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About Permanently Closed - Botana
This restaurant is permanently closed. "Italian-Mexican fusion Cuisine" Gourmet food in a casual environment at the lowest price. All recipes created by Master Chef Hector Uvence.
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Italian, Mexican, Organic
Hours of Operation:
Lunch & Dinner:
Wednesday - Monday: 11:00am - 9:00pm
$30 and under
Delivery, Outdoor dining, Takeout
We just had dinner here for 2-Valentine's day. We walked in for our 6:15 reservation and wait at the bar for a table....ask for a wine list....does that seem odd?! No, we are told by the male server/host there is no list. No-can I get you some water or champagne?...its Valentine's Day for God's sake! We are seated and told ABSOLUTELY nothing about how it's a pre-fix menu. Nothing, they just start bringing things out. We have to ask about wine. 2.5 hours later of totally mediocre food and service we are done....which we have to ask for a stinking check. Really!?! The weirdest and most underwhelming dining experience EVER.
Our party of three left the restaurant after 75 min. because we had only gotten half-way through the prix fixe menu. The chef had "lost our ticket," and the server was stressed and over-burdened with too many tables. Our server didn't seem to know what course our table was on, or if she had delivered drinks to us. This place needs a restaurant make-over!!
I applaud Botana's ambition. I love the idea of a fixed menu, but to pull it off the food has to be outstanding, and it just wasn't the night we were there. Of the five courses only the salad was memorable. It was a pineapple, melon, cucumber, jicama salad with tamarind dressing, and it was really delicious and different. The other courses were certainly edible but nothing special. Also, the night we were there the head chef was not, which was the reason we were told there wasn't a wine pairing option, which I think is a necessity for the fixed menu concept. The service was very good, especially considering there was a total blackout just before we were served our entree. They kept things going by candlelight without missing a beat.
With a little more creativity and spot-on execution in the kitchen this could be a great restaurant. I think I would give it another chance, but first I'd check to see what was on the menu that night.
The restaurant is promoted as Italian cuisine. We showed up expecting to see a menu of various Italian dishes. Instead they told us the dinner was already selected by chef. The dishes did not seem to be Italian, but just a mishmash of stuff: apple spice soup (luke warm), a chef's salad that was a mishmash of fruits and vegetables that had no distinctive taste. The hot dishes were lukewarm, even the water for tea was luke warm. The service was so slow, and the soup and salad so poor that we walked out. As we walked out, they admitted that they were short handed. I can't say enough bad things about this place. Don't bother.
I have never before had a meal like this one. The waitress was very attentive and the chef came out several times to see how we were enjoying the meal. He also explained how he prepared the different dishes.
We will be eating there again on our next visit to Big Bear.
The Chef/Owner had great enthusiasm toward his charming little restaurant. Unfortunately the execution left much to the imagination. The food was unispired. Service was significantly subpar. The server we had was inexperienced and poorly trained.
We so wanted to love this place but just could not. Pass this one by.
We found the Botana to be a unique restaurant in Big Bear Lake, no menu, just the 5 course meal the chef /owner has lovingly prepare for the evenings meal. The food was excellent and for $30 per person very reasonable for the quantity. The chef stopped by our table several times and recommend a great wine to compliment our dinner. The restaurant was very clean, but needs a designer's touch. Our only complaint was that the food wasn't served as hot as we would have preferred.
Be aware that this is not your typical restaurant. You only have a choice between two entrees. Everything else is the chef's choice. But that is fine, because the chef is excellent, and every course tasted great. One in our party was gluten intolerant, and she was easily accommodated. When we went, the cost was about $30/person. I didn't notice the price posted in the restaurant, so if you are concerned about it, ask first. All of the food is organic, the service is very personalized, and I have already recommended this restaurant to several people. I just wish I lived closer than 2.5 hours, so I could go back more often.
Get Greeted by owner Master Chef David.
5-6 Course Pre fix menu amazing
Great wine parings from Italy and Chile
Can't go wrong... Will be back !
Very fresh unique dishes that will have you begging for more
Large servings , creative food flair , Fusion Mexican meets Italy
There was kind of a nervous excitement while we waited for the first course. It's not easy to not have much of a say in what I'll have for dinner, but I was curious.
Each course was an experience in creativity. The cauliflower soup was surprising good - I would have passed if I saw it on a menu, and missed out. I couldn't tell you what was in the stuffed chicken, but I ate every bite - and some of my wife's.
The only downside was the difficulty in understanding the waitress; but she was attentive.
Botana was a great find in Big Bear. The owner/chef personally greeted everyone who came in. He also spent time talking to everyone. There's no menu - just a 5 course meal brought out to each table. You do have a choice of protein with the main entree. The food was delicious. It was definitely a bargain for the $30 per person charge. The space is nice, though there were lots of families with small children. We sat by the bar, so it wasn't noisy. I'll be back next time we're in Big Bear!
We went to Botana for dinner on a Friday evening. I was a little apprehensive about just having what the chef prepares but all was delicious. The bread and dip was yummy. Then we had a delicious soup and a great summer salad with pineapple. We were also each served an appetizer of mozzarella di bufala (I believe that was the cheese), tomato, and a splash of pesto. This was really yummy! My husband had the beef for dinner and I had the chicken. Both were good. Dessert was a sorbet. It was good but I prefer chocolate! All in all it was good and I would return.
Made reservations for two, weeks ahead; arrived to find a big, noisy party. Seated, then ignored for quite awhile. Then, great food arrived and good service. Many without weekend reservations were turned away. The food was a really Interesting dining experience, but will look for quiet elsewhere.
We were greeted by the owner and Chef, David. This is a unique restaurant with a single full meal option. David offers a blend of Italian and Mexican flavors and dishes. The course selections were fantastic, fresh watermelon and mixed greens salad with delicious balsamic vinaigrette was superb. Every item was carefully prepared and cooked to perfection. He also has a very fine Italian wine selection. Great value for the quality of the food served.
We eat here when we visit Big Bear and have not been disappointed. Love the food & David the owner is pleasant & willing to please. They use fresh ingredients and adjust for can adjust to food allergies. No soy is used & most items are gluten free. There is a set menu and we enjoy being surprised! Always good.
This was our second time to Botana....this time we brought along two friends with us. They loved it as much as we did. All 5 courses were of the best quality food and the taste is out of this world. We went on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend but knew we needed reservations. The place was packed with a entry way full of people waiting!!! We cannot wait to go again!!!!
Chef prepares menu every day based on what he finds interesting and fresh. Several choices for each of 5 courses provided. Didn't expect such a fine restaurant in a vacation resort location in the mountains.
If it were in Las Vegas or Los Angeles it would be a top draw!
We happened across some great reviews on Botana on the internet but had never heard of it before. We stopped by to take a look and find out more. We were intrigued after speaking to the chef, so we made reservations for the following evening. Summary: THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS A FINE DINING EXPERIENCE IN BIG BEAR!! Don't let the ho-hum building exterior fool you. Below is a definition of a 4-star dining experience copied from elsewhere on the internet: Botana fits every bit of this description:
"Four stars indicate exceptional food that is rare to encounter. It is food that is made with an exceptional attention to ingredient sourcing, respect for seasons, offers sensational taste calibration and magic touch of the chef, careful execution of the cuisine and a high level of originality or style."
If Botana were located in West LA, La Jolla or similar place, you would be paying 3-4 times the price for this experience and still think you got a great deal. David, the owner is clearly passionate about his restaurant and it shows in every bit. Can't wait to return.
I love this place! We finally went this week and had a great experience. The Owner/chef David is a master at his craft. The restaurant is a European model, without a menu. He goes to the market and sees what is fresh. The food is organic, fresh and an amazing price! We loved each of the five courses. The bread was homemade with "year old" dough. It is classified as Mexican Italian, but it works! Really!! The soup was so tasty. We had a choice of soup and of the main dish. We were also asked about dietary restrictions. My husband picked one and I picked the other of both the soup and main. You will want to lick the plate!!! The salad was a gorgeous pineapple with flower vinagrette. The mains were tasty also. I had the cioppino and my husband had the steak mole. Delish!!! We were then given the Italian beef. Wow! It was a phyllo dough filled with ground beef and a caper cream sauce. The dessert was amazing as well.
It was wonderful, family owned, all organic ingredients, he makes a new menu every day. He will of course work around allergies.
Very small and intimate. The food was delicious, very light too. Plenty of food though, you were not left hungry.
Highly recommend it!
We walked into the restaurant not knowing what to expect. We were the only 6 there and a little worried. We had the most wonderful experience!!!!!!! The food was amazing and the owner chef was great because there was no menu or prices. So you put your trust in the chef, he was able to create food for everyone's food likes, dislikes and also a vegan in the group. Every dish had creativity and amazing taste. We look forward to gong to this dining experience again.
Fixed 5-course meal (w/ vegitarian option for main course) that changes nightly. There are no menus. You just ask and the staff will tell you. The owner, David, was great. We had reservations and David greeted us at the door. David made frequent trips to the table to make sure everything was to our satisfaction. The food was unique and excellent. The only critique was that the main course (beef ribs) didn't really have much meat on it.
Botana is one of the few restaurants on OpenTable in Big Bear and the only one with availability the night we wanted to go out. Allegedly, voted "The Best", there is no menu, dinner is fixed price and fixed menu based on the chef's selection for the day. The food is Italian/Mexican "fusion" but in reality it was nothing more than average. Thankfully the owner was able to accommodate children. Service was slow and inattentive, way too expensive for the food. Ambiance is pretty bare. The best part was the music.
Owner David makes eating at his restaurant truly enjoyable = his personality, attention to detail, friendliness make this place so enjoyable. The food is unique for Big Bear and reasonalbly priced. Every course is delicious and beautifully presented. We come again and again and have never had the same thing twice.
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