Taste of Baja at North Bondi
There aren’t many locations that rival North Bondi on a balmy summer’s day. A morning spent floating around in its sheltered waters and lounging on the grassy knoll beneath the beaming sun can be tiresome work though. When the afternoon finally rolls around, one is usually pretty peckish and in dire need of an alcoholic beverage to cool down.
Thankfully, a new Mexican seafood restaurant has opened just behind the beach, opposite Depot and next to Porch and Parlour. Calita comes courtesy of Milpa Collective, the Sydney hospitality group that has also blessed us with Taqiza, Carbon Mexican Woodfire, La Palma and Sonora. There are plenty of similarities, but enough differences that we can’t just copy and paste an old review.
The intimate interior is inspired by the beach towns of the Mexican peninsula, with rendered white walls, artisan pottery and woven furniture. You can sit inside facing the ocean or at the tables outside, which are just a taco’s throw from the water. Calita is strategically positioned so you can see the north end of the beach, but the hideous fortress of North Bondi Surf Club strategically blocks the view of all the specimens lurking around the outdoor gym.
Calita’s menu draws inspiration from the Baja Peninsula, with a small menu focused on house-made tacos and botanas (snacks/share plates). Everything is light and fresh, and Calita works with local suppliers to showcase a rotating selection of locally and sustainably sourced seafood.
Share plate favourites include the calamari ceviche and blue swimmer crab tostadas. In true Mexican fashion, the ceviche is invigorated with a spray of Mezcal and the blue swimmer crab tostadas with habanero mojo and mango relish are so good they leave you wishing they came in boxes of 24, like McDonald’s nuggets.
There is quite a bit more on offer than just the standard fish taco. Instead, you’ll find a range of fresh seafood fillings like Baja soft-shell crab, smoked trout and the delicious Calita spiced prawns.
Calita has put an original spin on the basic fish taco as well, adding shoestring fries to make fish and chips. The beef-cheek taco is a bit incongruous on the seafood menu, but it has well and truly earned its place, much like the white bloke on an NBA team. Sorry Luc.
A range of classic, jalapeño and Tommy’s margaritas are central to the drinks menu. At this time of the year it seems like we are all perennially pissed, meaning there’s a high chance you could be visiting Calita hungover. If this is the case, you should try Calita’s signature hangover cure, a seafood cocktail called the Vuelve a La Vida, or ‘back to life’.
If you are too hungover and need to remain horizontal on the grass or sand, Calita also offers takeaway on weekends. Give them a buzz, drag yourself the twenty metres or so across the road and enjoy!
Address 266 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
Phone 9371 8611
Open Mon to Thurs 3pm-10pm, Fri & Sat 11am-10pm, Sunday 11am-9pm
Prices Tacos $8-11, Blue Swimmer Crab Tostadas $28, Jalapeno Margarita $19
Cards Master, Visa, Amex