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Monday, Oct 2, 2023

Baja Inspiration in Surf City

Downtown Huntington Beach has a plethora of restaurants, but there’s always room for one more, especially if it comes courtesy of Sharkeez Restaurant Group.

Sandbar Cocina y Tequila opened on June 9 on Main Street, just a couple of blocks from Coast Highway, and has been an instant hit with visitors and locals.

Sandbar is a Baja-inspired bar and restaurant serving a robust menu of contemporary traditional Mexican cuisine, creative cocktails, and an extensive list of international tequilas as well as 30 local OC and imported Mexican beers on tap.

The open-air restaurant is wrapped in vintage Huntington Beach prints and artwork, supplied by Huntington Beach’s International Surfing Museum.

Paying homage to Ron Newman, co-founder of Sharkeez Restaurant Group and the original Red Onion Mexican restaurant, Sandbar has brought back the Red Onion’s coveted Queso Bean Dip and serving it complimentary for all guests, alongside chips and salsa, at the start of each meal.

Among the many menu items: Sonora Style Taquitos, Queso Fundito, Tacos de Rib Eye Steak and Isla Cortez Shrimp Tacos, Grilled Asada Bowl, Cabo Surf & Turf Enchiladas, and many more Mexican-influenced dishes with a Sandbar twist.

Sandbar offers one of the most extensive imported tequila and mezcal lists in Huntington Beach, including a selection of rare and classic international tequilas.
Its first location is in Santa Barbara.


The OCBJ Review


I opted to skip the tequila during my lunch visit to Sandbar Cocina y Tequila soon after they opened, but I was thrilled with the famous queso bean dip and the house-made chips.

One gallon of queso dip to go please.

My palate was set on tacos, so I tried the grilled mahi tacos on flour tortillas with chipotle crema, pico de gallo, jalapeno cabbage slaw, garlic avocado mojo, Spanish rice and black beans.

I tried to savor the tacos but they were so tasty I quickly devoured them. These were perfect fish tacos, among the best I’ve had—and I have had a lot of fish tacos. The combination of flavors was just right. The rice and beans were fine, but the tacos were the stars of this meal. And the queso bean dip.

My friendly server suggested dessert, so I talked myself into the cinnamon churros, which I took to go. Think churros on steroids—big and thick, accompanied by a trio of dipping sauces.

Sandbar is open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and weekends 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Sandbar Cocina Y Tequila: 221 Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 460-5423, sandbar.net

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