Extraordinary Desserts is an absolute must if you are ever in San Diego. It’s my favorite bakery/ dessert establishment and I make sure it’s on my list of stops whenever I’m there. Let me tell you why.
First, the established Extraordinary Desserts produces exactly what its name says it does — extraordinary desserts that are so insanely delectable that they’re absolutely worth obsessing over. Award-wining chef Karen Krasne, the mastermind behind Extraordinary Desserts, has serious pastry credits under her belt; she’s Cordon Bleu-trained, with a masters from Le Notre and Bellouet Conseil. She uses locally grown or organic ingredients whenever possible – and her attention to detail is flawless. The desserts are often topped off with flower petals or gold leaf, for over-the-top decadence.
When to go? Stop by in the A.M. for their weekday morning rush hour special – pick 1 beverage (coffee, latte or cappuccino) and 1 pastry (scone, muffin or fruit coffee cake) for $5 total. Isn’t that a delicious deal? I mean, c’mon…your daily caffeine fix alone would’ve cost you about $3.50 anyway.
It’s also a wonderful late night hang out (and seeing as they’re usually still bustling at 10pm, the after hours crowd seems to agree) to share a little nibble with your friends. Simply pick an item from their savory menu, as everything is quite good from the mixed greens to the paninis — for which they exclusively use bread selections from the delightful Bread & Cie. They also offer a wine bar, along with a fair selection of coffee and teas.
But the real reason to go is for the sinfully exquisite concoctions. So this is how it works: Enter the patisserie and place your name with the seating host. (Tip: Try to get seated in the patio, which is a little bit more secluded and not as noisy during the busy hours.) Then browse the delicious treats behind the glass-protected counters and decide what you want to order, which will take you a good 10-15 minutes. The dessert menu changes daily and make sure to check the blackboard behind the seating host, which spells out the various daily dessert specials. After you are seated, feel free to browse the savory/ drink menus before ordering your dessert.
Now, here comes the good part…devouring the dessert! But not sure what to order? Here are some recommendations:
- If you like fruity desserts, try the White Chocolate Linzer Torte, which is a beautiful menagerie of hazelnut almond cake layered with white chocolate buttercream, raspberries and a nut meringue. The Fraiser Triple Berry Torte and the Passion Fruit Riccota Torte are also quite yummy.
- Chocoholic? The Gianduia is for you! A chocolate cake laced with Myers’ Rum is filled with hazelnut bettercream, chocolate mousse and boysenberry preserves. The Torta Misu, Au Chocolat and Triple Chocolate Mouse Torte are also killer.
- Aiming for something lighter? Try one of their sorbets or ice creams. I’ve been very satisfied with their Mango sorbet, as well as the Very Vanilla Bean, Blackberry Cheesecake and Dulce de Leche ice creams.
- Lastly, the Bread Puddings. It doesn’t matter which one – warm and beyond fabulous. So filling that I always take 2/3 of it home with me. I dare you to finish yours.
To be honest…you can’t really go wrong with anything you order here, so try them all! If you make the journey, report back and tell me what you think.
The original Extraordinary Desserts is located on 2929 Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest (desserts only) or visit the newer Little Italy location (and my personal favorite) at 1430 Union St. For more information or to browse their menu, visit ExtraordinaryDesserts.com.