we gathered some close friends and did just that! Close friends always make dinner more enjoyable. Catching up, joking, and laughing until we cry make for a perfect evening. It’s even better when the atmosphere is relaxing and the food is delicious.
Appreciation For More Than The Food
Anyone who has been at a job that takes care of their employees knows that happy employees make for happy customers. They understand this so their mission is sustainable hospitality. Sustainable hospitality is, in their own words, “the commitment to a fulfilling experience for our guests and employees”. Loyal employees are just as important as loyal customers. They have an incredible team in the kitchen and dining room with an apparent appreciation for food.
Therefore, it was serendipitous that we gathered with old coworkers (turned friends) for this tasty adventure south of the tropic of cancer (hence SO•CA).
SO•CA, like kō•än, offers small and large plates, as well as a number of cocktails, wine, and beer. These latin-inspired street and Caribbean plates are great for sharing, although you may not want to.
Small Plates (Platos Pequenos)
There were numerous plates to choose from and they were great for sharing. Two or three plates left us feeling satisfied. You could get a little taste of every plate by sharing with friends. During our visit we indulged in Argentinian Charred Pork Cheeks, Tiradito de Salmon, and Empanadas de Huitlacoche. The polenta with the pork cheeks was a creamy and rich combination that left us wanting more. The empanadas were a real crowd pleaser. They’re crispy and perfectly stuffed with the tang of pickled onions. The salmon was delicate and fresh and all the plates were well-balanced.
Large Plates (Platos Fuertes)
The large plates were enough to ensure that we were full. The Brazilian Feijoada had the best black beans that we have ever eaten. The short ribs that came with it were tender and made even better with a little bit of dried orange. The combination with the crunchy farofa and perfectly cooked collards made every bite perfect. The Pollo Saltado had a chili pepper aoili to pull the smoked chicken thighs through. Smokey, rich, with earthy vegetables for a delicious meal for one or for sharing.
My favorite part of SO•CA, as well as kō•än, and any meal for that matter is the desserts. The Chocolate Mousse was a chocolatey indulgence and balanced perfectly with the tangy passion fruit caviar. Tres Leches was surprisingly subtle and sweet with gently torched merengue. They were all incredible, but the flan was silky smooth with a hint of coffee and a ring of fudge to run your spoon through.
A glass of wine or a cup of coffee, coupled with some long-overdue conversation was exactly what was needed! We will be enjoying SO•CA again when we need to eat well and have great laughs.