Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Getting Swanky in Solvang: Root 246, Solvang

The day started with a fight.
Like usual. 
I wake up at 9:30am from our Anderson Split Pea Soup Best Western and my best friend, Heather from Gladstone, Oregon, would prefer to wake up at 2pm. It's been like this since we've known each other. We always get into a blood bath in the morning before the coffee caused by our wake-up routines and addictions to java juice. Once that issue was resolved 5 coffees and 1 double mocha later, we became BFFs again, renting a tandem bike (yes, mother, with helmets) to tour the vineyards of Santa Ynez. Imagine me riding in front and Heather, riding in the back, blasting Lady Gaga in my ears with her i phone, while drunken Ed Hardy clad - Miyagi's on Sunset types holler as they speed past us in their hummer limos. Mild coronaries and a few "half peace signs" here and there but we managed to survive.

By the end of the day we were starving. But we had to visit Mandolina Tasting Room before it closed because it's named after a Greek guitar and oh-so-cute. We ended up making friends there and went to Madnolina's mother tasting room, Lucas & Lewellen. We were starving so bought a jar of $10 blue cheese stuffed olives to eat and share with our new friends while tasting more grape juice and asking everyone where to eat. 

We decided on Root 246, being that it was the newest and swankiest place in town. We didn't want to risk it being in Solvang, destination spot for middle aged upper-middle class white people and the occasional Japanese tourist family. Root 246 tries hard to be trendy and modern: interpretive paintings and flat screen TVs all in one room! We choose our own seat, er sofa, and settled it.

The complimentary water, fancy.

The complimentary bread, fancier. Why yes, I believe it even included a herb-ed blue cornbread roll.

We started off with the 5 cheese plate ($15): a chef's selection of cheese and a wedge of quince paste for extra fun. It came with a row of raisin walnut bread. The cheeses were extraordinary. So good that we ordered the same plate again (3 dishes later, just wait...).

Our following dish was the Ahi Tacos ($14) with an overdose of cripsy tempura crumbs. The ahi was quite fresh and not fishy tasting whatsoever. We gobbled these down, although not the excess tempura crumbs. I don't think they'd ever let that one slide in LA.

Next came the miso glazed pork belly and crispy pork and mushroom roll with soy caramel sauce. Delicious times a thousand and I'm not even that into the other white meat. This dish is a keeper. The pork flavor made my tongue hit its happy note and the texture was perfection. Heather knows by now when we order a meat dish, usually she eats most of it, but on this occasion I was boxing her out. Elbow hooks to the liver and all that jazz.

Still hungry and I was eying the mushroom goat cheese pizza ($14). Heather, who eats everything, including vinegar lemons and salt together, confessed:

"I don't like goat cheese! You order that one for yourself and I'll order the cheese plate again."

I didn't believe her. I ordered it and offered her a slice. She took one piece, shoving off the goat cheese with her index finger and decided she still didn't like it.
I, however, loved the combination of the musty 'shrooms, peppery arugula, and slightly tangy goat cheese on a chewy crust. The rest was mine all mine! And Heather devoured another 5 cheese plate. Best Friends Forever!

Loved it!

Root 246
420 Alisal Road
Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 688-9003


uni bomber said...


Gastronomer said...

Don't know if I'll ever find myself in Solvang, but I'll know where to find excellent grub if I do ;-)

Banana Wonder said...

Uni bomber, why yes I sort of am =)

Gastronomer, Solvang is cool! It's like going to Denmark w/out the flight. And great wines too.

sbmama said...

It was fun meeting you two at Mandolina...I WILL try Root 246! Looks yummy! Went up again last week at tried Curtis Winery...we ran into Andrew Firestone and his wife and baby Brooks (named after his dad)...the staff and atmosphere were so fun and welcoming! Loved the wines, too. I'm sticking to Mandolina, but if I were to move...Curtis would be it!

Banana Wonder said...

Hey SB Mama - Nice meeting you too. I've been back 2x since then, actually! I'll have to give you a ring for visit #4 to meet at Mandolina :)

sbmama said...

Hey, Anna...DO IT! We opened a bottle of their Nebbiolo Barbera last night and it was like silk...after dinner, topped it off with a bite of dark chocolate and a final sip or two of the red...exquisite combo! Safe travels and good eats, girl...

Anonymous said...

I had a good time here but will return to google now.

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