Friday, June 26, 2009

Villa Blanca - Beverly Hills

Villa Blanca sits at the corner of Brighton and Camden in the heart of Beverly Hills. A world of white awaits you inside. White curtains, white tablecloths, white chairs, white pillows, beautiful waitresses in white tops and skinny jeans abound. It’s a cozy place to be, and it was full of people at lunchtime on a Friday.

While waiting for Dear Ben to find a place to park, I took the liberty of ordering our drinks. I went with the only Pinot Noir by the glass (Coppola), and Dear Ben had a bottle of Hinano beer waiting on him. There were several wines by the bottle, but wines by the glass were harder to come by. There was just one champagne, one white wine, and four red wines listed as available by the glass.

Dear Ben's Beer

The menu is what lured me to this restaurant though. It’s an interesting combination of flavors from around the globe with a Mediterranean flair. We ended up splitting two appetizers, the Beef Carpaccio and Ahi Tuna Tartar. The Beef Carpaccio was seared in truffle vinaigrette garnished with hearts of palm, double crème brie, and micro greens. I enjoyed the hearts of palm, but it was otherwise simply mediocre. The Ahi Tuna Tartar was equally as mediocre. It was actually more of a poke like you would get from Duke’s. Raw tuna bits mixed with diced avocado, green onions, ginger, and sesame oil formed into a disk shape. It was served with house made truffle wonton chips for dipping. As much as I love avocado, there was so much that the flavor overwhelmed the tuna.

Beef Carpaccio and Ahi Tuna Tartar

For the main course, I ordered the Shrimp, Chorizo, and Roasted New Potato Flatbread. This large rectangular pizza was served on a wooden pizza board and could have easily fed two. The shrimp were cooked just enough, but the grease of the chorizo was over the top! I needed to blot the grease off the top. I was only able to eat two pieces. I picked all of the shrimp off, but I could not continue to eat a pizza that left such a pool of grease on the board. The crust underneath was literally wet with grease.

Shrimp, Chorizo, and Roasted Potato Flatbread
Do you see the grease?

Dear Ben ordered the Filet Mignon Sandwich. The menu does state that the steak is thinly sliced, but it failed to clarify that it was just one thin layer of steak with a lot of bread. Dear Ben said the steak was good, but he had to eat it open faced to really enjoy it. He liked the French Fries – they were exactly like McDonald’s, and McDonald’s does have good fries.

Filet Mignon Steak Sandwich

This was the first of our anniversary dining extravaganza, and it was not off to a good start. So, we asked for the dessert menus. We agreed on the Villa Blanca Sundae. A cup of real vanilla and real Dutch Chocolate ice cream topped with mixed nuts and caramel and chocolate sauce. Seasonal berries were arranged to the side of the sundae. This was the best thing we had. The ice cream was very soft, and I could taste a lot of caramel. Simple flavors that helped erase the memory of courses past.

Villa Blanca Sundae

Perhaps Villa Blanca just hasn’t found its stride; it’s only been open for two months after all. Regardless, I think the restaurant will probably make it based solely on its location. And if it does make it another year, I’ll give it another try then.

…and those are my Notes from the Napkin!

Villa Blanca
9601 Brighton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

(310) 859-0067

Villa Blanca on Urbanspoon

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