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Restaurant review: Veladora, Rancho Valencia, California

5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Valencia, California, CA 92067
858 756 1123
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At Rancho Valencia near La Jolla in Southern California, executive chef Eric Bauer sources produce from land, sea and his kitchen staff's own gardens.
Eric was blessed with a grandmother and mother who taught him to enjoy his time - and express himself - in the kitchen, the same philosophy he now uses with his own team. He talks about having watched and learned from lots of great chefs, taken on board what was right for him and applied it to his own cooking. In turn, he says he tries to do the same by leading, encouraging and
mentoring all who work for him in what is a very collaborative and
open style.
Rancho Valencia has just undergone a $13 million dollar refurbishment,
part of which was the creation of a new signature fine dining
restaurant,Veladora. in a hacienda style setting. An extensive garden offers up herbs, flowers and honey which are paired with an abundance of ingredients grown in the State like the mangoes hawked along the roadside for as little as $5 dollars a crate.
Seafood looms large in Eric's repertoire. The octopus carpaccio is buttery,   light and presented like a piece of art. Retro favourites such as prawn cocktail are given a makeover with an avocado mousse and chilli and horseradish sauce. Deserts include cara cara orange curd with white wine and lemongrass poached pears and lemon balm milk ice.
Somellier Jason Knack has assembled an extensive wine cellar with over
600 choices and it is pleasing that no less than 14 different wines
are offered by the glass.
Rancho Valencia
Rancho Santa Fe, California
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10 June 2013
By: Michael Murphy
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