extraordinary desserts / banker’s hill | san diego, ca

Extraordinary Desserts is one of those indulgent kind of places. You “ooh” and “ahh” over their selection of beautiful looking desserts and pastries, have a bit of tea, and relax for a bit. It’s one place near the city that’s also actually open late (unlike many other places around town) and serves well as a good late night spot. The original location still has a really long line at night that snakes around outside while the Little Italy location is in a huge warehouse looking area with almost guaranteed seating. I used to go to Extraordinary Desserts a lot back in the day but hadn’t been in years. I was out one evening with Laura and Jake and us girls decided that dessert was in high demand and we went off the Banker’s Hill location for dessert.

Jake wasn’t too happy about the line and sulked a little. We sent him off to save us some seats while we sat in line. He played “Angry Birds” on my iTouch but was shooed away by a waitress who told him that he couldn’t sit and save a table without having already placed an order. Uhh, what? Excuse me?

Laura and I were kind of ticked by this. We were even more ticked by it since we clearly saw other people saving tables. One lady put a bunch of sweaters at one table and got back into line with her friend and we saw other people snagging tables before ordering. If it truly was the policy that you couldn’t grab a table until you ordered, it should be consistently enforced or a sign should be displayed clearly stating this. Totally annoying.

Despite my annoyance and despite Jake getting kicked out of a table, we ordered and procured a seat indoors rather quickly. After feasting our eyes on the beautiful display case, Laura and I decided to share 2 desserts. One was this Strawberry Shortcake. Flowers and rose petals are the kind of thing you can always expect at Extraordinary Desserts. I don’t think I’ve seen the gold-leafed strawberry before though. Nice touch.

Here’s a close-up of the shortcake itself. It looked to me kind it would be a crunchy biscuit type thing, but it was much softer with little to no crisp to it. I didn’t like it at first, but it grew on me. I liked the fresh, sweet strawberries and the whipped cream and shortcake itself grew on me. It was flaky and soft, though still a little tough to dig into without making everything smoosh out the sides. The sauce on the plate was also tasty, sort of a mix of strawberry and cream sauces on the plate. It’s a bit pricey though and not sure it was totally worth it in the end, but it was tasty and it was pretty and I got to spend some time with lovely people so it wasn’t all that bad.

We also got a Lemon Bar. I got this because I thought Jake would eat it since I recently re-discovered he likes lemon desserts (I keep forgetting for some reason). Jake didn’t understand why there was a lime slice on this when it was a lemon bar. I guess I don’t either, but I figured it was just for color anyway. I didn’t like the lemon bar at all. It was much too sour for my tastes and the consistency of the bar was off to me, I felt like I had to keep chewing and chewing to swallow it down. Jake ended up finishing this off while Laura and I mainly focused on our preferred dessert, the shortcake.

We also shared a pot of some really lovely tea called Lover Girl ($6 per pot). The description for the tea is: “Simple and sweet. A gorgeous bouquet of violets.” I don’t have any photos of it, but it was a very simple, a bit flowery and sweet tea. All of us really liked it.

All in all, Laura and I did think the quality of the desserts has gone down a bit. It does seem to be more about flashy presentation than overall taste. There are a number of various dessert places around town now (all of the cupcakeries, various dessert bars and bakeries and the like) and while it is oh so pretty, you’ll have to decide for yourself if the ends (price and waiting in line) justifies the means (putting pretty, pretty desserts into your belly).

Extraordinary Desserts
(2 Locations Available)
2929 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 294-2132

Extraordinary Desserts on Urbanspoon

5 thoughts on “extraordinary desserts / banker’s hill | san diego, ca

  1. hi mary – the line is always long at the banker’s hill location. parking is a little bit better though. i remember when they were new in the early 90’s. my favorite was the passionfruit ricotta lemon torte. not sure if they still make that though. i’ve blogged this place as well as the little italy location a few times. the newer location is better, nicer looking but parking really bites downtown. i feel that while the presentation/wow factor is definitely there, the quality (at the uptown location) has kind of gone down.

  2. hey cc – my friends and i used to go here a lot back in the day, but not so much anymore. i’ve been to the downtown location a few times but you’re right, parking blows downtown. i was a little disappointed with my recent visit there since both of our desserts weren’t outstanding, but oh well. it’s still one of a handful of late night dessert places in town that i know of.

  3. Beautiful pics! I also agree that service is atrocious (in both locations). I love their Caribe cake as well as their passionfruit torte. I think the slice of cake is worth the money but I don’t think paying that much for pot of tea is worth it (we paid $10 for pot of tea one time and were disappointed).

    I wish they’d offer cheaper version of their sliced cakes if I opted for no fru-fru presentation (like Hold the flowers, the gold, etc etc)….

    Nice post 🙂

  4. I don’t think we’ve been to the Banker’s Hill location in years… I’m not into waiting in a long line. Luckily, whenever we’ve gone to the Little Italy one the wait hasn’t been too bad. And, of course, we often just take it home to eat in the comfort of our couch. I’m not too big a fan of their pastries, but I LOVE their cakes. There’s one with passionfruit and one with hazelnuts – I can never decide if I’m in a chocolate mood or a fruit mood.

  5. Hi Faye – Thank you! It would be nice if they had “no fru-fru” pricing! I’m pretty sure I’ve paid extra just for gold leafing on my food that I didn’t want or need. Oh well.

    Hi Leanne – I hate parking near Little Italy so the tradeoff is the wait. Too bad you can’t have the best of both worlds – easy parking and a short line!

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