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Jsix rates a 10

Rabbit ragout the star at Downtown restaurant

Quinoa-crusted avocado, Jsix.
Quinoa-crusted avocado, Jsix.
Place

Jsix

616 J Street, San Diego

Jsix at the Hotel Solamar downtown closed down at the beginning of the year to revamp the menu.

The restaurant now promises food that is organic, sustainable, hormone-free, and that supports local farmers.

Rabbit ragout with homemade spinach pasta

All of this sounds good, but it would just be buzzwords if the food wasn’t any good.

Luckily, the new menu is excellent, with lots of dishes that aren’t available elsewhere.

“I’m having the rabbit,” said my 11-year-old daughter and Food Network fan.

Roasted halibut, oyster chowder, potatoes, and topped with fried oyster

I was so proud of her. Some people have a problem with rabbit, but it’s a popular dish in most places in the world and more sustainable than beef.

Jsix chef Christian Grave braises the rabbit for two hours into a tomatoey, Bolognese-style ragout, served with ricotta cheese and homemade spinach pasta. The result is sweet and bacony and a revelation to people who might otherwise cringe at the thought of braised bunny.

I kept asking for taste after taste. Research, of course.

I ordered the roasted halibut which is served with potatoes and a fried oyster on top. Our waitress Michelle poured oyster chowder over the dish while I was waiting.

Sweet pea salad with mint and pea shoots

The halibut is buttery and the chowder is a nice way to sauce up the dish. I usually like a bit of hot sauce on chowder, but was eating it so quick that I was halfway done before I realized I had forgotten to ask.

My wife is a vegetarian who doesn’t do dairy. The entree items were limited as a result, but she was able to find plenty of options in the starters and appetizer sections such as the quinoa-crusted avocado, which is flash-fried and served with chimichurri sauce and grilled lime.

Roasted cauliflower with chimichurri sauce

Problem for her is that my daughter kept wanting bites.

Both of them loved the sweet pea salad, served with mint, pea flowers and pea shoots.

My wife ordered it without the aged cheddar, croutons, or Caesar dressing. My daughter did like the dressing. Another option my wife liked was the roasted cauliflower with chimichurri in place of the usual basil dressing. The grilled broccoli with breadcrumbs, peppers, and onions sounded good to her, but was more spicy than she liked. I thought it was great so your mileage may vary.

We were both impressed with waitress Michelle, who was very knowledgeable about the wine list and food pairings — even with my typically bizarre explanations of the wines I like.

“I really like fruity Pinot Noirs that sort of coat your tongue like an old sock.”

“Gee, I don’t think we have any sock wines, but you might like this Carmenere from Chile.”

Jsix's menu is great for a foodie, but, admittedly, it was difficult trying to figure out what my particular (not picky) 8-year-old son would eat because the menu items sounded strange to him.

“Rabbit? Lamb? Rainbow Beet Terrine?”

Jsix s'more

He settled for the burger, the most familiar dish on the menu. However, the other food items we got looked so good he ended up trying things like the rabbit ragout and the fried oyster that topped my halibut.

As far as desserts go, the kids enjoyed Jsix’s upscale version of a s’more: a chocolate pudding served in a jar with candied graham cracker bits. But I fell in love with the raspberry sorbet served in a ginger beer that, I believe, is made there.

Desserts aren’t usually the driving point for me when I eat out, but I would consider a return trip to Jsix for that. However, I’d probably want the rabbit as well.

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Quinoa-crusted avocado, Jsix.
Quinoa-crusted avocado, Jsix.
Place

Jsix

616 J Street, San Diego

Jsix at the Hotel Solamar downtown closed down at the beginning of the year to revamp the menu.

The restaurant now promises food that is organic, sustainable, hormone-free, and that supports local farmers.

Rabbit ragout with homemade spinach pasta

All of this sounds good, but it would just be buzzwords if the food wasn’t any good.

Luckily, the new menu is excellent, with lots of dishes that aren’t available elsewhere.

“I’m having the rabbit,” said my 11-year-old daughter and Food Network fan.

Roasted halibut, oyster chowder, potatoes, and topped with fried oyster

I was so proud of her. Some people have a problem with rabbit, but it’s a popular dish in most places in the world and more sustainable than beef.

Jsix chef Christian Grave braises the rabbit for two hours into a tomatoey, Bolognese-style ragout, served with ricotta cheese and homemade spinach pasta. The result is sweet and bacony and a revelation to people who might otherwise cringe at the thought of braised bunny.

I kept asking for taste after taste. Research, of course.

I ordered the roasted halibut which is served with potatoes and a fried oyster on top. Our waitress Michelle poured oyster chowder over the dish while I was waiting.

Sweet pea salad with mint and pea shoots

The halibut is buttery and the chowder is a nice way to sauce up the dish. I usually like a bit of hot sauce on chowder, but was eating it so quick that I was halfway done before I realized I had forgotten to ask.

My wife is a vegetarian who doesn’t do dairy. The entree items were limited as a result, but she was able to find plenty of options in the starters and appetizer sections such as the quinoa-crusted avocado, which is flash-fried and served with chimichurri sauce and grilled lime.

Roasted cauliflower with chimichurri sauce

Problem for her is that my daughter kept wanting bites.

Both of them loved the sweet pea salad, served with mint, pea flowers and pea shoots.

My wife ordered it without the aged cheddar, croutons, or Caesar dressing. My daughter did like the dressing. Another option my wife liked was the roasted cauliflower with chimichurri in place of the usual basil dressing. The grilled broccoli with breadcrumbs, peppers, and onions sounded good to her, but was more spicy than she liked. I thought it was great so your mileage may vary.

We were both impressed with waitress Michelle, who was very knowledgeable about the wine list and food pairings — even with my typically bizarre explanations of the wines I like.

“I really like fruity Pinot Noirs that sort of coat your tongue like an old sock.”

“Gee, I don’t think we have any sock wines, but you might like this Carmenere from Chile.”

Jsix's menu is great for a foodie, but, admittedly, it was difficult trying to figure out what my particular (not picky) 8-year-old son would eat because the menu items sounded strange to him.

“Rabbit? Lamb? Rainbow Beet Terrine?”

Jsix s'more

He settled for the burger, the most familiar dish on the menu. However, the other food items we got looked so good he ended up trying things like the rabbit ragout and the fried oyster that topped my halibut.

As far as desserts go, the kids enjoyed Jsix’s upscale version of a s’more: a chocolate pudding served in a jar with candied graham cracker bits. But I fell in love with the raspberry sorbet served in a ginger beer that, I believe, is made there.

Desserts aren’t usually the driving point for me when I eat out, but I would consider a return trip to Jsix for that. However, I’d probably want the rabbit as well.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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