Juniper & Ivy (San Diego, CA)

Juniper & Ivy
2228 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
Dining date: 1/1/16

EXTERIOR

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.

KITCHEN

KITCHEN

CHEDDAR CHIVE GOUGERES

GOUGERES

Complimentary gougeres were the first food item. These were warm and full of cheese flavor, just as expected.

OCTOPUS CORN DOG / KIMCHI KETCHUP

OCTOPUS CORN DOG / KIMCHI KETCHUP

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

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

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

UNI CARBONARA LINGUNI / 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

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

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.


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