Perhaps it was remembering the taste of my aunt’s lightly battered fish dipped in aromatic curry sauce while I was in Manchester, but intense cravings for fish and chips had me scrambling online for the closest place that served fish and chips, naturally bringing me to Wence’s in Pleasant Hill, a restaurant specializing in Californian cuisine. Ok, maybe not so naturally, but it was close and fairly new.
They serve up a variety of dishes from street tacos to paella, which is a good choice for big parties who want a bit of everything. Giving into temptation, I order half a dozen Hood Canal oysters in addition to my fish and chips.
The oysters were plated fancily on a bed of ice and kelp, served with a wedge of lemon, a cup of tangy Mignonette, and a cup of cocktail sauce topped with freshly grated horseradish. Although the oysters were a bit small, they were sweet and succulent, pairing nicely with just a dash of cocktail sauce. For some of them, adding just a few drops of lemon juice brought out their fresh flavors.
I was a little surprised when my fish and chips arrived, thinking the kitchen must have given me chicken drumsticks by the looks of it! However, I confirmed it to be fish upon digging in. The flesh was very tender and its golden brown batter crisp and light. Pepper sprinkled throughout lent a spicy tingle.
Although I had expected thicker wedges for the fries, I was delightfully surprised by their chewy texture. It reminded me of eating Calbee’s potato veggie sticks, except these were softer. Although the citrus coleslaw was very light, they were a complete miss because the lettuce was bitter. Perhaps next time they should do some taste-testing before serving it out to customers.
Overall, I really liked Wence’s and can’t wait to go back to try their other items such as the White Truffle Mac-N-Cheese and the Cajun Chicken Jambalaya. It’s in a quiet residential area of Pleasant Hill, perfect for bringing friends out for lunch for a filling meal and long talks.
1922 Oak Park Blvd
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523