Life calls for getting weird sometimes. A pang from the ol' sweet tooth and the next thing you know you're inside iDessert by Jean-Philippe, and apparently the Willy Wonka factory of Little Italy. The place is bright and pristine, with spotlights on the house-specialty meringues in dangling sculpture form, as a "wall of desserts." And then there are the actual meringue-making station, where cuties - not Oompa Loompas - are busy building the layers of your dessert to nestle under what looks like a mini psychedelic igloo, covered in spikes and adorned with more colorful flare.
But first you have to sift through all the combinations on an iPad, where you'll also place your order and pay.
Choose from 20 "crusts" (meringues), gelato flavor, cake, sauce, cream, fruit and anything additional, of which there is plenty to ponder for way too long.
If you visit after your 4:20 power hour, I'd recommend trusting one of six "chef's favorites" to avoid the pre-sugar shock sensory overload.
We went with the Sweet - chocolate and vanilla gelato with chocolate cream, chocolate sauce sitting atop bananas foster, with a banana meringue crust - and the Cozy, a bold mix of mocha gelato, cinnamon cream, vanilla cake, caramel sauce and milk chocolate shell with caramelized hazelnut crunch.
Both came served in a Vegas Bowl that seeps dry ice fog over the table as you eat your trippy treat.
Just shatter that meringue shell and go to town on your dessert, fit for "The Jetsons."
iDessert by Jean-Philippe is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
1608 India St., Little Italy, (619) 544-1033, idessert.com