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.
The Playground. 220 E. 4th St., Santa Ana. 714-560-4444.
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64. Robiola Bosina at Provisions Market
65. Bite-Sized Stinky Tofu at Tofu King
66. Tacos Dorados at Tortas Ahogadas Los Primos
67. Tlacoyo at El Rincon Chilango
68. Whole Pig Roast at Haven Gastropub
69. Chingaderas at Smoqued BBQ
70. The Continuous Ramen Chronicles at The Playground
71. Shrimp & Grits at Slapfish
72. Bacon Cotton Candy at Biggy's Meat Market
73. Urban 3b at Urban Seoul
74. Waffles & Chicken from The Slummin' Gourmet & Waffles de Liege
75. Ahi Tuna Tartar at Nieuport 17
76. Chicken Wings at Hashigo Korean Kitchen
77. Brussels Sprouts Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
78. Breakfast Sausage Hash at Thasos Greek Island Grille
79. Chocolate Doughnut with Jacobsen Sea Salt at Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee
80. Loco Moco Dog at Dogzilla
81. Fruit Tart at Le Croissant Dore
82. Daing Na Bangus (Marinated Milkfish) Silog Breakfast at Chowking
83. Strawberry Basil Lemonade at Mick's Karma Bar
84. Lemongrass Chicken Salad at Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop
85. Tofu Soup at Tasty Thai
86. Take-Out Dim Sum at Capital B.B.Q. and Dim Sum Express
87. Hodo Gwaja at Cocohodo
88. Popcorn Chicken Salad at Guppy House
89. Fried Okra at Memphis Soul Cafe & Bar
90. Salted Egg With Bitter Melon & Scrambled Egg at Tasty Noodle House
91. Boysenberry Lemonade from Bautista Creek Local Produce at SOCO Farmers' Market
92. Scallop Carpaccio with Curry Oil and Yuzu Vinaigrette from Cafe Hiro
93. White Board Specials at Taco Adobe
94. Coney Dog at LinX
95. Halal Pizzas from San Giovanni Pizzas
96. Clayuda at El Fortín
97. Lunch Buffet at Dosa Express
98. The Meats at Darya in Orange
99. Panocha at Taquería Zamora
100. Bean-and-Cheese Burrito from Del Taco