So L.A.

43 Mitchell St


What is it - At the tail-end of last year James and Louise Rusk continued their bar and restaurant expansion by opening So L.A. in Glasgow’s Mitchell Street. This is their fourth venue in Glasgow after opening The Butchers Shop, Hutchesons and The Spanish Butcher. The 150 seater bar and restaurant, which was inspired by the owners love for California and in particular its diverse dining scene. The decor and atmosphere is like walking into a stylish and effortlessly cool L.A. hangout. Like their other venues they haven't held back on the the refurbishment with neon lighting, beautiful curved booths, concrete, aged woods, leathers and blackened steel giving an industrial edge while still creating a relaxed and intimate feel. Also keep an eye out for events happening downstairs in So L.A. in a function space they have called The White Box.

Verdict - When it comes to the offering and location i would also say this is their most avant-garde and experimental venture to date. They have really pushed themselves to do something different here which for me is a great thing, especially in the city centre which is fast becoming big brand central, pumping out food and drink for the masses. I very much enjoyed my visit here and feel it is a more then welcome addition to Glasgow scene.

Drink - With the drinks menu they have strived to take you on a journey to different drinks regions such as Tequila in Mexico to wine in California. They have also put a big focus on not just serving the crowd favourites when it comes to cocktails. Each cocktail comes with a description and then a “motivation” for its creation. I tried the LA Noire to kick start my night with Mezcal, vodka, coffee liqueur, caramel and espresso, it had a motivation of “You’re in Downtown L.A. exploring the base-ment bars and speakeasy hangouts off the beaten track. Neon signs flicker in the background, shadows dance and a beautiful stranger catches your eye” Im not sure if i felt this while drinking it but it was pretty damn tasty.

Food - The best way to describe the food is a fusion of American, East Asian and Mexican influ-ences sprinkled with the Rusks experiences while travelling and experiencing the vibrant Californi-an dining scene. Myself and my partner loved our meal which consisted of fried soft-shell crab ta-cos with Avocado salsa, sweetcorn relish, pickled chilli, red onion, coriander & lime, seared Tuna tatami salad with Chilled vermicelli rice noodles, deep fried sprouts watermelon rind & soy glaze and a spiced coconut fish curry with Monkfish, cod, prawns, mussels, squid, coconut & rice. Now, some of these ingredients may have some folks squinting their eyes, such as my own Father, but for me it works. Yes, it’s not for everyone but if you want a cheese burger then you can just go the the 40 burger joints across the street.

Prices - All in line with city centre prices here but you won’t get the same mammoth portions that some Glaswegians are used to.

Children - Kids allowed in if dining with adults, although don't expect to find chicken nuggets and potato smiley faces on the menu for them.

Perfect for - This suits a couples night out to a night out with friends, the layout of the venue allows you to feel the overall atmosphere but still secluded if if it is just the two of you out for a intimate meal.

Avoid if - You prefer to play it safe with you food and drink options on a big night out.