Blue Plate Taco, the concept from Blue Plate and BP Oysterette's Jennifer Morton, will open to the public this Sunday at the LEED-certified Shore Hotel, though you might see it serving its investors tonight and tomorrow. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner to roughly 90 guests in a small dining room of palapa-chic that incldues European tiles, kinky swinging chairs made from saddle leather, and lanterns in baskets, along with outdoor seating to watch the Pier-goers and 3rd Street shoppers promenade by. Who woulda thunk we'd ever see tacos on Ocean Avenue, sharing a zip code with Ivy at the Shore, Boa, and Capo? But that's the world we eat in today and if anything deserves a top shelf, it's tacos. As one might expect from a Santa Monica taco shop, the fare here is more hoity-toity and pricey than at your typical L.A. taqueria.
We're yet to get our hands on a menu, but a press release announces that the restaurant stays in tune with the green attitude of the hotel, with a commitment to sustainable ingredients, grilled meats, and in the first good sign, making the tortillas themselves.
The spot serves boozy aguas frescas for twelve dollars a pop, with flavors like sandia, fresa, and elderflower and cactus tuna and hibiscus, with options of tequila, rum, or vodka. There are also nine types of salsa, but a two-dollar charge for each.
So far, we're told the signatures here will include $10 lobster truffle tacos and chilaquiles made with salmon belly and shaved egg for $15, which sounds more elaborate than the six-dollar standard we all adore at Pepy's Galley in Mar Vista's bowling alley. Most tacos are priced at $3.50 and include brisket, veggie with squash, beets, and corn, tortilla soup at six and nine bucks, and $15 mixed ceviche.
With the success of nearby Mercado, the priciest swath of Santa Monica has proven it has a hunger for more upscale Mexican food and this one is already taking reservations, which are never required at Monte Alban. We'll have to see how Blue Plate performs once it finally opens to all on Sunday, opening daily from 11:30 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. and until 11:00 P.M. on weekends.
Blue Plate Taco at Shore Hotel, 1515 Ocean Ave. Santa Monica; 310-458-2985.