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Restaurants & Bars 2

Blanca Review

SDGourmand | May 29, 2009 12:07 PM

Full review with pictures here

I’ve dined at Blanca several times over the last five years and it’s been a rollercoaster ride of experiences. When I first started going it was about six months after they first opened their doors. I immediately thought this was going to be the best restaurant in San Diego. It had everything I was looking for exceptional food and service in a beautiful elegant designed space with a fair price to go with it. As the years went by my love for Blanca faded. The menu wasn’t changing, the service started getting sloppy and the prices kept going higher and higher. An average check went from about $120 to $220 a big jump in price for the same food. I thought I’d be seeing Blanca come to an end that was until I gave it one last shot.

Blanca has completely redone their menu, constantly changing things out each week to fit what’s in season and fresh. It has become a lot more enticing from that standpoint alone, but what is even better is the price. Leaving the choice up to the diner you can create your own tasting menu, from 3-5 courses ranging from $46-$66. What is great about this is they are not limiting you to app-entrée-dessert. You could technically get all five entrees for $66. There are no supplement charges for anything on the menu, just the special of the day. Which on this evening, happened to be the foie dish, but even then they still give you an option. You can either pay $20 a la carte or it can take up two courses in your tasting for no charge. This is a great step in the right direction for Blanca especially with the economy being where it is.

Pork Belly BLT
We had asked the server if they had any pork belly on the menu, which she replied no, but then after talking to the chef came back with this tasty little PBLT.

Foie Gras Two Ways
All the components worked well together but I found the seared foie to be a little undercooked. It missed that warm fat pop.

Pacific Hamachi “Two Ways”
Sashimi & Tartare, Asian Pears, Star Anise Gastrique

The subtle flavors of the pear brought out the sweetness of the hamachi.

Asparagus Soufflé
Meyer Lemon Crème Fraiche

Perfect light and fluffy texture. I found it to be slightly under seasoned.

Mesquite Grilled Maine Lobster Medallions
Herbed Gnocchi, Fava beans
Chervil-Meyer Lemon Emulsion

This dish reminded me of a lobster bisque. Strong rich flavor with a nice addition of fava beans and seared gnocchi.

Porcini Crusted Atlantic Skate Wing
Mushroom Duxelle, Roasted Garlic & Porcini Mushroom Puree
Roasted Wild Mushroom jus

This dish had a lot of character. The robust earthy mushroom flavor was just strong enough to still keep the integrity of the skate wing. Great dish

Petaluma Quail “Kung Pao”
Crispy Rice Batter, Ginger & Scallions
Kung Pao Sauce

It was nice to see quail being used in place of chicken. It was a more refined take on typical take out item. I thought it would have been better to have a leg and breast.

Jidori Chicken breast
House- Poached Black Truffles, Sautéed Morel Mushrooms
Sauce Vin Jaune

I don’t typically order chicken but I was very pleased with this dish. Chicken breast was tender and juicy and the veal stuffing added depth.

Medallion of Colorado Rosen Lamb
Olive Oil Poached, Artichoke Stew
Yellow bell Pepper Coulis

Lamb was flavorful and tender. I would have gone with a different sauce. I find savory coulis to be sort of amateur. This one had an overwhelming acidic flavor.

Short Rib “steak” (medium)
Carrot Puree, Cumin essence
Red Wine- Valencia Orange Reduction

Classic presentation with a new age technique. The short ribs were sous vide for 48 hours. It had the marbling of a good American Kobe with a hearty short rib flavor. The carrot puree was silky smooth and the orange was a nice addition to the reduction.

Kobe Flat Iron Steak
Classic Potato Gratin, English Peas & Carrots
House- Made Worcestershire Sauce

This was the only miss of the night. Ironically the “Kobe” was flavorless and dry. Could have been any lesser cut of meat from the super market. Sides were boring and lacked a ton of seasoning.

Passion Fruit Soufflé
Grilled Pineapple Sorbet

Again the perfect light and fluffy texture. The pineapple sorbet was extremely flavorful.

After this meal my views of Blanca have been restored. Great food, great service, great price!

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