Some people are chocolate-dessert people who wouldn't consider a dessert focused on fruit, or cheese, or sorbet. Then there are the custard-dessert people who skip the chocolate every time for something fruity sauced with crème anglaise.
For the latter group that craves a one-two combo of custardy jab and fruity uppercut, may I recommend the seasonal citrus curd at Santa Ana's Playground?
It's a dish of contradictions. Smooth and creamy on the tongue, yet piercingly sharp in the nose with the fresh scent of lime zest. Intensely sweet up front but piquantly acidic in the throat, this is a treat for those that seek high-contrast desserts.
The thing about Playground that simultaneously charms and grates is that the kitchen rotates the whole menu every single day. The upside is that you can eat there seven days in a row and never get bored. On the other hand, if you want to bring back friends for a favorite something, you're unlikely to see that dish with that exact same combination of elements ever again.
That is, except for the dishes like the curd dessert, which plays the house for a longer engagement of a week, maybe two. This week, it might be lime curd. Next time - perhaps it's pomelo, or blood orange, or Meyer lemon or whatever happens to be in peak season.
Whatever that variety is, get it because it'll be one of the best contradictions since those Scotch-Korean guy commercials.
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The Playground. 220 E. 4th St., Santa Ana. 714-560-4444.
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