juniper & ivy


I haven't spent a ton of time in San Diego (to my dismay), but on a recent trip to the west coast, I got the opportunity to dine with good friends at Juniper & Ivy. Chef Richard Blais, best known for winning Top Chef All-Stars, whips up "refined American food with left coast edge", bringing his super fresh and creative approach to the kitchen. Just reading over the menu, you'll notice inspiration from several different global cuisines, including Asian, Italian, and Moroccan, to name a few. The four of us shared everything, and we were continually impressed with the balance and depth of flavors, dish after dish. The BBQ carrots were cooked perfectly, and I loved the jalapeño chimichurri underneath! While I'm typically not one to order pasta, this corn carbonara (with housemade coriander bucatini pasta!) was one of the best I've ever had. The runny duck egg was such a nice accompaniment. The Moroccan flavor profile of the lamb shank, with its harissa eggplant, black garlic hummus, and date jus, was totally up my alley. Dessert is always a highlight for me, and the two we ordered were so unique and tasty. I loved their take on an "almond joy" candy bar, with a light pavlova shell surrounding coconut sorbet, soft chocolate, and marcona almonds. The blueberry sorbet, served with corn semifreddo, semolina cake, and crunchy lovage meringue, was the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Scroll through the slideshow to see more details about our delicious and satisfying meal. I'm dying to return the next time I'm in San Diego, as there were several other enticing menu items as well!