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Published on December 17th, 2012 | by Gary Rice


Top 5 Dessert Destinations San Diego 2012

Sweet tooth? San Diego has got your back on desserts. And you’re in luck, I’ve compiled a top 5 list of the best desserts to close out 2012. So sit back, loosen your top pants button and put these desserts in your mouth!

*No Ranking. Restaurants are listed in no particular order* 

1. Truluck’s (La Jolla) – Carrot Cake

Trulucks-Carrot-Cake-San-Diego_EatSDThe carrot cake at Truluck’s gives the words decadence and indulgence entirely new meanings. I’m a veritable cake snob, once adhering to the arrogant belief that decent carrot cake could only be found in New York. That is, until, Truluck’s served me a carrot cake on steroids. One slice of this multi-layered construction is enough to feed a handful of people. But the generous portion is not what distinguishes it from other interpretations. Tableside, they obscenely pour butterscotch sauce all over the beast and then generously adorn it with candied walnuts. The cake is moist, the mattress-thick cream cheese frosting is divine, and the butterscotch sauce functions to make each morsel an orgasm on a fork.

8990 University Center Ln
San Diego, CA 92122

2. R Gang Eatery (Hillcrest) – Banana Pudding

R-Gang-Eatery-Banana-Pudding-San-Diego_EatSDIf you’ve ever been to R-Gang, you know that Chef Sweeney is one of the most audacious, ballsy individuals you will encounter in San Diego’s culinary scene, carving out his own personality when approaching American comfort classics. Check out what the man can do with a tater tot; he takes it from its meager stature and transforms it into a delicate work of genius. But I digress. If you love banana pudding, you’re not going to find a better showing of it as you will at R-Gang. Don’t expect to be served a bowl of a loose banana concoction. Sweeney brings you a large, thick square of the banana goodness, layered on a delicious gram cracker foundation. And he doesn’t stop there. He takes it to the extreme by topping it with a decadent chocolate ganache. Heaven on a plate! A couple of bites will, no doubt, have you coming back for more.

3683 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

3. D Bar (Hillcrest) – Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich

D-Bar-San-Diego-Waffle-Ice-Cream-Sandwich_EatSDChef Keegan Gerhard is a welcomed addition to Hillcrest, bringing with him quite the inventive flare.The dessert menu at D Bar is robust, and my gluttonous self has tried just about everything on it. Yet, I just can’t get over his Waffle Ice Cream Sammie. A rich vanilla ice cream is sandwiched between two waffles, accompanied by decadent cherry compote. To balance this chilly wonder, I consume it along with a cup of coffee that is served in an adorable French press that’s left at the table. Waffles and Ice cream + French press coffee = Sheer bliss!

3930 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

4. Babycakes (Hillcrest) – Cupcakes & Bar

Babycakes Cupcakes San Diego EatSDHow does this sound? Eat a cupcake and then walk two steps and have a martini. Indeed, that’s how things roll at Babycakes where you will forget that you’re eating a delicious, calorie-infested cupcake because you’re also getting tipsy by sipping on your favorite libation crafted from their full bar. A work of genius. And the cupcakes? They offer a vast selection, segregated in large cases by those that are frosted with buttercream and those that are graced by a cream cheese variant. There’s something for everyone, really. One of the more attractive qualities of Babycakes is that it’s open late for us night owls.

3766 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

5. Extraordinary Desserts (Banker’s Hill) – Coconut Pineapple Bread Pudding

Extraordinary-Desserts-Pineapple-Coconut-Bread-Pudding-San-Diego_EatSDIt’s hard to imagine any place in San Diego that offers more options for the sweet tooth than what Extraordinary Desserts can provide. Indeed, Extraordinary Desserts has quite the following, and don’t be surprised to find the line to get in its doors snaking down the sidewalk, even at 11pm. But it’s worth the wait. Daily, they make scores of cakes that are all available by the slice. They’re consistently good and, even more impressive, pretty. In fact, their desserts are so beautiful that you almost feel guilty eating them. Luckily for me, I never give the notion of guilt too much thought.

1430 Union St
San Diego, CA 92101

Over my many years of experience at Extraordinary Desserts, I’ve come to learn to keep my eye on their daily specials. Specifically, their Coconut Pineapple Bread Pudding is one item that appears from time to time that I swoon over. I fully understand why it’s not one of their regular menu offerings because it’s akin to crack cocaine – you’ll be instantly hooked after one bite. The pudding is composed of warm moist bread, smothered in a coconut citrus sauce that is staggeringly good. Yes, please!

About the Author

Gary Rice

graduated from California State University San Marcos with a degree in Literature & Writing Studies. He’s a lifelong foodie, enjoys traveling, and aspires to one day live in New York City and write a book that documents the rich history of its plethora of steakhouses. When not seated at a table indulging in culinary constructions of bovine, swine or fowl flesh, he can typically be found running along Harbor Island, training for an upcoming marathon, reading, sipping on martinis, or voyeuristically lusting after the latest batch of cupcakes or doughnuts coming out of the ovens at his local neighborhood haunts. Besides having a voracious sweet tooth, he also is partial to a variety of organ meats, particularly duck liver, in spite of its recent ban. As such, it’s apropos that he worships the work and brilliance of chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (aka. the “carniwhores”) who do the most audacious, amazing things with meat at their restaurant, Animal, in Los Angeles. Facebook

3 Responses to Top 5 Dessert Destinations San Diego 2012

  1. Very surprised to see Babycakes among these other great dessert selections. Their cupcakes are completely lackluster, I have tried them several times and each time I was completely disappointed. Every time I have tried them the frosting taste cheap and the cake itself tastes stale. They do have a great bar, and the drinks never disappoint but their desserts leave much to be desired. There are several cupcake destinations in San Diego with far superior cupcakes such as Cupcake Squared in OB and Little Cakes in Vista. I would even recommend Sprinkles in La Jolla over Babycakes.

    • Gary Rice says:

      Thanks for the comment, Ludick. I’m saddened you don’t share my enthusiasm about Babycakes; I adore their cupcakes and have never encountered one that is “lackluster.” No worries, though. 🙂 Happy holidays!

  2. Joshua says:

    Taking your advise and checking out Truluck’s Carrot Cake ordeal tomorrow night. I hope its rock my world good as its my one weekly cheat meal I get during competition season. Has to count and count big. Thanks for the review and picture.

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