Ola Mexican Kitchen
Hello, Lori Thompson, Elena Zimina and Stacey Mercer, are so excited to feature this month’s Huntington for Fun article in Home and Realty Magazine! Huntington Beach has a new addition to its city… its Pacific City! Pacific City is a new center on Pacific Coast Highway filled with shops, a work out gym and several outstanding restaurants. We have been looking forward to sharing some of these restaurants with our H&R readers. The first restaurant we have chosen to feature is Ola! Ola, which is Spanish for “wave” and Hawaiian for “life”, is the inspiration behind Ola Mexican Kitchen, an exciting and tasty new first-to-market culinary concept from the Huntington Beach-based team behind the popular Mahe restaurants in Seal Beach and Dana Point. Ola has a Mexican concept unlike any other Mexican restaurant I’ve ever experienced. Owned by Toby Reese and Tony Andrews, Ola is an upscale, ocean view, positive energy kind of restaurant. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Toby and learning how Ola was born.
In 9th grade, Toby got his first job washing dishes in Wrightwood, CA. He and his family moved to Huntington Beach where he continued working in restaurants washing dishes, waiting and cleaning tables. He was persistent in working in the restaurant business, gaining experience at the Red Lobster in Seal Beach and worked as the head server at Charlie Browns in Newport Beach. In 1999, Toby and Tony opened Mahe, which used to be the Old Glider Inn. It is delicious seafood, sushi and night time live music on the weekends. There is a second Mahe in Dana Point, 8 years successful. Toby is a family man with 2 boys and a beautiful wife. He originally trained to be a fire fighter, but fate would have a different plan for him. He has been President of Ocean View Little League for the past 5 years and on the board for 10. Toby cares about people and his community.
Toby and Tony had been approached by Pacific City to open another Mahe. After careful consideration, Toby had decided Pacific City did not need another sushi or seafood restaurant, because there are already two amazing restaurants that specialize in this type of cuisine. What Pacific City needed was the Mexican concept they had been dreaming about all these years… the idea was shared and Bam!!! Ola was born!
Ola is a cozy 8,000 square foot restaurant with incredible food. Not to mention the views cannot be beat! The outdoor patio is a great place to watch the sunset as you enjoy Sashimi grade Ahi Poke served in a large martini glass with fresh avocado and plantains for a little crunch. Their chips and salsa are amazing! The chips are 100% corn and 95% gluten free. They have a great assortment of tacos ranging from carnitas, fish, lobster, salmon or more. There is a grilled rib eye enchilada that I must try! If you are in to queso, theirs is crazy good! Called the Queso Fundido… melted Chihuahua cheese, chorizo and pico de gallo, served with fresh chips! If you are into a refreshing cocktail, Ola has some pretty fun drinks… named after a surf break in Mexico, the El Dragon, made with Jalapenos and cucumbers is very fresh and tasty. Everything at Ola is made fresh to order. It does not pass the chefs approval if it is not fresh! Ola is quality and affordable food with a loving caring touch for the people eating it. Toby is also looking into introducing live music… it will be authentic Mexican background music… very classy! If you are ever in the Huntington Beach area, you must stop by Pacific City and enjoy dinner or even just an appetizer at this new beautiful ocean view restaurant Ola… you will love the experience!!
Elena, Stacey, Toby Reese, and Lori
We look forward to meeting all of our friends at Ola to experience the greatest Mexican food, impeccable beachfront views and superior service!