Juniper & Ivy
2228 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
Dining date: 1/1/16
I’ve been following Richard Blais since seeing him on the fourth season of Top Chef. Given he was based in Atlanta, I figured I wasn’t going to be able to try his food anytime soon. Lo and behold, he moved to San Diego and opened this restaurant in 2014 – Juniper & Ivy. The restaurant’s been highly acclaimed since opening and has been atop my list of restaurants to try in SD. I was finally able to try the restaurant during a quick weekend trip on the first of the year.
I lucked out and got seats at the kitchen counter. Seated right in front of the dessert station and cold appetizers, I had a front row view of the action.
CHEDDAR CHIVE GOUGERES
Complimentary gougeres were the first food item. These were warm and full of cheese flavor, just as expected.
OCTOPUS CORN DOG / KIMCHI KETCHUP
These were fun – the octopus was tender with a sweet corn batter. A duo of dipping sauces provide the bulk of the flavor.
WHITE SHRIMP AVOCADO / ORO BLANCO / PASILLO PEPPER / PORK CHICHARRONES
Bright flavors with plump sweet shrimp and creamy avocado highlighted this dish. Crispy pork skin chicharron provided texture and some porky flavor.
SHELLFISH POT PIE MUSSELS / CLAMS / SHRIMP
I love a good pot pie and this one didn’t disappoint. The seafood was all cooked on point with a delicious shellfish gravy.
UNI CARBONARA LINGUINI / PANCETTA / DUCK EGG / PECORINO ROMANO
This plate was beautiful. This was on the lighter side for a carbonara, mixed with sweet sea urchin and chewy threads of pasta.
BEEF CHEEK ACORN SQUASH POLENTA / PORCINI ONION RINGS / SPICED APPLE GLAZE
The beef cheek came out rich, tender and full of flavor. The creamy polenta formed a base to soak up some of the hearty sauce. Really well done.
CARAMELIZED BRIOCHE TOFFEE SAUCE / MARCONA ALMOND ICE CREAM
Having sat in front of the dessert station all evening, we had to try at least one. This warm brioche was denser than expected, topped with a sweet maple glaze and served with a tasty almond ice cream.
This was a great meal at Juniper & Ivy. The food was interesting, executed well, and delicious. The kitchen counter seats are highly recommended and I would definitely return when in San Diego.