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3420 Via Oporto (Via Lido) Send to Phone
Eclectic dining and plenty of small plates in Newport Harbor.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Dinner Wed.-Sat.

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Blanca Restaurant Review

: Blanca was once one of OC's most innovative restaurants, but has morphed into a trying-to-be-cool establishment. However, the place does bring a hip vibe to the aging waterfront boardwalk in Newport's Lido Marina Village. The indoor-outdoor space has sexy white banquettes, dark woods and shocking hot pink lighting. The menu's focus is now on tapas such as prosciutto-wrapped seared ahi, braised beef and a green bell pepper stuffed with Italian sausage, mozzarella, vegetables and spices. Entrées lean on global classics like linguine and meatballs, Thai-style spicy roasted chicken and braised pork shoulder in a red wine jus. At meal's end, try the coconut and walnut sweet potato fries with Chantilly cream and seasonal berries.

User Ratings & Reviews for THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Blanca
Average rating    4
Reviews 1 - 1 of 11
Fabulous food, but the service needs polishing
by Alysia on Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:30 am
EDITOR'S NOTE: This user review was posted prior to the restaurant's latest renovation.

My husband and I have dined at Blanca twice this week. And as great as it is, I’m done for now. Here’s why:

First and foremost, let me say that the food is exceptional. Not just “great” or “inspired”, but truly fabulous. Tonight I would have licked my plate, but people were watching and my husband would have been embarrassed. Every single bite of each course was truly a testament to the artistry of the chefs. I love you, whoever you are. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

The rest of the Blanca experience could stand to be improved.

When I made my very last-minute reservation, I was told that they were so busy that night that they wouldn’t hold my table for more than 10 minutes if I was running late. Fair enough, time is money. So I was right on time… and the hostess was not at her station. I stood there for a full FIVE MINUTES waiting to be seated. Finally we went and asked a waiter if we could sit down. At this stage the restaurant was still almost empty. But the hostess had to be found and consulted as to where we could sit. And when I wasn’t thrilled with the location, I was told that it couldn’t be changed because they would be crowded and they had to stick to their seating plan. In a still-empty restaurant, are you kidding me??

So we sat. And then the huge wedding-party boats were set to depart, and we spent several minutes inhaling diesel fumes. Huge clouds of stinky boat-smoke. Disgusting! If you’re going to dine at Blanca (and I heartily recommend that you do), do it after 7pm.

The wait-staff are lovely. Very friendly and unpretentious. (Brandon – you’re great – thank you for looking after us). But they don’t have their group-act together yet. If you ask for something “extra” – like salt (why isn’t that on the table?) – you may or may not get it, and it might not be very soon. Tonight our amuse-bouche was forgotten and I had to ask for it (which I did only because it had sounded very interesting when Brandon described it upon our arrival; and it was, in fact, delicious). During our meal, everyone who came to our table tried to take the bread away. Seriously – was my nutritionist hiding behind a plant in the corner, trying to save me from my carbs? After the first or second attempt, shouldn’t everyone know not to try to take the bread from the crazy lady at table 16? It’s those “little” things that really make or break a dining experience.

And by the way, park your own car. The valet charge is nine dollars. I’ll happily pay for valet, but nine dollars is rather high, and this is definitely not the Four Seasons.

Overall, I will still recommend Blanca as a dining destination, but maybe not for a month or two. Give them time to figure out how to work together to provide the level of service we’ve all come to expect.
Reviews 1 - 1 of 11


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