Eclectic: Juniper & Ivy.

The space is very modern and the crowd is on the younger side. It’s high ceiling and a bit loud but the experience was very good. I set at the chef’s table and watching the frenetic ballet of food preparation added positively to the evening.

It all starts off with “bites”…think individual pieces of sushi as a portion size….and small sushi at that. I started with the sea urchin which was served on a toasted biscuit…salty with crunchiness. But before that, I was served a chef’s appetizer…a deviled egg. The “white” of the egg was whipped and had the consistency and lightness of a baked meringue. It was topped off with egg yolk which had a hint of mustard. It leaned toward the flavor of dijon….slightly spicy and quite interesting.

But back to the small bites. Next was the Baja Yellowtail which arrived on a nicely toasted tostada. Light and quite nice. Finally I ended the “bites” sojourn with the mushroom and cheese madeleine which was served on a bed of spiced date puree (not pictured). It was my favorite of the bites offered.

Next I was on to a “pantry selection”. My choice was the carne cruda asada…think steak tartare; made flavorful with the addition of fried quail eggs on a bed of bread which was done in the German tradition….slightly charred and chewy. It was good but not my favorite of the night. My last selection was from the “small plates” category….the Monterey Abalone which was served on a very rich mushroom risotto. The richness of the risotto was a very nice pairing with the abalone. Quite good.

Finally I had another “bite”…the waitstaff suggested that I have the foie gras cookie as dessert due to its sweetness…..excellent suggestion. It was served “Oreo style” with a gingersnap cookie sandwich of foie gras…..outstanding.

Wines for the night were a California rosé to start followed by a red Burgundy and finishing with a German beerenauslese.

Service was excellent and the menu extensive so more than one trip will be necessary to truly experience what this place has to offer. Highly recommended.

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