Peter Andrew Soli
A man of many trades, How to handle Fatherhood, business & giving back
From childhood actor in the classic movie Lassie to criminal lawyer, restaurateur, and philanthropist, Peter Soli has kept busy living a very exciting and varied life.
Within minutes of engaging in conversation with Soli, one can immediately feel from his warm inviting smile that he is a caring and compassionate person. Whether Soli is involved in the arts, through his occasional acting roles, practicing law in the fields of personal injury, real estate, and entertainment, or as a restaurateur, Soli is fully committed to helping, sharing and giving.
Soli was born and raised in Los Angeles and grew up on Sierra Alta Way right off the Sunset Strip, mere steps away from the famed historic hotel, The Chateau Marmont. His grandparents Emilia and Virgilio Caravacci, immigrated to Los Angeles, from Italy in the 1800’s, and lived right behind the hotel on Marmont Lane. From the time Soli was a child, it was at his grandparents home that four generations would gather together for family functions.
Soli’s father, Dr. Giorgio Soli, was a civilian scientist,
marine biologist who also worked in the US Navy for many years. Dr. Soli was one of the world's leading authorities on Phytoplankton, Dinoflagellates and he advanced the understanding of bioluminescence in these creatures. He also went on to work with Jacques Cousteau in France at the prestigious Institute Oceanographique. His mother, Althea Caravacci, who passed away in 1991, was a professor of Italian studies at UCLA for 38 years. Soli’s mother was a very strong, influential presence and
a role model in his life. He credits her for helping to shape him into the person that he has become. He also credits her for instilling in him the importance of family, his Italian heritage, culture, and of course education. Soli graduated from The American School in Switzerland. He went on to study and graduate from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and then on to pursue Law at the California College of Law, after which he took his bar exam and passed. He is fluent in Italian, French, and Spanish.
After Soli’s mother passed away, he felt that he wanted to honor her and keep her legacy alive and thus created the ACR - Althea Caravacci Reynolds Scholarship.
Caravacci-Reynolds, author, humanitarian, teacher, served as the Director of the Education Abroad Program, Undergraduate Advisor, and a member of the UCLA Academic Senate and the Emeriti Committee. Her special interests were in methodology and Italian theater, which she incorporated in her classes by regularly staging and producing Italian plays, using her students as actors. High school students and members of the community attended the stage productions, which were held at UCLA. Professor Reynolds received numerous awards for her dedicated work to enhance Italian culture and art in Southern California. They included a knighthood from the Italian government, a gold medal from the Italian Ministry of Fine Arts, a bronze medal from the Italian Ministry of Culture, and the title of Cavaliere al merito della Repubblica Italiana.
Each May, the Scholarship is awarded to a deserving student in the Italian studies program. The Scholarship fosters and promotes the link between Italian culture and today's world. It also permits undergraduate students in Italian studies to pursue their academic goals in researching Italian art, literature, and science. A recent recipient researched and did a paper on the connection of Equine Therapy for autistic children. The result of the study conducted by Italian researchers shows considerable improvement in communication skills after exposing the patients to Equine Therapy. The scholarship study highlighted the usefulness of the equine protocols and it has gone on to be used by therapists who work with autistic children. - Equine Therapy is responsible for saving countless horses that would otherwise be euthanized. Older horses, or seriously injured ones, are saved and nursed back to health. These rescued animals are then in turn used by Equine Therapists to work with autistic children. It’s a win, win situation.
One of the other recipients went on to pursue studies in the power of theater as a therapeutic tool. This female recipient found that drama therapy is beneficial to patients with neural degenerative diseases and cerebral trauma, since activities incorporating theatrical elements aid in the control of body movements and mental functions. In addition to literature research on the beneficial role of theater therapy in Italian institutions, her internship experience at the Casa dei Risvegli Luca Nigris in Bologna, a rehabilitative clinic for people who have woken from comas, helped to illustrate the importance of theater as an expressive therapy that facilitates the healing of neurologically damaged pathways. She also found that theater has been proven to be an exceptionally efficient form of rehabilitative therapy in various other settings. Not only does drama therapy reduce the probability that released prisoners will recommit crimes, but it also aids in the difficult recovery of patients who have suffered from cerebral lesions. Theatrical prison groups provide prisoners with an outlet to cope and reflect upon their lives by means of acting; the famous Taviani brothers capture the powerful effect of drama therapy in their film, Cesare deve morire (Cesar Must Die, 2012), in which the prisoners’ personal struggles are presented to viewers.
Soli’s philosophy has always been to bridge his heritage with his present day surroundings. He loves living in California and is grateful for all that it has offered him and his family. He also feels very connected to the Spanish/Mexican influence and traditions of the area. Twenty-five years ago, Soli had the opportunity to open his own restaurant – he has since owned four. One of the restaurants, which he opened along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, is a Mexican restaurant called the Coral Beach Cantina. Soli has poured his love of food and culture into this restaurant that has become a favorite spot, and not just for the locals, but also for all who travel along the PCH or for those who take the drive up the coast to dine on authentic Mexican food. But it’s not just about the delicious food and great margaritas; the outdoor patio is a perfect place to meet up with family and friends. Soli is proud to say that he has employed mostly the same workers at his restaurant since it opened and he is very loyal to them. He likes to keep it running like a close-knit family and that’s why he makes sure to take care of his employees and their families even in the winter months when the business slows down.
Over the years Soli has given back to the Malibu community through the Coral Beach Cantina. He continues to provide a substantial reduction of 50% for all food and beverages to all first responders whenever there are serious natural disasters that occur in the area - firefighters, police, lifeguards and highway patrol – and they dine at his restaurant. He understands the sacrifices that these people make and feels that it’s his way of giving back to them and saying thank you for their service.
Soli is an animal lover and has always been a strong believer of promoting the well-being of animals. His current four-legged friends are Gunner, a German shepherd rescue from West Los Angeles, as well as Edmund and Jack, two rescue cats that were given to him by a close friend. All three have been with him for the past five years. Soli says that he could not imagine a life without the companionship and love he feels for his pets.
Among all the many things Soli is involved in, at heart, he is a loyal and loving family man. He cherishes his time with daughters Olivia and Sophia, and his girlfriend
Maria Elena Infantino, a world-renowned singer.
Photography by: Brenda Saint Hilaire Photography
Location: Hollywood, California
contact info: Law office 310 474 6060 - restaurants 310 457 4131 | 310 457 5503