Beach restaurant

The SoSo offers tasty bites, outdoor seating

SoSo, the casual eatery dreamed up by a couple of childhood pals, made its quiet debut in mid-April on South Dixie Highway in the South of Southern neighborhood of West Palm.

Owners Kye Akavia and Alex DiSchino, who grew up in the neighborhood, have structured the airy and surprisingly spacious place into a “fast-fine” restaurant. This translates to plenty of tasty options prepared by the chef, but served for as long as it takes to enjoy a few sips of wine.

They breathed new life into a 1960s building, giving it a clean, modern look: crisp white walls, blond woods, light mauve-pink seating and lush green accents (by expert in plants/local supplier Garden Girl West Palm Plage).

Childhood friends Kye Akavia (left) and Alex DiSchino opened The SoSo

There’s a very cool, bigger picture happening in this block, where two independent food businesses have opened. The SoSo and nearby neighbor Palm Beach Meats, which has created something of a gathering space for local foodies and a venue for pop-up events, have brought a youthful and up-and-coming energy to this beloved neighborhood.

After a recent visit to the restaurant, I came away with great appreciation for the efforts of Akavia and DiSchino and their chef/partner Cesar Brea, who leads the kitchen with creativity, quality ingredients and a talent for bringing together unique flavors. Brea’s cuisine puts the “fine” in the fast-casual concept.

Some must-try menu items at SoSo:

Hot dish: Charred Cauli is one of the best-selling dishes at The SoSo restaurant in West Palm Beach.

The Charred Cauli ($9), a seared, zaatar-seasoned cauliflower “steak” drizzled with lemon tahini, pomegranate seeds and herbs. It’s a “wow” dish, the one to order first.

With its hint of Mediterranean flavors and contrasting textures, this dish can stand on its own as a mighty vegan starter. But it is also very good to share as an appetizer or side dish.

For those who prefer to take away, it warms up well. Akavia says the Cauli is already a customer favorite — and for good reason.

Steak & Blue ($26), an entree salad featuring the Creekstone Farms Small Tender Cut (teres major), supplied by the gourmet meat market next door, Palm Beach Meats.

The Steak & Blue salad at The SoSo restaurant in the South of Southern neighborhood of West Palm.

A medley of local greens is tossed with a Champagne Truffle Vinaigrette, sun-dried tomatoes, crispy shimeji mushrooms, pickled red onions and Point Reyes Farmstead Blue Cheese for heady flavors. It’s a salad to discover in all its flavors and contrasts, an adventure.

The Cuban ($18), a heavy, pressed sandwich that layers mojo pork, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, dijonnaise, kimchi pickles, and garlic and onion jam on Cuban bread for one bite grilled.

Sure, Brea changes up the classic a bit, but those unique flavors—kimchi pickles and garlic jam—give this sandwich some bold pops where they’re needed.

Brea is equally creative with other menu items inspired by Latin classics. He pays homage to his family’s Dominican roots in The SoSo Sancocho ($10), a root vegetable stew built on a base of garlicky sofrito seasoning and sprinkled with chunks of corn and plantain. He gives a traditional Dominican “chimi” sandwich ($14) a vegan makeover, replacing the meat patty with a red bean patty and loading it with green cabbage salad, heirloom tomatoes and vegan pink.

Besides the menu, the chef also offers a rotation of special weekly menus.

Happy hour specials:

The restaurant offers a limited but well-targeted list of wines on tap. At the request of customers, there is also a new happy hour which is served from Tuesday to Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Happy Hour deals include $6 small plates, $12 meat and cheese platters, plus a carafe of wine for the price of a drink.

SoSo's brunch tostada tops crispy tortillas with sun-kissed eggs, refried beans and avocado and serves them on a bed of Mexican chorizo.  The dish is sprinkled with queso fresco.

Weekend brunch:

The SoSo serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On the brunch menu: an Egg Benny served on Cuban bread with tomatillo hollandaise sauce, mojo onions and crushed avocado ($17), a Mexican tostada served with sunny side up eggs, chorizo, refried beans, queso fresco and other delicacies ($17), plus a dressed BLT ($12) and a weekly rotation of French toast ($15).

There are indoor and outdoor seating options at The SoSo restaurant in West Palm Beach.

On site, to take away:

The SoSo has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and easy-to-go offerings.

New to town: A side view of The SoSo, a new restaurant in the South of Southern neighborhood of West Palm.

The SoSo

Located at 4802 S. Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, 561-486-7676, TheSosoWPB.com

Hours: Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed on Monday.