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Hillcrest's Blue Ribbon Changes Concept, Name & Menu

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A year after first opening, the owners of Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen, chef Wade Hageman and wife Kristi, have renamed their University Avenue restaurant and this week, unveiled a new menu format for the restaurant. The design is unchanged, save for a new living plant wall.

Hageman, who was a fine dining chef before he opened the much-admired Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza in Encinitas, has rebranded the Hillcrest eatery as Social Experiment bar + kitchen, whose menu of snacks, share plates and seasonal entrees now runs for $20 or less.

Marlaw Seraspi, Blue Ribbon's launching chef de cuisine remains, as do some of the dishes, including their stellar butterscotch pudding and house made pasta. General manager Matt Handy says the menu's been reconfigured to encourage sharing; for example, the merlot-braised short rib is now plated as three pieces instead of one larger hunk of meat. There's also a larger craft cocktail menu and a continuation of their "social hours" from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday to Friday, 9:30 to midnight Wednesday to Saturday, and all night on Monday and Tuesday, when Social Experiment offers $3 off all food, $2 off craft cocktails and $5 craft beer.

SE Share Menu

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Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen

530 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103 619-501-6795

Social Experiment bar + kitchen

530 University Avenue San Diego, CA 92103