Chef Matt Balke returns to the former home of Bolsa with a new concept and name, Encina.
Balke, who served as the executive chef of Bolsa for several years, will bring “an uncomplicated yet adventurous menu with a focus on seasonality and fresh ingredients.”
He and partner Corey McCombs are updating the interior and renovating the building’s patio, which will be climate controlled and offer “expanded table and bar space as well as a raised roof, added walls, casement windows and dining year-round.”
“We fell in love with the neighborhood, the regulars and the quirkiness of the space many years ago…even the limitations in the kitchen that pushed me to try different things than I previously had in my chef career before,” Balke says.
Balke and McCombs are putting their own stamp on the place. Encina is not a replica of its predecessor. But it does honor the spirit of Bolsa, he says.
The name is a nod to Balke’s hometown, Uvalde, Texas. Encina the Spanish word for a holm oak, the original name for Uvalde.
It’s expected to open in late summer or early fall.