Blanca

★★★★ (Excellent)

437 South Highway 101, The Beachwalk, Solana Beach, 858-792-0072; dineblanca.com

HOURS: Monday–Thursday 5:30–9:30 p.m.; weekends until 10:30 p.m.; closed Sundays.
PRICES: Starters $8–$22; entrées $24–$36 (average about $27); Desserts $9. Chef tasting-dinner $70. Happy-hour weeknights 5:30–closing; until 7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday.
CUISINE & BEVERAGES: Inventive artisanal farm-to-table creations with fresh ideas, incorporating house-cured meats, local produce, and well-raised animals. International wine tome has plenty by the glass and half-bottle, serious bottles at serious prices, but few affordable (under $50) bottles. Full bar.
PICK HITS: Duck terrine; charcuterie/salumi plate; black cod; Willis Ranch Pork (“A Day at the Farm”); guinea hen; goat cheese semi-freddo. Good bet: caramelized brioche with brioche ice cream.
NEED TO KNOW: Comfortable, quiet, well-spaced seating, excellent service. No vegetarian entrées; call ahead to arrange. Not formal (suit unnecessary) but grown-up clothing advised (e.g., clean jeans, business-casual, bohemian chic, etc.). Crowded lot, valet parking $3.

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Comments

phil28 Aug. 26, 2010 @ 10:17 p.m.

I'm a Solana Beach resident,love and frequent fine restaurants, but have stepped into Blanca just twice, both prior to the new chef.

The last time I looked at the menu posted outside, went in, and tried ordering an item on it. My waiter said it was not available and they hadn't updated the posted menu for that week (It was Friday). Said they didn't have time as I looked around at an empty dining room with 3 waiters hovering in the corner. To me it showed poor management, not focusing on the details.

While I'm venting I resent the restaurant grabbing a bunch of parking spaces next to the building, blocking them off, and then charging $3 for "valet", that means driving your car 30 feet to a space.

Based on your review I may give it one more shot, but my expectations are not great. And your comments about the wine list are right on. My wife and I no longer frequent restaurants when the basic wines begin at $50 or $60. There's no excuse and we all know it's a game they play to squeeze more money from us.

Restaurants should realize we have choices, and depriving us of the option of being able to order a moderately priced bottle of wine, means we go elsewhere.

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