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12 Dishes You’ll Want To Order At Kettner Exchange

Kettner Exchange

“One of each” would be my ideal order at Kettner Exchange, one the most popular restaurants in Little Italy, San Diego.  Based on past visits, I suspect that everything on the menu is delicious – but selecting the dishes to order is tough. Luckily, most of the menu features tapas-style dishes that are perfect for sharing.

Listed in the Michelin Guide, Kettner Exchange (KEX) serves exquisite contemporary American dishes and has an equally as impressive cocktail and wine menu from Corporate Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski.

KEX is an indoor-outdoor, two-level 10,000-square-foot restaurant, with an outdoor rooftop that has private cabanas and intimate seating, indoor seating with bay views, and cozy downstairs seating.   

Two things that you will notice when you get the menu, are that it will have today’s date (as the menu changes based on seasonality and fresh produce) and that it has the Michelin logo. The restaurant was also on the Bib Gourmand list in 2019 and 2021.

While I can’t guarantee that these items will be on the menu, I would highly recommend a meal at Kettner Exchange.

MUSHROOM TAN TAN 

celery root purée, atkinson farm ramen egg,
chili, leeks

Kettner Exchange

DUCK MEATBALL 

anson mills grits, heirloom tomato,
parmesan

COCONUT RICE 

shiitake, cilantro, mint, 
peanut, nuoc nam

CRISPY WEISER FARMS POTATOES 

mint, parsley, aleppo oil,
garlic aioli

Kettner Exchange

CAESAR SALAD

you will see this caesar salad very soon
(IYKYK: but not at KEX) 

HOT OIL SEARED SALMON 

soy, sesame, sunchokes,
shiitake

Kettner Exchange

SPICY TUNA CRISPY RICE 

avocado, radish, crispy rice, eel
sauce, spicy mayo

ROASTED CHINESE EGGPLANT 

moroccan spice, bulgur, pine nuts,
lemon yogurt

GRILLED MARY’S CHICKEN 

black urfa chili, pickled red onion,
scintilla farms pea tendrils 

Kettner Exchange

HOT & SPICY GARLIC NOODLES 

shrimp, broccoli, cilantro,
scallion (ordered without shrimp)

WHIPPED BUTTERMILK RICOTTA 

balsamic glaze, olive oil,
charred bread, lava salt

KALE SALAD 

almonds, apple, golden raisins,
parmesan, lemon-olive oil

I just published my list of “The Best Restaurants In The Gaslamp Quarter“.

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