Tasting menus at El Biz and Tango
I am so envious of you who live in the San Diego area and have easy access to these two delicious and affordable tasting menus:
El Bizcocho (at Rancho Bernardo Inn) - $85 for 5 courses, $105 for 7, and $145 for 12. Service was great, as usual, everything was presented beautifully, and there were modern techniques (foams, bubbles, gels, etc.) that were delicious, intriguing, and playful. A much more innovative menu than I expected, having eaten there many times over the past 25 years.
The highlights were the charred octopus (the best flavor ever in a usually bland seafood), the chestnut agnoliotti (my husband and I fought over it) and the asiet of lamb (every element was interesting: terrine, almonds, sauce, etc.). The most beautiful dish was the golden duck egg, which I thought too strong, but my husband devoured it. The desserts were stylish but the least interesting course.
We were the only ones there by 9:30pm on a Friday night - where is everyone? It deserves to be mobbed, with food this good; and for the price, it beats most of the tasting menus in the SF Bay Area, where we live.
Tango on Grand (Escondido) - I forgot to take a menu home, but the pricing was about $39 for 3 courses, $49 for 4, and $59 for 5. A bit less expensive than El Biz, and not as ambitious nor complex. Highlights included the martini flight (3 tastes for $14) and the Hot Stone appetizer was fun even though a bit bland. The standout dish was the peach cobbler, even though it was cold in the middle. The only thing I didn't like was the "cookie" plate, which was mostly candy and all too sweet. Service was friendly, and it was crowded.