Many hotels have a restaurant for your dining convenience. These tend to follow the guidelines of what level of hotel is hosting. There are some restaurants that shine above the tallest floor of the building in which they reside. Let us recommend Jsix at the Hotel Solamar.
Entering the venue you are instantly impressed with the festive, engaging swirling bar that greets you and invites you in for a cocktail. As we had a few minutes before our reservation, we ordered an old classic we haven’t seen in a bar menu for years, namely a sidecar (fine Kentucky Bourbon with Cointreau and lemon) and a Pear Martini. Let the games begin.
Gazing from the stools we immediately were captivated by the simple, yet very cool vibe of the venue. Soft golden tones sooth the days’ stress away with its subtle décor. Long flowing window dressings outline seating areas while floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to gaze upon the street scene. Complimenting the bar in its fluidness is the open kitchen that matches the oval bars grace and style. The entire venue is very feng shui and very intimate.
Maine Lobster Salad
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Jsix prides itself on their never ending search for local and regional sources of seafood, fruits, vegetables and other ingredients. These create distinctive cutting edge and somewhat “kinky” (hey, that’s a quote from chef Christian Graves, so don’t look at us) dishes that are brought to fruition, especially on the weekends. This matches their determination for a grassroots approach to their culinary creations. They cure all of their own meats and are starting a hydroponic garden on an upper floor, allowing them to be completely self-sustaining. Everything is made here, okay, self-admittedly except for the English Muffins.
The menu is separated by degrees of “bites”. Small Bites (appetizers), Big Bites (entrees) and Shared Bites (hmm, to share with your companions, including appetizers and entrees). We started the evening with a few “small bites”, an Ahi Cigar (believe it or not it’s Ahi wrapped in a basil leaf) so unique and scrumptious over a rich orange vinaigrette sauce. Next we sampled the Maine Lobster Salad (with apples, fennel with a reduced vanilla cognac sauce) which was wonderfully unique in its flavor. We were informed by the chef that vanilla and lobster are a traditional pairing. Who knew? We also sampled their Butternut Squash with Curry Oil soup which was delightful. The robust curry flavors, a clever compliment to the sweetness of the squash.
Roasted Asparagus Salad
Roasted Maryland Striped Bass
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The Roasted Asparagus Salad (bacon, soft-boiled Quail eggs and dill dressing) was a wonderful combination in concept but a little heavy on the bacon flavor. Also worth trying is the Pillows of Potato Gnocchi in Pesto which while a touchy salty, was incredibly rich and flavorful and literally melted in your mouth.
The entrees continued to support Jsix’s stimulating entourage of dishes. We sampled the Vegetarian Summer Corn Raviolis (king trumpet mushrooms, herb fondue and hazelnut gremolata) which is one of the most amazing dishes ever. The grated corn on the cob is bought regionally and simmered for five hours in truffle oil and mascarpone cheese. This dish is one of the most spectacular creations we’ve ever sampled and a crowd favorite. A deep bow to the chef.
The decadency continued with the Roasted Maryland Striped Bass (chorizo, lemon verbena broth with fennel and Kaffir lime oil) which was deliciously spicy and just a little sinful. The wildly flavorful sauce was almost soup-like in its consistency. Lastly we tried the Slow Roasted Colorado Spring Lamb (bean cassoulet, kalamata olives, house made lamb sausage and orange vinaigrette). The lamb was cooked rare and deliciously garnished in a complex green sauce that brought out a striking flavor. The meal was accompanied by a lovely red wine, the server recommended Truchard Syrah ol Carneros.
As if this wasn’t enough, sometimes you just want something a little sweet at the end and we got it. The Valrhona Chocolate Turtle (caramel with roasted peanuts and a crunchy chocolate pretzel) was decadently sweet and the Pumpkin Semi-Freddo (a cheesecake like consistency with a gingerbread crust) delivered a smooth textured dessert complimented by candied cranberries and pecan.
All of these magical dishes are the creation of chef Christian Graves, heralding from several leading restaurants in San Francisco (including the esteemed Farallon where he served as chef de cuisine) he has brought a unique vibe to San Diego and California cuisine. Whatever your particular tastes, you will be certain to be enchanted by the unique offerings at Jsix. Enjoy!
- City: San Diego, CA 92101
- Phone: 619-531-8744
- Name: J Six
- Address: 616 J Street