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El Segundo Eats: Caló Kitchen + Tequila

At Caló, east of PCH, the emphasis is on quality tequila and fresh, organic dishes.

By Jenny Gardner

Grilled pineapple and chili margarita at Calo Kitchen and Tequila
The grilled pineapple + chili margarita blends sweet and spicy flavors.

I love a good margarita. It’s my favorite cocktail, one that’s open to many interpretations, but at its essence relies on quality tequila to be truly great. So imagine my joy upon the discovery of Caló Kitchen + Tequila at the Apollo Landing complex on Rosecrans. They offer a baker’s dozen of margaritas, from traditional to fruity to spicy, all made with fresh ingredients and premium tequilas. The restaurant has more than 100 tequilas on hand, so if you have a personal preference, you can request it in your cocktail or on its own to sip.

But Caló Kitchen offers far more than just excellent tequila. The meal begins with chips and a house-made salsa as well as a bean dip, both of which have lively flavor that tempts you to gorge on them. But I advise you to hold back, because the food to come is even better.

Fresh Mexican food at Calo Kitchen + Tequila
Calo Kitchen + Tequila prides itself on fresh, organic ingredients in its dishes.

The menu presents an array of delicious, creative takes on Mexican classics. Shrimp taquitos feature plump, juicy shrimp fried crispy in a tortilla shell and seasoned perfectly. The chile relleno, instead of being dipped in batter or egg, is roasted and then plunged briefly in hot oil, resulting in a smoky, oh-so-tender poblano that really highlights the taste of the pepper itself. And the pollo serrano is moist and incredibly flavorful, combining a perfectly grilled chicken breast with a creamy serrano-pasilla sauce and sautéed onions. These are just a few of the delectable items on the menu; everything I’ve tried was very good, fresh, and prepared with care.

I also greatly appreciate Caló Kitchen’s friendly, helpful staff. “We want to take care of our guests as if they are family,” said Ever, one of the restaurant’s servers. He was very knowledgeable about the menu, giving excellent recommendations and explanations of drinks and food, as did manager Jacob.

The restaurant’s ambience is welcoming, modern, and attractive, with plenty of windows offering up natural light. Although Caló appears cozy and small when you enter, dining areas upstairs and outside provide space to accommodate quite a crowd.

The next time you feel like staying local but venturing out of downtown El Segundo, grab a refreshing margarita and tasty meal at Caló.

Jenny Gardner lives in El Segundo and loves spicy margaritas best of all.

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