Jeune et Jolie (San Diego)

There are not too many Michelin star restaurants in San Diego and so when Jeune et Jolie in Carlsbad (also not really known as a hot place for new, creative high-end restaurants) opened up and gained a lot of recognition it was time to visit the place.

Even though it has a Michelin star the ambience feels more like a low-key French bistro with a beautiful open kitchen which let’s you see all the action. The food and service were definitely on a Michelin star level with creative, very well executed dishes. The menu isn’t a classical tasting menu format but a four course prix fixe. Jeune et Jolie is definitely one of the current culinary highlights in San Diego

Amuse Bouche - Carrot tart
Light but flavorful start for the dinner

Course 1a - Crudo - amberjack, plum, cherry blossoms, lime
Pristine fish with a really nice sauce which didn’t overwhelm the amberjack but was still able to hold up

Course 1b - Tartare - veal tartare, dashi gelee, wakame, apple, horseradish
Good combination of flavors and texture (some puffed grains) - the apple pieces really brought the dish together

Bread Course - Milk bread with apple butter
Warm, freshly made milk bread with excellent butter

Course 2 - Saint Jacques - scallop, butternut squash, smoked eel, pumpkin seeds
Sweet scallop with a nice seared crust but the great combination was with the smoked eel and the earthiness from the butternut squash. Fantastic dish.

Course 3 - Wagyu - A5 ribeye kagoshima prefecture, eggplant, smoked tomato, walnut
Another great dish with melt in your mouth wagyu but the combination of the slightly bitter eggplant with the texture from the walnuts and the smokiness from the tomato broth really elevated the dish.

Course 4a - Fromage - epoisse, new crop potatoes, sunflower
Such a simple but great tasting dish. Slightly al dente potatoes, freshly melted epoisse (poured over the potatoes at the table) and sunflower seeds for texture

Course 4b - Mille-Feuille - citrus, pistachio, vanilla, tarragon
Good flavor combinations, especially with the tarragon and vanilla which combine nicely

Mignardise - Single origin chocolate with a dusting of salt and curry - curry and chocolate are always a great combination

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