Cream Pan - Tustin
I know what you're thinking: "Wait. Don't you mean Japonaise Bakery & Cafe?"
No, I mean Cream Pan.
Within the last week or so, Cream Pan -- the little bakery that begat Japonaise Bakery & Cafe and disappeared into its offspring's slick new digs last year -- has been reincarnated.
In a sort of restaurant cellular mitosis, Cream Pan has now separated from Japonaise, doing business as its own entity with a new storefront and seating area two doors down. With the move, the Japonaise/Cream Pan organism has taken over its entire building; but the two are still conjoined in the middle by a single heart: its shared kitchen.
Why was this necessary? Well, my guess is that Japonaise was getting too big for its britches. Since it started doing pastas, breakfasts and sandwiches, the line for the cafe dishes choked up the line for the pastries. On some mornings, there would be a traffic jam of people, most of whom didn't know which queue to be in, frustrating themselves and everyone else. Trust me: I've been there.
Now that the problem is solved, you'll find me at Cream Pan, because while I like the breakfast specials, there's really one thing that keeps me coming back: The strawberry croissant ($2.20).
It is easily their single best item. Heck, it's probably the best pastry in the whole of Orange County.
Here's what I have said before about the strawberry croissant in, appropriately enough, OC Weekly's Best Of OC Issue:
It's a pastry perfect in conception, construction and execution. Nothing in its triangular, hand-holdable frame can be improved upon. The croissant flakes off in crisp, buttery sheets; the custard is as cool as silk; and the sliced strawberries are perkier than a giggly, doe-eyed anime schoolgirl. And of course, it's sprinkled with plenty of powdered sugar to make it look like you've just snorted some blow. Japonaise's strawberry croissants are just as addicting.
Now it's even easier for everyone to get their hands on this dessert drug of choice. But don't take this to mean that it will be available whenever you want a fix. As everyone who's ever been denied the pleasure of its wonders knows, these babies sell out faster than the newest model iPhone on Christmas Eve. Come the afternoon, their limited supply is history.
I do have a better solution if you want to ensure your mouth gets its just desserts: their equally wonderful mini strawberry croissants. It's just smaller, bite-sized versions of the original, but it's just as awesome.
The minis, however, are only available by special order and needs to be requested at least two days in advance. Pricing starts at $25 for an 18-count-tray. But trust me, in this Japanese bakery stock split, it's a wise investment.
And if you show up at a dinner party or office potluck with them, you will be anointed the hero -- your reputation cemented as someone who knows where to get the good stuff. But who's to say you can't consume it all by yourself in a dark corner of the house when no one's looking?
600 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92780
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