El Chevere's Profile

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Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

I would be shocked if the people I saw yesterday, let alone significant portion, met that criteria last night and I would be shocked to learn that the average income in San Diego has suddenly surpassed other places with tech and software in places such as Silicon Valley, Orange County, NYC, SF, LA, Boston, Chicago, and elsewhere......yes, there are wealthy pockets in La Jolla, Del Mar, RSF, etc. but on average there is a noticeably smaller professional base in the downtown and surrounding areas (not including attorneys who work here during the day, with most living elsewhere and going home at night) and more of a service oriented crowd, which is the category I am willing to bet most of the crowd I saw last night fits in. Face it, downtown is a service economy.

Heck, I just spent a week in Miami which I never considered a sophisticated city, but the Brickell section (and Miami overall) is thriving with many high end restaurants and the local clientele with the means to support it (whether they earned their money here or brought it with them from abroad).

I hope I am wrong and hope J&I lasts here for many, many years. I hope the crowd fits the employment categories you outlined as well with the means to support a J&I and many more such places, but I have my doubts. Just witness the number of downtown restaurants that have closed recently(gone out of business) and/or have picked up and relocated elsewhere. Again, there is a reason why a Blind Burro will thrive in downtown and why you will not see an Eleven Madison Park. Income levels plays an integral part (and I'm not talking about retired 60-70+ year olds who are less likely to dine out as frequently as a thriving professional 35-55 year old crowd that you see in many other metropolitan cities, but not to as great an extent in downtown SD).

This is just my observation and opinion. but many people I speak with share similar sentiments (and I don't live in a bubble but do travel to many different places on a frequent basis as part of my job--tech/semiconductor--suit when calling on customers, no wallet chains or Ed Hardy/Affliction T-shirts in my casual wardrobe).

Mar 15, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

Why is it odd?...I was questioning the financial resources of the crowd last night (particularly vs, the ones I noticed just a week earlier) to sustain a place such as J&I....if the majority of the wallet chain crowd last night are really MD's, business owners, business execs, bankers, attorney's, CPA's, etc (which I highly doubt) that you find in other metropolitan cities that have the means to sustain good restaurants, not just casual ones--I will be the first to admit the errors of my ways. In many other cities a place like a J&I has a vibrant and larger 30-55YO professional/accomplished crowd from which to draw upon with the financial resources to support such establishments.

Mar 15, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

I hope they can pay and support a restaurant like a J&I...ordering 2-3 cocktails won't keep such an establishment alive and I hope I am wrong--but I have my doubts. My issue is not with a restaurant taking a risk--has more to do with the local population having the financial resources to support the establishment. In the case of J&I, it would seem they might be even more dependent upon local support, rather than being able to also tap into a convention crowd, given their location that is quite a bit removed.

Mar 15, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

Stiff--but that Yelp pic of me you referred to was taken in the gym by 944 Magazine--it was not a selfie nor was it taken at a nice restaurant (where I always dress appropriately, i.e. no baseball cap, flip flops or wallet chain at Cowboy Star, Dobsons, J&I, etc). Others can dress as schmucks in nice places, but I don't (OK, I wear a baseball cap at Tender Greens, Wahoos and The Neighborhood).

If you look at some of my other Yelp pics in my profile you will see me at nice restaurants and nice functions in a suit or appropriate attire such as collared shirt and no baseball cap....in a downtown (SD) that caters to a service economy, rather than being an epicenter for urban professionals, it is not surprising that I notice a demonstrable difference vs. other cities I frequent on a regular basis in terms of caliber of restaurants and class of people/income levels. (Now I do appreciate your reference to this 55 year old as a middle ager rather than as an old fart).

I just hope there is enough of a crowd that will appreciate and, more importantly, can support J&I--though based on last night, I now have some doubts. There's a popular high end gym that initially targeted urban professionals but quickly came to the realization there is not enough of such a market here in downtown and they have since adjusted their marketing strategy...Ty Hauer and his restaurant/bar group know the downtown San Diego market and do very well with Bubs, Double Deuce, and Blind Burro, among others--somehow, I do not think you will find him opening anything resembling Eleven Madison Park anytime soon.

Mar 15, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

seriously, it did not take long for the Searsucker crowd to discover this place--you know...the wallet chain, Ed Hardy t-shirt crowd. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume they're not on the Board of Directors at Qualcomm.

Mar 15, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

Went for 3rd time last night....as McGrath states, place is good (some items very good), but would not say great. Still will come back though.

Already, the place has turned into a typical downtown douche crowd--that did not take long. I was dining at the bar and was surprised to find as many available bar seats as I did--novelty wear off after only 10 days?... Restaurant was packed but the bar and lounge area were filled but not to capacity.

At. 8 or so in stroll people with baseball caps on, fresh off the bus from Whittier or National City. Guess there is no dress code which reinforces my opinion of downtown--there is an absence of an abundance of successful professionals in the 35-50 year range that is vital in maintaining the success and longevity of serious restaurants. Sure there is an attorney population downtown that works downtown during the day, but most live elsewhere. Sure hope this place can survive but time will tell--maybe the bail bond business is good these days and King Stahlman, etc will throw around their cash and support the downtown businesses at night. San Diego is a service town period.

Mar 15, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

History About How Baja Med Happened

never heard of it either.

I have heard that Javier Plascencia has his sights on a building in Little Italy, or thereabouts....anybody heard anything similar or can you shed additional light on this matter??

Mar 14, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Sit down Mariscos in Chula Vista area

What's going on with CV....Los Arcos closed a few months ago as well....TJ Oyster Bar in the Bonita section of CV is a good suggestion...what about Karina's??

Mar 14, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Outdoor dining in the Gaslamp District?

I was replying to Stiff Mom, who made the analogy.

Mar 13, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Outdoor dining in the Gaslamp District?

except Fox News distorts the truth and some us who bitch about the caliber of the overwhelming majority of Gaslamp restaurants do not (though Encore is good).

Mar 12, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Outdoor dining in the Gaslamp District?

I affectionately refer to that crowd as the 23 year olds still working on their GED degree that supports the local crystal meth trade as they work on their career aspiration of becoming the head bartender at Fluxx or opening their own tattoo shop by their 35th birthday.....aside from mentioning their release from the holding tank thanks to King Stahlman, did I leave anything out???

If you must dine in that area, you have been advised...if your plans are flexible, I would suggest considering outside dining options in Little Italy instead.

Mar 12, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego
1

Where do you go for your favorite cheesecake?

+1 on Juniors ( marble cheesecake rules).... Linda's Whistle Stop (Oceanside, NY) good also....best ever used to be a place called Custom Bakers in Island Park, NY--closed shop years ago but they had THE best cheesecake I have ever had along with chocolate layer cake, neselrode pie and lemon merengue pie. The children still have the recipes but refuse to sell and have no interest in pursuing the business.

Mar 09, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Eddie V's

not yet...believe they had their soft opening this past week....looking forward to their jazz bar as well.

Mar 07, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

Love this place even more.....went back again tonight, Friday...started off with the chicken oysters appetizer that was out of this world....followed that up with the prawn and pork rigatoni which was exceptional.

Halfway through the meal, Richard Blais came around and recognized me from last night. We are both originally from Long Island (NY) and I suggested that he come up with a Long Island pub item for his menu, such as sliced London Broil served on garlic bread and topped with melted mozzarella cheese along with a BBQ dipping sauce....next thing you know, he comes back to our table a few minutes later with his own version for us to sample at no charge. How cool is that.

Mar 07, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego
3

SuperNatural Sandwiches To Open Its First Brick & Motar Site

I'm pissed since they are leaving the downtown area (Barrio Logan) and they will no longer be within a 5-10 minute drive from where I live....love their sandwiches--the Neptune rocks--but not sure I will be driving 30 minutes for lunch.

Mar 07, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

not sure about that but some of the eye candy roaming the place caused some eye strain.

Mar 07, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

your rear will actually sink in the padded bar stools--very comfortable....seating in the bar was first come first serve....not my first preference if I were to dine there (but beggars without reservations cannot be choosey)....you have to sacrifice a little bit of service if you wish to dine at the bar as you are competing for the bartender's attention while she/they were making cocktails....if you get a table, great....if not and you wish to dine at the bar a little more patience is to be expected and you would be best off studying the menu, in advance, and giving your order (apps, main course) to the bartender at once..(though I did it in stages, exercising a little more patience than usual).

Mar 07, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

I could be wrong as I had a few glasses of wine in me at the time one of the principals behind the project shared that information with me, but that's what I thought I heard.

Mar 07, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

Should add you can order a burger that is not listed on the menu with ground chuck, sirloin, and one more blended cut of meat I cannot recall....the burger is how Blais laid his claim to fame.

Mar 07, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

Just got back and had a very enjoyable meal/experience. Did not have reservations--which were limited for the first night or two to less than capacity to give the kitchen an opportunity to get its feet wet--but ended up sitting at a corner of the main bar as you walk in.....the facility also has a community table as well as small tables that seat 2-3 people that overlook the main dining area and a lounge area that does not accept reservations but are available to diners on a first come, first serve basis.

Started off with the biscuit that was very good, followed by the tuna tartare and a duck toast dish that were also very good before proceeding to the main courses. I had the steak which was quite good while my friend ordered the pork--he agreed with earlier posts about it being slightly overcooked (he ordered it medium, but would order it medium rare next time) but enjoyed the quality of the food....loved the presentation and plates they served the food on....washed down my steak with a glass of Bench Cabernet from Alexander Valley that was tastey and reasonably priced at $12 per glass.

The highlight was the 'yodel' devil cake dessert--exceptionally 'chocolately' and full of flavor...had the pleasure of being joined for most of our dinner at the bar with one of the key visionaries behind the project and had a great conversation. The noise level mentioned by some did not seem to bother me and I definitely plan on returning--next time, with a reservation, and in one of the sleek and sexy booths. Overall, a very positive experience.

Mar 06, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

not as though 22 year old's will spend $100 on dinner, either...they are stupid enough to spend $400 for a $30 bottle of vodka that comes with a sofa called 'bottle service' inside a night club, but I've yet to seem them splurge on food at that age--unless restos are trying to compete with nightclubs....not sure......I'm trying to go tonight with a friend without reservations and will report back if I do.

Mar 06, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

on Kettner, between Juniper and Ivy (think about 3-4 blocks north of The Waterfront, on the same side of the street).

Mar 05, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

sounds good...thanks for the encouraging and thorough report....I am shooting for a visit Thursday, without reservations, for the bar area and/or community table.... a friend, owner of the largest wine bar in SD, attended opening night and suggests the biscuit, chicken oysters, and steak (he also sat besides Javier Plascencia who talked about his grand (re)opening of Finca Altozano in Guadalupe Valley).

Mar 05, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Atlanta Chef Richard Blais Opening "Juniper & Ivy" in February

That Yodel dessert has my name all over it.

Mar 03, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Atlanta Chef Richard Blais Opening "Juniper & Ivy" in February

Thanks. Edward Snowden would be very proud of you.

Mar 03, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Atlanta Chef Richard Blais Opening "Juniper & Ivy" in February

What's the parking situation like--which we all know sucks in any part of Little Italy....does the restaurant offer valet parking??

Thanks

Mar 02, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Atlanta Chef Richard Blais Opening "Juniper & Ivy" in February

Some more pics from San Diego Magazine:

http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/Blogs...

Feb 28, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

Atlanta Chef Richard Blais Opening "Juniper & Ivy" in February

Thanks for posting....Looks great (and actually looks from pics they might even have a unique concept for SD--good bread with your meal)....just checked with a friend of mine who was there last night as well--going again on Monday and I will be joining his party.

Feb 28, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego

San Diego CLOSED Restaurants: Thread Three- The Saga Continues.

Blame the greedy f*kn landlords who charge unreasonably excessive rents in the Gaslamp...frankly, I would love for more restaurants to relocate and tell these landlords where to stick it and let them collect dust each month rather than rent.

Feb 23, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego
1

Atlanta Chef Richard Blais Opening "Juniper & Ivy" in February

Update on grand opening--looks like Monday, March 3:

http://sandiego.eater.com/archives/20...

Feb 21, 2014
El Chevere in San Diego