Juniper & Ivy

Juniper & Ivy has a new chef with Michelin bonifieds. It had been ages since I had been - Richard Blaise was still chef - but went this evening.

As usual parking sucked, but they were full (as was Crack Shack next door). We had 2 items from the snack menu, 3 items from the small plates menu and 1 entree.

Halibut Handroll…2 per serving. Impeccably fresh slices of local halibut wrapped sesame leaf with sushi rice, yuzu and serano aioli and shiso. One of the best dishes of the night

Crispy Baby Back Ribs…2 per serving. The ribs had been cook and deboned, then wrapped in brick pastry (cousin pastry to phyllo), then deep fried and served with nuoc cham. Intense porky flavor, would order again

Heirloom Tomatoes…enough for 3 of us to have a generous portion. Beautifully ripe tomatoes topped with lemon curd, pickled shallots, pine nuts and a pink peppercorn vinaigrette. This may have been the best dish of the night. The flavors and blance of the dish were outstanding but a lot depended on the ripeness and quality of the tomatoes,

BBQ Carrots…once again more than enough for 3 people. Rainbow carrots roasted with the skin on and then nestled down into a carrot mole and dressed with a calamansi vinaigrette and topped with chopped peanuts. A surprisingly rich dish that really highlighted the carrtos.

Red Romaine Lettuce salad…large portion. Pretty basic salad but the avocado green goddess dressing was delicious.

Braised Short Ribs…enough for 2 people to split if there have been apps and small plates proceeding. Two generous blocks of boneless short rib, richly satisfying. Big beefy flavor. Accompanied by a simple saute of summer squash.

Banana Split Yodel…3 poeople split this. The Yodel was an opening menu item and it is still on the menu, the components change but it’s still one of the most popular desserts and worth every calorie. This one had a banana split orientation. Strawberry, vanilla and chocolate liquid nitrogen ice cream encased in a chocolate shell with salted caramel chocolate sauce poured over it tableside.

Peaches & Cream Puff…3 people split this.

Pate Choux cream puff filled with peach diplomate creme, sliced peaches and frozen whipped cream. Black tea caramel was poured over it at the table. Super tasty.

2 snack size dishes, 3 small plates, 1 entree, 2 dessert, 3 cocktail + 1 bottle of wine was came to about $110 per person including tip.

Service was top notch and there were plenty of servers, runners and busers. There did not appear to be a staffing issue,

Juniper & Ivy has been around for abobut 7 years. I don’t think it’s lost a step. It’s still a delicious option and worth the money.


The veggie dishes sound great! Haven’t been here for forever so thanks for the updated review. Glad to hear your back to eating at restaurants.

I would say that close to half the menu was vegetarian and the veg-centric dishes we had were very, very good.

Have a res at Callie next Friday. Will report back.

Haven’t been to Callie but have heard good things. Looking forward to your review.

Great report and good to hear that the new exec chef seems to continue their style of cooking. We were a bit afraid with Anthony Wells taking a different role in the Blais group that the quality might suffer. Time for us to get back to J&I now that we are much closer again (and kids vaccination are hopefully soon available)

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Looks like any review is going to have to wait. Our reservation was cancelled. One of their employees broke with Covid. They are closing the entire restaurant for 10-days for preventative measures to sanitize and ensure they don’t spread the disease. We now have priority for rescheduling our reservation, which we probably won’t do until after Labor Day now.

I was so looking forward to Callie, I’ve heard nothing by good about it.

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That’s too bad for you and them. Their response makes me even more inclined to go once they reopen (for takeout :grinning:).

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Our second “living room” in San Diego - Juniper and Ivy. We had many, many great nights at the restaurant and so every time we are visiting the city we always include a visit to this place. And always trying to sit at the kitchen or dessert counter. The food is still great and cooked with a lot of creativity - like many restaurants after the pandemic the timing in the kitchen and service was sometimes a bit off but that didn’t really impacted the overall experience a lot.

Mahi mahi handrolls - sushi rice, yuzu koshi aioli, furikake, tamari
Rockfish tostada - pumpkin gochujang, pickled squash, salsa matcha
Raw fish dishes were always a strength of the kitchen

Caramelized pears - chai spiced pecan butter, petit agour, pumpkin pecan bread
Flavorful spread of the petit agour with the different spices and good sweetness from the pears

Tuna belly crudo - cucumber, cilantro, lime zest, asian pear fish sauce
More raw fish with the asian pear fish sauce giving it a nice funky flavor

Charred green beans - broccoli, n’duja vinaigrette, soft cooked egg, savory smacks
It’s hard to make charred green beans bad but the n’duja and soft egg added a lot of nice flavors

Duck sausage - broccoli, carrot, farro
Comfort food

Agnolotti - black trumpet mushrooms, polenta, parmesan
Really nice mixture of texture and flavors

Reed avocado - crispy pork belly, cherry tomatoes, buckwheat, smoked egg yolk
A play on a BLT with a nice smokey flavor

Uni linguine - chorizo, cotija, kale, sea urchin
Really good variation on pasta carbonara but with pristine uni added to give it a noce briney, ocean-like flavor

Japanese cheesecake - persimmon caramel, cinnamon streusel, oatmeal cookie ice cream
Good combination of flavors especially with the persimmon

Affogato yodel - dark chocolate, vanilla bean snow, espresso ganache
Classic dessert from J&I and in some form
always on the menu - for a good reason