‘Top Chef’ Richard Blais scores another win with Juniper & Ivy in San Diego
By Kelley Carlson
Just two months after opening, Juniper & Ivy is flourishing. Located in the hot culinary scene of Little Italy, this much-buzzed-about restaurant is serving up “refined American food with Left Coast edge” with many positive reviews.
The multi-level establishment is often lively and energetic, with an open kitchen and vantage points that overlook the dining areas.
Much of Juniper & Ivy’s success can be attributed to its culinary staff, led by celebrity Executive Chef Richard Blais (winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef: All Stars”) and Chef de Cuisine Jon Sloan.
“Richard is constantly pushing me and our chef team to do our best — we have a lot of talent in the kitchen, spearheaded by a talented chef,” Sloan said.
Their diverse menu changes daily, and in fact, only 20 percent of the offerings from Day 1 remain. “The restaurant is like anything else in life — it’s a constant process, always evolving,” Sloan said.
Starting at 4 p.m., guests can order snacks at the bar such as Our Buttermilk Biscuit, BBQ Abalone, Chicken Oysters and Dungeness Crab Beignet. These can be paired with cocktails created by renowned mixologist Jen Queen, who has concocted specialties such as Beast of Bourbon, with bone marrow bourbon, smoked vermouth and a savory herb cordial; and the Friendship Garden, a blend of gin, jasmine tea, black sesame and lemongrass orgeat with yuzu foam on top.
An hour later, Juniper & Ivy’s menu is blooming with options. There are “small plates” such as Suzie’s Farm Radishes and Slow Roasted Beets, the latter featuring chunks of the golden and red vegetables interspersed with brittle, strawberry slices, feta and lemon verbena.
Among the “raw” items is the Corvina, composed of small curls of white sea bass that are accented with fennel and topped with pickled celery. For pasta, a kitchen favorite is the Squid Ink Rigatoni. And for the entrée-sized “plates,” choices range from King Salmon to the juicy San Diego Chicken, prepared “coq au vin” style and presented with vegetables such as asparagus, pickled pearl onions and morel mushrooms, all in a swirl of chocolate and hazelnut sauce.
There is also a secret menu that guests can inquire about. Like the rest of the “standard” menu, this, too, changes, but recently, offerings have included the “In-N-Haute” burger, a play on an In-N-Out burger. The patty is created from beef mixed with dry-aged fat, then topped with grilled onions, mustard, animal-style sauce, pickles and served on brioche.
For dessert, the piece de resistance is the Yodel, a hollow tube of dark chocolate filled with devil’s cake and white chocolate pudding that rests on a bed of cake crumbles, hazelnut brittle, freeze-dried strawberries and crunchies. The tube melts as hot chocolate is poured over it. Patrons usually “melt” after tasting it.
Juniper & Ivy
■ 2228 Kettner Blvd., San Diego
■ (619) 269-9036
Signature Dishes: Linguini Carbonara, Carne Cruda Asada, Octopus Terrine,
Shaved Asparagus, Garden & Grain, Yodel, San Diego Chicken
Open Since: 2014
Take Out: No
Patio Seating: Yes
Happy Hour: No
Hours: 4-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday,
4-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday
—-Each week you’ll find a recipe from the featured ‘On The Menu’ restaurant. This week’s recipe: Juniper & Ivy’s Beet Salad (Click link below)
- Fans of fresh fare will find a feastful at Tender Green
- Aroma Café in La Jolla: Here’s where you can dine, unwind and catch up with friends
- In La jolla, start your day the Pannikin way with sustenance and a smile
- Seafood lovers weigh anchor at The Brigantine in Del Mar
- On the Menu: For fun, food and friends it’s a night at Beaumont’s Neighborhood Eatery
Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=124149