Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
In Transit Blanca Chef Popping Up at Several Rest Stops
For several years it's stood in the corner of a strip mall, Solana Beach's home to haute cuisine and revolving executive chefs. It's been awhile since Blanca has had a changing of the kitchen guard and that's been refreshing. Their current toque, Gavin Schmidt, has even gained a bit of notoriety in the local scene for his method of ingredient procurement. Whenever possible, he likes to forage the coastal landscape for truly home-grown edibles. Still, both he and Blanca have yet to really cement a spot in the gourmet tier of the San Diego dining scene.
On the chance that it's strictly location that's kept that from happening, Blanca has temporarily closed its doors as they search for a new location. It's unknown where exactly they'll end up (they're currently checking out spots in Hillcrest, Bankers Hill and Mission Hills and hope to be open for business in three-to-four months), but what has been announced is the fact that Schmidt will be delving into the current pop-up restaurant trend in the very near future. On Wednesday, September 14, he'll be taking to the stoves at North Park's El Take It Easy and working with their chef, Max Bonacci, to put together a special wine-paired menu.
Unlike the traditional pop-up resto model, where the regular venue's staff exits the building completely so the guest chef can have full control and give it an entirely new identity, El Take It Easy will have it's regular servers on-hand as well as their regular menu. This one-time event will take place from 5 to 11 p.m. El Take It Easy is located at 3926 30th Street.
Later in the month, he'll pop up again - this time at Suzie's Farm in South Bay for their Autumnal Equinox Dinner. Taking place on the evening of September 24, chef Schmidt's offerings will once again be paired with wine as well as live music and be served in the center of a two-acre sunflower maze. It seems this chef is taking this opportunity to not only step outside his kitchen, but the box as well. Suzie's Farm is located at 1856 Saturn Boulevard.