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Juniper & Ivy

2228 Kettner Blvd. (W. Ivy St.) Send to Phone
Chef Richard Blais' lively restaurant in San Diego’s Little Italy.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

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Open
Dinner nightly
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Juniper & Ivy Restaurant Review

: Atlanta’s "Top Chef All-Stars" winner Richard Blais has made a big splash in the San Diego culinary scene with his vibrant Little Italy eatery. The converted 90-year-old warehouse has exposed beams, a bustling exhibition kitchen and colorful geometric art. The bar buzzes with guests enjoying elegant craft cocktails like “In the Ivy” with orange blossom vodka, berries, pressed lemon and a purple flower on top. Blais’ “left coast cookery” focuses on ingredients hailing from the West and follows a progressive philosophy. The chef, who trained at The French Laundry, Daniel and elBulli, also taps into his molecular gastronomy talents on his playful, ever-changing menu. A warm buttermilk biscuit in cast iron arrives under a dome of alderwood smoke with smoky butter melting on top. Blais also gets creative with toast, whether it’s with charred black grapes on house-made ricotta or carne crudo asada --- beef tartare with lime and a kiss of jalapeño, bedecked with runny quail eggs and cotija cheese. Vegetarians can feast on ancient grains paired with seasonal root vegetables, while carnivores slice into a New York strip with bone marrow bread pudding or order up the off-menu burger, a homage to an In-N-Out animal-style burger. For dessert, there’s the kitschy Yodel: servers pour hot chocolate over a cylindrical devil’s food cake, hazelnut brittle and white chocolate mousse. Sommelier Tami Wong’s unique wine list favors imports and selections unexpected and atypical for San Diego.

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RESTAURANT AWARDS 2014

Check out the 2014 edition of GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Issue, which features the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., Rising Chefs and more.