Hearing much rave about 85C Bakery Cafe in Irvine, I had to check it out. I have been to my share of Asian bakeries, and they are all pretty much the same. Besides the degree of quality these bakeries have amongst each other, they all work the same way. You get a tray, pick out the breads and pastries you like, and that is it. 85C Bakery has so much rave, but its probably like any other bakery, so I thought.
Skeptical, I was quickly reassured of its greatness by the long lines. When I say “long lines”, I mean people are outside the door, waiting in the cold. Not wanting to stand in the cold night and cautious about getting sick, we weighed out the pros and cons in the car. After a long and great thought process, and almost turning to go back home, we decided to eat dinner in hopes of a smaller line afterwards. Lucky for us, our plan worked!
Waiting in a considerably shorter line, we were eager to see what the fuss was about. Finally entering the bakery and grabbing our trays, peace and serenity went out the door. It was a dog eat dog world in there. If you wanted something, you had better grabbed it quick, before someone nabs it before you. You felt the rush from behind you as you rushed the people in front, all just to get that last remaining pastry that you love so much.
Sometimes, I felt myself grabbing just anything, they all looked amazing. Croissants here, sweet breads here, savory breads, custard filled, hot dog filled — it was a baked carbohydrate paradise. If I saw a random person hoarding or raving about one particular baked good, I quickly, almost instinctively grabbed one for myself. “If he’s getting 10 of them, it must be good” was what I was thinking in my head.
After the hustle, they packaged each individual bread, and boxed it for us. After an order of their famous sea salt iced latte, the experience was over. Carrying boxes back to our car, we passed by what looked to be an even longer line. Proud that we didn’t have to wait in a long line, and knowing we got some good stuff, we were ultimately happy.
Trust me when I tell you that this is worth the wait. Thought they sell cakes and other sweats, the pastries is what people come here for. I went home, left the box of pastries in the living room — The next morning, all but one were gone. I was shocked. A bit sad because I didn’t get to try all of them, more happy that my family got a chance to enjoy them. The last one in the box was mine. I like to think it was the best one, because it was. The bread was so chewy and dense, and the custard inside was so good with a hint of sweetness. Amazing. Amazing….amazing I think I will get like 10 of these next time — possibly, maybe this time, the guy behind me will follow suit.