First Look at the Menu and Interiors of Augie’s

“Part of the vision was to invest in State Street,” explains Augie’s general manager David Peszek about why tequila maker Augie Johnson chose the corner of State and Ortega for an upscale Mexican restaurant. Augie’s, which has soft-opened for happy hour (4-5:30 p.m.) and dinner, is aiming much higher than the usual rice-and-beans fare. The menu, which you can see below, is “authentic high-end Mexican cuisine with fresh, local ingredients,” says Peszek.

While the focus is on tequila and mezcal—”we’re hopefully going to have the largest selection of tequilas and mezcals on the West Coast,” Johnson told 805 Living—the restaurant is also hoping to be a destination for wine aficionados. “Bottles are essentially retail pricing,” says Peszek. “For a little more than two glasses, you can have a bottle.”

Architect Jeff Shelton gave the space a dramatic makeover in his trademark style. There are around 50 seats inside and 25 more on the front terrace. When the 25-seat parklet is finished in a few weeks, Augie’s will introduce brunch. Chef Eduardo Gonzalez, born in Santa Barbara and raised in Mexico, says we can expect ceviche, fish tacos, chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, churros, and more.

N.B. As always, anyone who goes to a restaurant right after it opens should prepare to be lenient.


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If the food as is good as the menu looks it will be a smash! and the bar looks like a great place to hang out.


Rare Society is much better located across from Loquita and more Funk Zone vibes. This is in the dead middle spot where kids love to wheelie bike and transient population loves to hang. Will be interesting to see how it does.


Btw cked out the
Rare Society menu outside in t he window and added up the cost of a steak dinner meal for one person
( cocktail, starter, main , desert , tip : $145! Ridiculous!


Rare society should sit in their middle booth seats, really uncomfortable. Go to Holdren, support local and save your pocket book.

Robert w

I am very forgiving when a restaurant is opening and I will give this restaurant another try in a few weeks. They need to figure it out especially if they want to charge those prices.


Definitely pricey! Hopefully they expand their menu a bit for some moderately priced items. Tough sell for locals to go when we have so many Mexican options. Beautiful space though, will definitely go for a drink

Robert T.

Born and raised local was excited and decided to try it for dinner. Well, here’s our first impressions to share:

Positives: The space is beautiful inside, tequila selection is impressive such that it puts Santo Mezcal to shame, looks like a piece of art.

Negatives: A bar that closes at 9, my kids don’t even go to bed that early. They automatically charge a 20% gratuity, what, really, wow. Mexican food is the cheapest food out there with the highest margins, but these food prices are outrageous.

Summary: This place better hit it out of the park or it’s going to die on the vine, let me know when that happens, I’ll be there to buy up all the tequila.


The beautiful bar and promise of fine cocktailing drew us in, though we didn’t realize at first that it was Mexican themed. We weren’t looking for $20 margaritas or mezcal that day. Such a polished high end appearance would be well accompanied with seasoned and personable bartenders.

I respect the risk they take at that location, and respect even more that their version of “Mexican” is what they offer the world.

But my advice: it’s the success of the bar that will make or break Auggies. There is nothing else high end in that increasingly shabby looking section of State (except Joes) where you can get a good drink. They should transcend beyond their theme to capture the interest of all drinkers, while doubling down on their core asset which is that beautiful bar.


Went there last night. Beautifully done, our waitress was top notch.
Very self conscious drinks menu…
Too precious & expensive.
$100. for two appetizers & two Mezcal margaritas including tip.
Way too steep for this location across the street from the vacant ghost of Macy’s past.