Jeune & Jolie

We had the reservation before the announcement came earlier this week. Jeune & Jolie was awarded their first Michelin star on Tuesday. So dinner last night ended up being at a 1-star Michelin restaurant in San Diego, who’d have ever thought…

A few housekeeping items before we get to the food. It was a balmy night, we sat outside and it was delightful, there are heaters strategically placed and they were all on which kept the patio pleasantly toasty. Service was attentive and well orchestrated. There was no apparent shortage of staff and what staff there was was personable, well trained and well informed about the menu, including the cocktails and wine. Unfortunately, as night fell the lighting on the patio was not conducive to photos, plus I used the “food” setting on my camera, which I will not do again. Anyway, some of the photos are not as clear as I would have preferred, but they will give you an idea of what the food was like.

The only menu option is prix fixe $85 for a 4 course meal. There were 4 choices for each course except the first course for which there were only 3. Between the 2 of us we had 8 of the 15 dishes offered. We had agreed to share everything, so I got to taste everything we ordered. A vegetarian option was offered on each of the first 3 courses, the 4th is dessert which, of course, is normally vegetarian. There is also a raw bar menu of fresh seafood if you want to supplement the meal.

Two wine pairings are offered, the Jeune for $55 which are New World wines, mostly Pacific Northwest, and Jolie for $75 which are Old World wines, mostly French. I went with the New World pairing, my friend went with the Old World pairing.

The amuse bouche was a shot glass of chilled melon soup that perfectly captured the essence of very ripe, late summer cantaloupe.

We then moved on to the first course. I had the Hamachi Crudo and my friend the Tomato Tart. Both were pretty wonderful

Slow roasted heirloom tomato on a spelt crust. Topped with roasted strawberries and anise hyssop flowers and leaves. Tomato water surrounded it. Tomatoes and strwaberries…who knew?
Wine pairing was 2018 Des Vines D’Envie Jacquere, Savoie, France. While this wine did pair well with the tomato tart it did have a pretty substantial barnyard nose and taste to it.

The hamachi was like “buttah”. Peaches and lemon verbena for the sauce, garnished with pea shoots and itty bitty peach slices, which may have been the bane of some young prep cook. Wine pairing was 2020 Patricia Green Cellars Sauv Blanc, Willamette Valley, OR

Shortly after the dishes were cleared we were presented with this…

The bread course. Croissant dough rolled and baked in a muffin tin topped with assorted seeds. Avocado butter on the side. Forget the gluten, forget the calories, just eat this thing…slowly…and savor every. single. bite. Best dish of the night for me, it was that good.

The second course brought us halibut and beets, tho’ not on the same plate. I love halibut in almost any incarnation. This came with chanterelles, lemon and a bounty of fresh herbs. My friend, who doesn’t much like beets ended up with the beet dish, which she declared delicious. In the end, however, I liked her beet dish better than my halibut and she like my halibut better than her beets.

Thin slices of beets interspersed with black berries - another who knew combination - and garnished with red shiso leaves, housemade fromage blanc on the side. The fromage blanc was heaven with the beets and blackberries.
Wine pairing was 2019 Ferlat “Ramato” Pinot Grigio, Venezia Guilia, Italy. White wine grapes processes as for red wine. Absolutely delicious, and a good match with the beets and berries

Halibut with crispy, lemony breadcrumbs, potato, chanterelles and parsley, tarragon and chives. Oh, and there was a mussel or two in there as well.
Wine pairing was 2019 Trail Marker Chard, Santa Cruz Mountains, CA. Not overly oaked, nice match for the halibut and lemon

On to the 3rd course. I went with the duck and my dining companion went with the loup de mar (Seabass). Both dishes were outstanding

Perfectly cooked duck breast with crispy skin. It came on a bed of beluga lentils (aka black caviar lentils) over which was poured a reduction sauce of black tea and coffee. There were also some red currents in there somewhere
Wine pairing was 2018 Johan Vineyards Pinto Noir, Willamette Valley, OR. Pinots aren’t my favorite red wine, but this one could change my mind. Great with the duck and lentils

Look at that crispy skin. The fish underneath was moist and tender. The “stuff” on the side was squid and peppers.
Wine pairing was 2020 Domaine de la Fouquette Rose, Cotes de Provence, France. Stellar rose.

Finally dessert rolled around. The almond and berry dish was definitely the better of the 2 dishes.

Almond cremeaux two ways topped with blackberries, blueberries (the sorbet) and praline.
Wine pairing was 2019 Domaine D’Alliance, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France. Yummy and totally perfect with the cremeaux

Coconut rice topped with mango and a tapioca crisp, finished with a thai basil sauce.
Wine pairing was 2018 Robert Stinsky Late Harvest Pinot Gris, Los Carneros, CA. Worked well with the coconut and mango, but not as nicely as the sauternes went with the cremeaux

The meal was a treat from start to finish. The chef is fairly new and it has, apparently, taken him a while to find his stride, but if our meal is any indication, he is well on his way. While some dishes were better than others, not one was a clunker or even a near miss. It’s a splurge meal for sure, but definitely worth it.

Which brings me to exactly how much of a splurge it is. We had 2 cocktails, 2 pre-fixe meals, and both wine pairings. Add in a generous and well deserved tip and our final tab was a bit over $400, $130 of which were the wine pairings. Money well spent in my book.


That seems like a very nice bargain based on what you drank and ate. The food looks outstanding. We’d had Jeune & Jolie on our radar but never had a chance to visit. Great review.

If you get the chance, go. It was well worth it. Their menu is currently a summer menu. I’m already planning to go back when the change to a Fall/Autum menu.

We left pleasantly full bordering on very full. Portions are all nicely sized.

$85 for the pre-fixe menu is a steal given the quality, quantity and service.

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Thanks, we have been wanting to go but then Covid and the original chef left. Sounds and looks very nice. Thanks for a great review.

Exceptionally good. The dishes are perfectly executed (quail and freshwater eel are the best I’ve ever had; eel better than at several Michelin starred restaurants in Japan that specialize in freshwater eel). The flavor profiles are highly refined. The sky is the limit for this chef. The chef is from Auburn (the erstwhile restaurant not the university). Sorry I never made it to Auburn. 7.9 Warrior Points.

There are not too many Michelin star restaurants in San Diego and so when Jeune et Jolie in Carlsbad (also not really known as a hot place for new, creative high-end restaurants) opened up and gained a lot of recognition it was time to visit the place.

Even though it has a Michelin star the ambience feels more like a low-key French bistro with a beautiful open kitchen which let’s you see all the action. The food and service were definitely on a Michelin star level with creative, very well executed dishes. The menu isn’t a classical tasting menu format but a four course prix fixe. Jeune et Jolie is definitely one of the current culinary highlights in San Diego

Amuse Bouche - Carrot tart
Light but flavorful start for the dinner

Course 1a - Crudo - amberjack, plum, cherry blossoms, lime
Pristine fish with a really nice sauce which didn’t overwhelm the amberjack but was still able to hold up

Course 1b - Tartare - veal tartare, dashi gelee, wakame, apple, horseradish
Good combination of flavors and texture (some puffed grains) - the apple pieces really brought the dish together

Bread Course - Milk bread with apple butter
Warm, freshly made milk bread with excellent butter

Course 2 - Saint Jacques - scallop, butternut squash, smoked eel, pumpkin seeds
Sweet scallop with a nice seared crust but the great combination was with the smoked eel and the earthiness from the butternut squash. Fantastic dish.

Course 3 - Wagyu - A5 ribeye kagoshima prefecture, eggplant, smoked tomato, walnut
Another great dish with melt in your mouth wagyu but the combination of the slightly bitter eggplant with the texture from the walnuts and the smokiness from the tomato broth really elevated the dish.

Course 4a - Fromage - epoisse, new crop potatoes, sunflower
Such a simple but great tasting dish. Slightly al dente potatoes, freshly melted epoisse (poured over the potatoes at the table) and sunflower seeds for texture

Course 4b - Mille-Feuille - citrus, pistachio, vanilla, tarragon
Good flavor combinations, especially with the tarragon and vanilla which combine nicely

Mignardise - Single origin chocolate with a dusting of salt and curry - curry and chocolate are always a great combination


Glad you liked it. You know, that “dessert” of epoisses with potatoes and sunflower seeds is the best thing I’ve eaten all year! The waiter told me that the epoisses is unpasteurized (don’t freak out) and the chef nonetheless was able to import it because he heated it. Doesn’t really make any sense, but that’s what the waiter said.

Why freak out - we like unpasteurized cheese a lot (that’s what you mainly get in Europe - but also in the “right” restaurants in the US)

Well, unpasteurized cheeses are banned from importation by the FDA if not aged more than 60 days. Listeria. I figured you’d support that but I could be wrong.

Sounds like the waiter was trying to say that the cheese was thermalized. That’s as illegal to import (unless aged for 60 days) as raw-milk cheeses, but some of it gets through.

I understood him to be saying that the chef melted it onto the potatoes.

Didn’t they do it in front of you - it was a very good dessert (even though not really novel but more a play on raclette)

You can’t get an exemption from the 60-day raw-milk cheese ban by promising to melt it on potatoes.

I know. That’s my point. I’m just reporting what the waiter said.

I don’t remember them doing anything to melt the epoisses. I already had a bottle of wine and two gummies though. There were two ladies both wearing zebra striped dresses and I went up and asked them what the story was and they said it was coincidence. Imagine that!

I don’t remember them doing anything to melt the epoisses.

At room temp (say 70F) a ripe epoisses is nearly liquid anyway.

Over potatoes sounds really good.


he had a similar dessert at auburn but with sunchokes instead of potatoes.

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