64. Fruit Sorbet at the Playground
Behold the beginning of our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!
I've been heavy on the desserts for my first chunk of ten favorites, but that's because they're so elegant and so delicious. Desserts can be so memorable with such simplicity, and there's so much room for complexity when you get into it. This dessert, the fruit sorbets at the Playground, then, are probably the most simple yet complex thing I've eaten all year.
At their core, sorbets are just frozen water, fruit essence, and some other stuff, and there are plenty of forgettable ones, but the Playground's sorbets are just unreal. The first time I had one -- I think it was an apple one -- I was awestruck. The three petite scoops were so fragile, but they packed such a depth of flavor, first clean apple, then something almost vinegar like, and then some spices I can't even put to words, that my brain just couldn't handle it. I had another order a few days later and was at that point struck by their sheer effervescence. Light, delightful, and delicious. The perfect way to end a meal, they lifted me up instead of held me down.
Now, being the Playground, the fruits of course rotate (as they should), but you can still grab an order of sorbet off the menu. The most recent one was strawberry, and I imagine it was amazing. The next fruit? Who knows, but I'll bet it'll be good too.
The List: 66. Dulce de Leche Walnut Shrimp Taco at Dos Chinos 65. Buñuelo Waffle at Waffles Inc 67. Cajun Seafood Pasta at The Big Catch 68. Belgian Fries at Wursthaus 69. Scoops x Contra Ice Cream Float at Scoops Ice Cream Santa Ana 70. Buttermilk Panna Cotta at Lola Gaspar 71. Hummus at Mick's Karma Bar 72. Savory Baked Goat Cheese Bread Pudding at Eat Chow 73. Sicilian Style Pepperoni Pizza at Perry's Pizza & Italian Restaurant 74. Kabocha Honey Nuts at Kabuki 75. Smashed Potatoes at Standing O 76. Dim Sum at Seafood Cove #2 77. Loco Moco at Bread Crumb Ohana Cafe 78. Bratwurst at Barley Forge 79. Beef Noodle Soup at (Wafting Fragrance) Noodle House 80. Taco de Nopal at Urban Cactus 81. Fried Chicken at Crazy Chi-Mac 82. Mole Tots at Amor y Tacos 83. Khao Soi at S.T. Noodle Bar 84. Chili Cone Queso at Cozy Cone Motel 85. Crispy Smelt at Big Catch Seafood 86. Teriyaki Chicken Plate at California Plate 87. Combo Plate at MasalaCraft 88. Cornbread Waffle & Chicken at Mrs. Bea's 89. Everything at Crispy Town 90. Kurobuta Pork Belly Bánh Mì at Mendocino Farms 91. Tostilocos at Tortas y Biónicos "Nice" 92. Milanesa at Delicias Peruanas 93. Super Nachos at Kelly's Korner Tavern 94. Tortas at Sliced and Diced Eatery 95. Seasonal Dumplings at Coconut Rabbit 96. Burrito de Birria de Res from Burritos La Palma 97. Bò Kho at Song Long Restaurant 98. Pancake Sandwich at Willowick Golf Course 99. Tahdig at Tanor Fresh Mediterranean Grill 100. Quatro Formaggi Panini at Old Vine Cafe
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.