Laura Avery’s final Market Report: Upcoming Tijuana-inspired restaurant aims to bring the LA community together

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Laura Avery. Photo credit: Joseph Stone

Market Report correspondent Laura Avery is retiring after this week’s report. But first, she checks in with with former Susan Feniger, former Good Food host and restaurateur.

This spring, Feniger and fellow chef Mary Sue Milliken are opening a new restaurant called Socalo -- on the corner of 20th St. and Santa Monica Blvd.

The name of the restaurant is a SoCal spin on “zócalo,” which are town squares in Mexico where people hang out.

“We always want to have our place be a neighborhood place. And Santa Monica is so much about neighborhoods. So for us that was really important,” says Feniger. “You need a place that once you find it, you go back all the time. And it's always fantastic, and it's always new, and you always know exactly what you're going to get.”

For Feniger, the power of food to bring diverse people together is key. “What I've seen traveling around the world is that that's why all of a sudden you end up invited into someone's home. You then learn about their culture in a way that you never do if you're going through a museum or art gallery or anything. So to me, learning about culture through food, whether you speak the language or not, is the way to do it,” she says.

Socalo will be serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.

The menu is inspired by Feniger and Milliken’s recent trip to Tijuana, Mexico. The street food there blew them away. “We ate street food for 14 hours straight. And we were like, ‘Oh my god, this is the best thing. This is so interesting.’” she says.

Socalo will have a play on Vampiro tacos, tons of salads, and a strong focus on craft beers.

Thanks for the memories, Laura Avery. If you’d like to wish her well, you can send her a note at goodfood@kcrw.org. The Market Report is going on a brief hiatus, but we’ll be back with a new correspondent in the weeks ahead.

--Written by Amy Ta, produced by Joseph Stone and Nick Liao

Credits

Host:
Evan Kleiman

Producers:
Nick Liao, Joseph Stone, Laryl Garcia