Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Extraordinary Desserts (well not quite)

We were celebrating a birthday yesterday so where else to head to in San Diego but Extraordinary Desserts. We had previously visited the Hillcrest location and been very impressed- with the dessert, the atmosphere and the service. This time however the downtown location was more convenient and so that is where we headed.
At the Hillcrest location you simply scope out the desserts, order at the counter, take a number and then head to a table to wait. This was not the case at the downtown location. We were again presented with desserts, but were told that we had to wait for a table, and that our order would be taken once we were seated. So, we duly waited 15 minutes or so and eventually were seated. The restaurant is square, open with tall echoey ceilings leading to considerable noise, even at 10pm in the evening. It was not exactly chilled out. The tables were placed very close to other tables, with uncomfortable seating and I couldn't quite shake the feeling that I was in a school cafeteria.
After a very lengthy period we were presented with menus, after checking these out for a while we realized these were not the dessert menus, and we couldn't really tell what was going to be available for dessert that evening. Fortunately during our wait for a table we had taken a good luck at what was on offer and could pretty much remember what we wanted.
The girls decided (bizarrely in my opinion) that after all they didn't feel like sweets and settled on a cheese platter. I went for a Gateau D'Ivore or something along those lines, whilst Mr. Birthday chose the chocolate croissant bread pudding. I also decided to get ice cream with my cake looked at the menu chose a couple of options an was promptly told by the waitress that neither of those options were available. I therefore asked her what the "coconut combo" ice cream was. I was told that it was a combo of coconut ice cream and coconut sorbert, but that I wouldn't be able to tell- it just tastes like ice cream. Now I'm not overly fond of sorbet but do really like coconut icecream, so I decided to trust the waitress and go with the choice.
Again we waited an age before our cakes and cheese arrived, sitting on our uncomfortable chairs, finding it very difficult to talk due to the noisy surroundings. Also getting a little stressed by the time- this was taking a lot longer than we had imagined.
Eventually we were served. The cheese was very very good- but then expensive cheese always is. The bread pudding was also good- although the accompanying chardonnay apparently not so much. My cake was good, but the icecream, well tasted much more like sorbert than icecream and I felt very let down.

overall not the best night- a dessert place should be calm and comfortable, a place to go after a night out to just chill with a tasty dessert. This is true in Hillcrest, but was quite the reverse downtown. The desserts were tasty enough, but we should have just gotten take out if that was all we required. (Would have meant a rather smaller tip also!).


Gourmetish said...

Good to know! My husband and I love the Hillcrest location for its atmosphere so it sounds like we might be disappointed by the downtown location.

Anonymous said...

Hi Garlic Lover,

I discovered your blog through Kirk's blog and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. I was surprised at your review of the downtown location of Extraordinary desserts because most people I talk to rave about it. Perhaps I'll just stick to the Hillcrest location, as it is about a block from my house.