HOUReview

photo credit: Liz Silva

Jūn image
9.0

Best New Restaurants

2023

Jūn

Fusion

The Heights

$$$$Perfect For:Special OccasionsDate NightImpressing Out of TownersDining Solo
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Jūn in The Heights does the whole small plates thing better than the rest. The menu is a brief list of simple food, intruded by only a few clunky buzzwords. Drinks are wine and sake cocktails only, but each one is colorful and fun, so you almost forget other options exist. Everything inside has an organic edge, as though the restaurant was handwoven or built from a magical slab of clay. Sitting in here is so soothing and pleasant that finding anything negative to say about it would be immoral, like making a child cry. Simply put: dinner at Jūn in The Heights is all hits, no misses.

Self-described as “New Asian American,” the food at Jūn blurs the line of any discernible cuisine. While the menu veers wildly in different directions—carrots dressed in salsa macha and Salvadoran cheese, crispy fried chicken with shrimp paste and thai chili, unassuming bowls of savory grits, chili oil, and cherry tomatoes—the end result is deceptively unassuming yet striking food. The flavors and textures so blissfully fade one into the next that when the roasted sweet potato hits the table, the meal becomes emotionally overwhelming, like the first time a dog rolls over and lets you pet its belly.

Jūn image

photo credit: Liz Silva

Even the space has the effect of a meditative inhale. Someone with an actual personality put this place together, seemingly with the intention of making you feel nice. Warm plaster walls and massive windows surround tall tropical plants, dried floral arrangements, and muted clusters of art, kind of like someone’s living room, if that someone had a hookup for all the chicest stuff at the Round Top Antique Show. 

No matter how many times you eat at Jūn, or what evolves on the menu, the experience remains unchanged, sort of like a weathered leather saddle or worn-in blue jeans. Visit Jūn for a special occasion, an important date, or just grab a seat at the bar and order up a few plates for a casual weeknight self-care dinner. And make those reservations in advance.

Jūn image

photo credit: Liz Silva

Jūn image

photo credit: Liz Silva

Jūn image

photo credit: Liz Silva

Jūn image

photo credit: Liz Silva

Jūn image

photo credit: Liz Silva

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Jūn image
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Food Rundown

Jūn image

photo credit: Liz Silva

Beef Tartare

Although small and perhaps understated, the beef tartare packs flavor into each bite, mostly thanks to the crispy buñuelo over top. Flip it over, and you’ll see a thin ribbon of egg custard piped across the ornate fried dough, like a rich, savory surprise.
Jūn image

photo credit: Liz Silva

Sweet Potato

Half of a perfectly roasted sweet potato sits over a simple swipe of labneh yogurt with a little bit of crunch from crushed walnuts. Oddly, there’s very little happening here, but sort of everything wonderful is happening all at the same time.
Jūn image

photo credit: Liz Silva

Grits

We want to dive into this bowl of grits, head first, and swim around in its deep savoriness. Grits are cooked butter-soft, squishy roasted tomatoes add a pop of acid, and crispy bits of beef seca tie each texture together. If Jūn made this dish drinkable, we would hastily gulp it down.
Jūn image

photo credit: Liz Silva

Whole Fish

One bite of the charred whole fish with guajillo and lime turns anyone into a cartoon cat. We thought about putting the fish right in our mouth whole and pulling the bones out clean (and we kind of did).

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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