Sweets de les arrondissements

by Sarah Grieco

Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor
Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

Lemon Meringue Tartelettes, Crème Brulee aux Fruits Rouge and Passion Fruit Ricotta Torte.

No, these are not the names of elite members of the French bourgeoisie, they are menu items of San Diego’s delicious restaurant, Extraordinary Desserts.

Store owner and head chef Karen Krasne is certainly one of San Diego’s most talented bakers. She studied pastry making at the esteemed Le Cordon Bleu in France and has also racked up multiple awards for her kitchen skills. Krasne has traveled throughout the world but decided to return to her native roots in San Diego to open Extraordinary Desserts in 1988. Now, more than 20 years later, there are two stores within three miles of each other, each with a line of people extending out the door.

Why are these sweets in such high demand? Because the desserts Krasne designs are truly impeccable. At both the Little Italy and Balboa Park locations, a wall of the day’s confections look more like artwork than desserts. People’s breaths fog the glass container encasing the intricate cakes and cookies while they try to decide which beautiful creation to consume.

While ordering multiple slices of cake might be tempting, the price tag forces people to resist eating more than one. However, the price is justified. Krasne uses only the best ingredients, and after the first bite, it is obvious the vanilla inside the Ivoire Royale cake is plucked from the best vanilla bean in the world. Upon biting into this particular slice of cake, one is temporarily transported into a sugary, peaceful bliss.

The luxury does not end there, though. All desserts are festooned with elegant flowers, giving the impression that nature played a part in its creation. Flowers aside, the superiority of the ingredients is evident, even with a simple chocolate chip cookie.

Extraordinary Desserts also offers great items to take home. The loose teas are delightful and the jams are to die for. One of the milder teas called “Lover Girl” pairs well with almost any cake or cookie.

The best time to go to Extraordinary Desserts is in the afternoon, when the line is likely to be shorter than at night. Also, the desserts can easily be split between two people, making this a perfect setting for a romantic evening.

Extraordinary Desserts
2929 5th Ave.
San Diego, 92103