J L Ivy, Princeton

JL Ivy is a pretty new restaurant in Princeton. The restaurant has a 3 1/2 star rating from The Star Ledger so things looked pretty promising. After finding my way to the restaurant, which wasn’t so easy due to confusion over a detour due to road works, I was looking forward to dinner because the restaurant is actually pretty nice. It’s a large space, tastefully decorated. I wasn’t too sure about what to expect food wise having not read the Star Ledger review and was going there with others from work so hadn’t asked anything about the place.

I’m not exactly sure how to classify this place. Confusion may be the best term for it. It’s a sushi bar, steak house and I have even seen it described as a French Bistro on Open Table (that one I don’t get). The menu is all over the place, with ribs, burgers, asian accented dishes, sushi, etc. I believe that this restaurant has multiple owners and it seems like they all wanted their own individual restaurant with their own theme and cusine but decided to put it all together. Unfortunately none of it is good. I tried the calamari which was average, the tamarind ribs were bad, the salmon was drenched in sauce and the sushi with some kind of Korean sauce wasn’t very good. The food seemed like it came from a bad episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Even my glass of Proseco was flat and had to be sent back. On the positive side, our waiter was very helpful. Shame, we really do need better restaurants in Princeton. My recommendation, ask Gordon Ramsay to come, do an episode of Kitchen Nightmares and get the owners to figure out the restaurant’s identity and fix the food.

BTW, what the heck was the reviewer from The Star Ledger smoking?

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