Egg Tart @ 85 Degrees Bakery Cafe
The “Starbucks of Taiwan” landed in San Diego a few months back, and the lines are outrageous as expected. The place is loaded with fresh-baked goodies, a little heavier on the butter and a little lighter on the sugar overall (compared to American bakeries). But the egg tart is simply the best—light, eggy custard in a flaky tart filling, slightly bruleed on top. A dangerous habit could develop. Especially because every baked good in the place is only a buck or two. It’s built for your pleasure and demise.
5575 Balboa Ave., Balboa Mesa, 858.278.8585
Grilled Quail @ Table No. 10
For next month’s dining review, I’ve tackled Table No. 10, which has been getting pretty rave word-of-mouth. The restaurant is a really creative place to be a carnivore, with chef Jason Gethin doing pig-ear tostadas, rare rabbit loin, quail, duck, etc. Some hit and some miss, but artfulness is important. One of his hits is the grilled quail, perfectly tender without being rendered to baby food in a sous vide bag. It’s served with cinnamon-crusted chunks of pork belly. Excellently done.
369 10th Ave., Downtown, 619.550.1262
Blueberry Cheesecake Coffeecake @ Extraordinary Desserts
Karen Krasne, the vivid imagination behind Extraordinary Desserts, knows a thing or two about presentation. She designs cakes like most people design model homes or wedding receptions. Her stunning modern restaurant in Little Italy serves a very good European buffet brunch (housemade jams of all sorts, Bread & Cie bread, smoked salmon, spreads, granolas, desserts, etc.). And with that brunch we ended with this bit of genius—the blueberry cheesecake coffee cake, a tad tart, just the right amount of sweet and a subtle hint of deep, rich coffee aroma.
1430 Union St., Little Italy, 619.294.7001