Neither my mind nor my pen could keep up as Chef Graves rapidly described the intricacies of his dishes. Persimmon carpaccio?? Vanilla poached pears? Crispy parsnips? House cured salmon?! These items seemed like second nature to Jsix's executive chef Christian Graves, but to me, the thought process and attention to detail implemented into each of Graves' layered flavor profiles were so mindfully crafted and uniquely artistic that I couldn't help but do a double take of some of the ingredients used and techniques mastered. It was an experience unlike any other as my partner and I enjoyed an amuse plus three savory courses at the preview of Jsix's fall dinner menu offerings. Each dish was beautiful, delicious and evidently well thought through by one of the most innovative and eco-conscious chefs in San Diego.
|Graves tending to the rooftop garden|
Jsix is located at the ground floor of Hotel Solamar. With lofty ceilings, an open kitchen, large windows and an eclectic interior design, the space is stylish and welcoming with easy access from the corner of 6th and J streets. Valet parking is comp'd for 2 hours if you validate at the restaurant or bar, making it a convenient and welcome dining destination in Downtown's East Village.
After a stressful day, starting my meal with the Maple Ole Fashion ($11) hit the proverbial spot. I do not understand how the thick cut of bacon stayed crisp after being submerged in the cocktail, but it worked to bring the beverage together as delicious heart and belly warming comfort in a glass - one which I savored and "mmmmmm''d after each and every sip.
Chef Graves presented us with an incredible meal that left us yearning for fall. His modesty may be his only vice, as it may benefit him to exude more bravado - being that he is so capable of meshing inventiveness with palate pleasing deliciousness. At Jsix, you'll find that the dining experience is based as much on your plate and palate as the thought and analysis inspired by the food. The offerings felt classic, and yet personal. When you cook merely for the diner, you may lose the passion required to adequately present such next-level dishes. When you cook with your heart and soul and an inspired mind, it comes through in the food, and we definitely appreciate that.
616 J Street, Downtown