Led Emmett, the General Manager of SoCal, provides an expert introduction to the liquid aspects of The Golden State. With my lips still tingling from a Chica Chipotle ($17) that teamed chipotle-infused reposado tequila with Mezcal, lime, agave and a chipotle salt rim, Led introduced me to his list. It’s heavy, as you’d hope, in Californian wines. While these imports don’t land cheaply enough to make the by-the-glass list, they are worth a look. A man after my own heart, Led categorises pinot noir between feminine and “smells like my bedroom after sex”. Bliss Pinot Noir ($60) is one of the former, but for a quaffable red, it is not without roundness and balance. It lends itself to liberal, chilled applications against crisp Sriracha Chicken Quesadillas ($20), as you watch the moon rise in the open-roofed space. Another easy-drinker, The Chard Project Chardonnay ($70), won’t fight with a plump piece of Kingfish ($22), served over charred corn and lardons, with romesco sauce. I realise I’m making food sound like an accessory, but some spots just lend themselves to drinking. Throw in a wonderfully consistent ska soundtrack, and you might be left thinking that someone magically transplanted Sunday arvos at The Norfolk into weeknights in Neutral Bay.
1 Young Street, Neutral Bay
Ph: (02) 9904 5671 socalsydney.com.au
American, Bar, Bar Food $$-$$$