Discover a Slice of Southern California in Fortitude Valley at Viva La Cali

Fortitude Valley’s California Lane now has a vibrant addition called Viva La Cali, an eatery inspired by the sunny shores of Southern California.  

Created by Marc Grey and chef Steve Maiden, Viva La Cali brings the lively cuisine and relaxed vibe of the region to Brisbane, Australia.

Grey and Maiden have expanded their vision with Viva La Cali, immersing patrons in the captivating essence of California.   His travels on California’s south coast, where he was drawn to the food scene, gave Grey his inspiration.

Discover a Slice of Southern California in Fortitude Valley at Viva La Cali
Photo Credit: Viva La Cali / Instagram

Nestled in the heart of California Lane, Viva La Cali creates an inviting ambience. Steen Jones’ palm tree-heavy artwork adorns the venue, capturing an authentic Californian atmosphere. The space, spanning 80 square meters, features exposed brick, dark timber accents, and lush greenery with hanging pot plants and palm trees. The venue offers seating for up to 50 guests seated or 70 in a cocktail-style setup.

As for the food, Chef Maiden skilfully blends flavours from Central and South America, with a focus on Mexican and Peruvian cuisines. Drawing from his experience at Baja Fortitude Valley, he offers tantalising dishes that pay homage to the region. The menu includes five distinct tacos, such as beef carnitas with pineapple and habanero salsa, and a banh mi-inspired option with crispy chicken, pickled vegetables, and pate. 

Other notable dishes include causa rellena, a layered potato and chicken dish from Peru, and Peruvian empanadas. For dessert, patrons can indulge in picarones, and crispy fried doughnuts with a chancaca glaze.

Discover a Slice of Southern California in Fortitude Valley at Viva La Cali
Photo Credit: Viva_La_Cali / Instagram

To complement the flavourful fare, Grey crafts an impressive cocktail menu, showcasing his passion for mixology. Each element, from syrups to bitters, is made in-house. Guests can enjoy innovative creations like the Watermelon Margy Hiiiii, featuring house-made watermelon cordial and a natural watermelon rind sour strap, or the Bugs Bunny Margarita with house-made sour carrot juice. Classic favourites like Margaritas and Palomas also grace the menu. A concise, Mediterranean-leaning wine list completes the beverage offerings.

Viva La Cali offers more than just a dining experience. On Sundays, they offer a $79 two-hour bottomless margarita and taco extravaganza. The establishment also hosts California Lane laneway parties with live music and local chef and kitchen takeovers, ensuring a lively and exciting atmosphere.

Viva La Cali captures the essence of Southern California, offering a memorable dining experience, expertly crafted cocktails, and a vibrant social atmosphere. Located in Fortitude Valley’s California Lane, this California-inspired gem promises an unforgettable taste of the Golden State.

Published 22-June-2023