Nobody does fresh, fun and fancy California fare quite like Blanca

By Kelley Carlson

Blanca means “white” in Spanish, but the Solana Beach restaurant is green in the selection of its ingredients. “Pretty much every single ingredient (we use) we have sought out local,” said Executive Chef Gavin Schmidt. He described foraging for some of the items — harvesting seaweed from the ocean, gathering nettles in the canyons — often before arriving at work, with the help of the sous chef. Schmidt also visits nearby farms and farmers markets daily, ensuring freshness of the ingredients.

Olive Oil Poached Halibut with Artichoke, Meyer Lemon and Nettle Emulsion

The most local items are obtained from Blanca’s own property — the restaurant has a garden consisting of herbs and other edibles such as radishes, turnips, finishing greens (watercress, etc.) and cherry tomatoes.

The ingredients are then incorporated into a menu featuring California cuisine. For the table, offerings range from Heirloom Wisconsin Black Popcorn, to the House-Made Charcuterie Plate, containing delicacies such as duck liver mousse, lamb prosciutto and soppresatta, a type of Italian sausage. There is also bread that is made in-house.

Individual portions on the menu will satisfy vegetarian, meat and seafood lovers alike. A Spring Vegetable Composition includes chamomile-infused yogurt. The restaurant’s signature dish, Grilled Neville Ranch Berkshire Pork, A Day on the Farm, is composed of seven parts from a pig, along with baby vegetables from seed to flower. Schmidt’s personal favorite is the Still Life of Local Waters, which has an “underwater” appearance and features spot prawn, uni, oyster, smoked avocado and Dashi vinaigrette.

Neutral colors define Blanca's exterior AND interior. Photos Kelley Carlson

Guests who can’t decide on one dish can order Choice of Four Courses, Chef’s Tasting Menu and the Vegetarian Tasting Menu, which showcase the best of Blanca’s dishes on a scaled-down version. While there isn’t a special menu for children, Schmidt said there are kid-friendly entrees such as burgers, pizzas and pastas that are available to order.

But desserts are for everyone. There’s Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Truffle Cake and Trio of House Made Ice Cream or Sorbet, among others. For drinks, Blanca offers a full bar, including specialty cocktails such as Green Apple Fuzz and Blanca Brace-Up (Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Absinthe by Pernod, Peche de Vigne, aromatic and orange bitters and gum syrup).

The restaurant also has about 500 international wines, sparkling wines and Champagnes. Schmidt and owner Seth Baas have planned wine pairings for each dish offered at Blanca, but can cater to people’s needs and preferences.

Patrons may enjoy their food and beverages in several areas. The main dining room, decorated in soft, neutral colors with lanterns hanging overhead, can accommodate 65 people. A private dining room, which has an outdoor patio, a 52-inch plasma monitor and an iPod docking port, allows for up to 22 guests. The snacks, light entrees and cocktails of happy hour can be enjoyed at the bar, which has 14 chairs, or in the 30-seat lounge, with cushioned seats, pillows, a coffee table and a TV. Occasionally, there is live jazzy, mellow music that can be heard throughout the establishment.

Spring Vegetable Composition ---- it's like a food poem.....

While reservations are not required, they are recommended for weekends, especially during the summer. Special wine and farmers dinners that are open to the public are held sporadically throughout the year. The menus are usually prix fixe, from four to eight courses.

Blanca

Address: 437 S. Highway 101, Solana Beach

The Vibe: California Casual, Fine Dining

Signature Dish: Grilled Neville Ranch Berkshire Pork, A Day on the Farm

Open Since: 2006

Hours: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5:30-10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Website: dineblanca.com

Phone: (858) 792-0072

Reservations: Recommended

Patio Seating: No

Take Out: No

Happy Hour: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday

House-Made Charcuterie Plate with pickled baby vegetables and apple mostarda.

On The Menu Recipe

Each week you’ll find a recipe from the featured restaurant online at lajollalight.com. Just click Get The Recipe at the bottom of the story.

This week: Blanca’s Olive Oil poached Halibut with Artichoke, Meyer Lemon and Nettle Emulsion

Get The Recipe

Get The Recipe

Related posts:

  1. Brockton Villa oozes charm and flavor for a true taste of La Jolla
  2. To Market, To Market, where the chic and savory menu changes each day
  3. Waves ho! The ‘ultimate in seaside dining’ describes La Jolla’s famed Marine Room
  4. Fond of food, fun, friends and … fish? Have we got a fabulous find for you!
  5. On the Menu: The in-crowd keeps Cucina Urbana hoppin’

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=41197

Posted by Staff on May 11, 2011. Filed under Food, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • ‘Downton Abbey’ Spring Tea to be held by Del Mar Community Connections April 18, 2014
    All things “Downton Abbey”— from ‘20s tunes to exotic teas — will be featured as Del Mar Community Connections holds its annual spring tea on Wednesday, April 23, at St. Peter’s Parish Hall, 324 14th St., Del Mar. The 2-4 p.m. event includes music from the “Downton” era performed by entertainers “Janet and Jay” and piano music provided by Lori Ritman, who al […]
  • Week in sports for Carmel Valley, Solana Beach and Del Mar April 18, 2014
    Cathedral Catholic extended its winning streak to 11 games as the Dons opened Western League play with a 7-2 victory over Patrick Henry on April 9. The victory followed a 7-4 nonleague win against Mater Dei Catholic two days earlier. Will Law had three hits including a home run and a double and drove in four runs to lead the Dons in the Patrick Henry game. […]
  • Man pleads guilty in fatal Del Mar hit-and-run case April 17, 2014
    A man who drove drunk and struck a marine biologist in a crosswalk in Del Mar, then fled the scene, pleaded guilty April 16 to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and a hit-and-run allegation. Christopher ``Chip’’ Stockmeyer, 41, faces between nine and 15 years in prison when he is sentenced June 20 for the March 28 death of Rachel Morrison. […]