This place has the stuff that dreams are made of.
And I don't just mean foodie dreams, although those are definitely manifested here as well. For the everyday man, woman, or child, Extraordinary Desserts is a magical place with rainbow-colored sauces, cloud puffs of meringue, chocolate medallions, and pillows of whipped cream to lull patrons into sugar-induced bliss.
I love love love this place.
Extraordinary Desserts has two locations in San Diego, and they are the brainchild of pastry chef Karen Krasne. She is a native San Diegian who lived in Hawaii for a time (probably where she gets inspiration for more tropical desserts), worked in several other countries, and has formal training from Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. She opened the first ED in the Hillcrest neighborhood in 1988 and later expanded to the downtown location in Little Italy on Union Street. I always frequent the latter, partially because it is a central meeting place for me and my girlfriends (ever practical), but also because the draw is not just desserts; the downtown ED is architecturally interesting.
The restaurant layout and facade were the work of architect Jennifer Luce, and I think most patrons would agree that her team did an excellent job. Both the exterior and interior make use of several raw materials such as steel and wood, and they are crafted in a way that seems organic and simple, showcasing all the offerings of ED perfectly. The interior also has a lovely open floor plan, clean lines, and high ceilings, which enhance an overall modern vibe and make the eating experience feel communal, yet decidedly not stuffy. And of course, the masterpiece of the entire restaurant is the show-stopping glass case that runs the entire width of the entrance and houses those outstanding desserts that make this place famous.