Snack

No, I didn’t eat here.  I just visited the store that was right across from Earl of Sandwich, inside Planet Hollywood.  It was cool to see all of the interesting candies they sold.  I’m not going to lie, this store is for chicks, not me.  They had clothes for girls, candies, cupcakes and such.  They even bragged that famous people walk in there all the time. It looks like they do get a lot of endorsement from people in entertainment. One of their popular items were these lollipops that swirl.  I think they even had glitter.  Who knows.

I wanted to try their pastries and gelato, but I had already eaten lunch.  This is a cool spot just to see all the types of treats that aren’t at your ordinary candy store. Maybe next time I will eat at the actual restaurant at the Paris Resort.  Until then, enjoy all the candy!

Sugar Factory on Urbanspoon

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Donuts are without a doubt bad for you.  That is what your doctor would say.  Well, good thing I’m not your doctor.  I am telling you, right now, and you may quote me on this — “donuts are good for you.”  Nothing this delicious can be bad for you. Strawberries inside a donut?  You had me at strawberries.  With strawberries being one of my favorite fruits, and donuts being one of many of my guilty pleasures, I was surely in for a treat.

Think of the most delicious strawberries you ever ate.  Imagine that drenched in some of the sweetest and stickiest syrup you can think of.  Split open a perfectly glazed donut.  Stuff those gooey, whole fresh strawberries inside, and devour. That’s it.

The mistake was the creme puff. This was neither tasty not something texturally pleasing.  Though they offer so many flavors, pass on this.

I do hear that their tiger tails are good.  It is the twisty striped donuts.  And look out during peach season for the peach donuts. A definite must when I go back.

Donut Man serves  plenty of donuts, but their signature creation is the reason people drive there for.  Serving world famous donuts on the famous Route 66 is what they do.  Sadly, they are all the way in Glendora.  Have you ever been to Glendora?  I don’t mean Glendora near the freeway.  I’m talking about Glendora way north of the 210, and in between two of the farthest exits from the freeway. It is basically not as central as can be.  It is not on the way to anything, at all.  Why would I, or anyone else drive out of their way for any reason?  Donut Man.

The Donut Man on Urbanspoon

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Hacienda Heights, I commend you.  You have won the lottery.  Anyone knows the power and might of 85C Bakery in Irvine.  The lines forming and the awesome pastries, amazing!  Put one of these in any city in the San Gabriel Valley, and it will thrive.  With the grand opening of the 2nd 85C Bakery in the US being in Hacienda Heights, they clearly won the lottery. I guess I shouldn’t complain as it is a bit easier for me to get my hands on these pastries.  Who knows, in a few years, this will come closer to the Los Angeles area — crossed fingers.

Some things I was worried about was the consistency of the bread.  I feel like the Irvine location has fresher bread.  Maybe it is all in my head, but that is the way I feel.  Also, what is the with the B grading from the department of public health?  This is a brand new location, which means brand new everything. How does one get a B grade from that?  Hopefully that will change soon.

Anyways, they have pretty much the same stuff as the Irvine location, as they should.  This one is a bit larger and has more eating areas.  Is it also weird that this one is right next to a Guppy Teahouse, just like their Irvine counterpart?  Coincidence?  I doubt it. Probably a good business plan.  Anyways, check out the grand opening.  If you haven’t tried 85C Bakery, lucky for you, it is a bit closer to Angelinos.

85°C Bakery Cafe (Hacienda Hgts) on Urbanspoon

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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.

85°C Bakery Cafe (Irvine) on Urbanspoon

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It took 80 years for Papaya King to come to the West Coast.  Anyone who lives in New York knows what Papaya King is all about.  This is their right of passage.  The Hot Dog of NYC. It went through countless years of media, press, and New York culture, and here it is now.  Just a few minutes drive to Hollywood, California, and there it was.  Go all the way to New York for some authentic NY hot dogs?  No thanks.

As a die hard Southern Californian, and a die hard Pink’s fan, I had to see what all the fuss was about.  In a word, prejudiced.  I don’t know if my California pride or my West Coast ways are clouding my judgment, but this wasn’t fantastic.  Maybe I hyped it up too much in my head. In all honesty, the hot dog was tasty, but nothing really popped.  The NY style onions were too sweet, though I liked the sauerkraut — The chili was a bit salty.  I am just a guy who wants a nice all beef dog with some mustard.  That is it.

I did enjoy the papaya drink.  It was like nothing I have ever had in my life.  It wasn’t too sweet, and the bits of papaya were really good inside. I felt like I was treating my body right.  It was healthy and delicious.

Look, maybe all of the New York people will be mad at me for not liking Papaya King.  Let me just ask you, do you have massive lines outside of your hot dog stand?

Papaya King on Urbanspoon

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