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Restaurants & Bars 2

Just Fabulous

Gayla | May 12, 2004 11:38 PM

Had a bad day? Know the rest of your week may get worse than today? Feeling stressed with no end in sight? Did you just realize that Mars and Saturn will be conjunct in Cancer in 2 weeks which will make the world even more insane than it is now? If you answered yes to even one of these questions (particularly the last one) you need to get yourself over to Just Fabulous on Adams Ave. in Kensington (in San Diego, not the Bay Area).

That's exactly what Chilepm and I did this evening after work. We also corraled our friend Andy into going with us. After 3 days of intrigue and high drama at work, all 3 of us needed a little escape. And that's exactly what Just Fabulous provides......a nice, comfortable escape.

Few things are brighter or cheerier than the color orange and Just Fabulous appears to have the market cornered on every shade of orange. The walls are a warm, vibrant cantaloupe, while the ceiling is neon tangerine, all of which is complemented by lighting, knick-knacks, and accents in more shades of orange, yellow and lime green. The colors work and open up what is in reality a very small space. But what attracts the eye and attention immediately upon entering is the glass display of desserts, lots and lots of lushious desserts (which is merely stressed spelled backwards, what a great antidote to stress).

The menu is short - a soup, herbed chicken with pastry dome lid, a couple of intereseting salads, a Kobe beef burger with truffle cheese, roasted sun dried tomatoes and roasted onion, crab cakes, a grilled veggie pannini, an Ahi dish, and a couple of pastas. Tonight's specials were a seafood risotto with rock shrimp, salmon and sea bass, or a pasta primavera with chicken. Prices were mostly in the $8.95 - $12.95 range with the Ahi being $15.95.

Chilepm and Andy selected the Kobe burger with blue cheese instead of the truffled cheese, and I had the risotto. The burgers arrived with a small side of well seasoned fries. Both were pronounced divine, and the couple of bites Chilepm shared with me were quite tender, tasted like beef and truly complemented the blue cheese. In addition to the tomato and onion listed on the menu the burger also included an unidentified gourmet green that paired well with the beef. The fries were thin and crispy and accompanied by what appeared to be homemade mayo. My risotto was crammed full of shrimp, salmon and sea bass as well as small threads of red onion and baby spinach leaves. The salmon and sea bass were slightly overcooked, but not enough to detract from the dish. What did detract from the dish, though, was the addition of too much salt. The portion was also rather generous, more than I could eat, especially if I wanted to save room for dessert.

Each of the desserts displayed gave new meaning to the term "eye candy". I could have been satisfied by any one of the more than 15 on display. In the end I chose a Lemon Bavarian, Andy had the New York Cheesecake w/Fruit and Chilepm had the Key Lime Pie. Andy's cheesecake was a small round about 3" high topped with beautifully cut fresh fruit and glaze. The plate was finished with a raspberry coulis, creme anglaise and a very berry sorbet. The cheesecake was dense, crumbly and deliciously rich. The sorbet was not very sweet (a good thing) and decidedly intense, which worked well with the cheesecake. My lemon bavarian was appropriately light and airy and accompanied by the same raspberry coulis, creme anglaise and very berry sorbet. The lemon flavor was strong and clear and matching lemon with any berry is one of my favorite combinations. So I was in dessert heaven with my choice. Chilepm had the only strike out of the night. The Key Lime Pie was paired with a very tart lemon sorbet, but the plate looked better than it actually tasted. The sorbet packed quite a lot of pucker power, which cleansed the palate really well, but it didn't really do a lot for the pie. And the pie itself, while beautiful to behold, didn't quite measure up. The filling was a bit denser than we would have preferred and the key lime flavor was lost in the middle of it somewhere, making it rather more bland that it should have been. Other dessert choices tonight were - Pear Tart, Pear Tartin, Mango & Raspberry Creme Brulee, 3 types of chocolate cake, carrot cake, Lemon Tart, Chocolate Macademia Coconut Tart, Pineapple Mille Fuille, and the list goes on and on and on.

Service was very casual and friendly, which kind of made it feel like you were sharing a meal in your best friend's kitchen. The wine list is long for a restaurant this size, with many selections by the glass. It also included 7 or 8 sweet or dessert wines, all by the glass. Other things to like about Just Fabulous are the heavy weight silverware and plates in every shape and size that you can imagine. What we couldn't figure out was how a place that incorporated so many modern and trendy items could project such a retro feel.

Just Fabulous is less than 5 miles from work which will certainly encourage return visits. Even if you aren't frequently in the middle of San Diego, it's worth the trip, if for no other reason than to have dessert. It would also make a nice weekend destination since brunch is served.

Just Fabulous is located at 4116 Adams Ave. It's about 2 blocks East of the I-15.

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