Adding to his popular spots in Atlanta, chef Richard Blais has packed up his gutsy refinement (and the liquid nitrogen) and headed to San Diego’s North Little Italy.
In an old sawtooth warehouse near an Indian Motorcycle dealership and a quick walk to Ballast Point Brewing, Juniper & Ivy restaurant is splashed with colorful art by Ryan McGinness and Kim MacConnel. Blais uses local ingredients and modernist touches across all menus, whether a 4×4 tasting or toasts piled with charred grapes, ricotta, hyssop and ice wine vinegar (an ambitious take on cream cheese and jelly). “We did not want to make them seem fancier than they are by calling them tartines,” says owner Mike Rosen of the toasts. Rocks and seaweed from Blais’ newfound passion for beach foraging aside, an easygoing nature permeates this upscale-casual gem where sneakers or suits, you’re welcome. 2228 Kettner Blvd., S.D., 619-269-9036; juniperandivy.com.
Written and edited by Alison Clare Steingold.
PHOTO: Cece Canton.