pastries

Copenhagen Pastry – Danish Baking Perfected

by Franklin on January 28, 2015

Copenhagen Pastry is an authentic Danish pastry shop. They use the best ingredients and their technique is so refined. This creates pastries that are flaky, light, and delicate. Their fillings are traditionally almond paste and custard, and got to try a variety of their treats. My favorite was the Kringle. It was the sweetest of the bunch, but not too sweet. The flaky crust and the custard, almond paste mixture was perfect. I’m not fond of almond extract or the taste of almond in pastries, but theirs was delicate and used sparingly. The Crown and Spandauer was similar the the Kringle, but just in various ratios of custard and almond paste.

I can’t wait to go back and try their other pastries and their rye bread!
The Kringle – almond paste, custard, sugar

The Spandauer – almond paste, sugar

The Nougat Crown – almond paste, custard, hazelnut cream

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Brea has some of the “best” stuff around. I use this term because, well, they claim it on their restaurant name. You have Brea’s Best, which blatantly claims to have the best burgers in Brea. Now, we have Beverly’s Best. Though technically in Fullerton, it is practically in Brea. Known for their grandeur specialty cakes, I was more interested in their pastries and dessert items. After lunch, I made it a treat to come here for something sweet.

I must say, our dessert was much larger than our actual lunch. We had the fruit tart, cherry scone, chocolate cupcake, and Key lime bar.

The fruit tart had mandarin oranges, blueberries pineapple, kiwi, strawberry, and a raspberry. The custard inside was perfectly sweet and creamy, but the best part was the crust. It wasn’t too buttery or cookie like, but had the perfect balance of crisp and density. This was a solid fruit tart, and something to consider if you are only going to get “not a cake”.

If you do want a cake, but not a whole cake, their cupcakes can be something to consider. Though you get the whole cake experience without getting the whole thing, their cupcakes to me were average. Nothing really stood out. Their chocolate cupcake was light and fluffy, but the frosting was nothing spectacular. I tend to like more dense cakes, especially in cupcakes, and I like more dense frosting, like icing. Theirs was more in the middle. It wasn’t really sweet, it wasn’t really dense, it was just average.

The cherry scone was a surprise, taste wise and in other ways. The scone was dense and almost bready, and the fruit inside was flavorful. I ate this inside of a movie theatre and a dark one at that. I did not know there was a filling inside, and a lot, if not, most of the filling fell on my shirt. Luckily, I was wearing a black shirt, and I just wiped it off. I’m sure nobody saw. It was dark…it was dark. Nobody saw. Though messy, their scones are something to consider.

The Key lime bar was interesting. The texture was that of cheesecake, but the taste was totally different. With a definite sour, citrus profile, it was indeed tart. The lime flavor was very prevalent in this and although it was sour, it didn’t make me pucker intensely. I feel the Key lime bar could have used a bit more sour to balance out the sweet. I like sour flavors, and if this made me pucker just a little bit more, it would have been perfect.

Beverly’s Best was an interesting experience. The boutique shop of pastries and specialty cakes had a upscale feel with a down to earth attitude. Rare to find the two in the same category, I found that this bakery was unique it its own way. Hidden away in a strip mall nest to a video store (yes they still exists), this is truly a gem. I was there just to get some snacks, and people just kept coming to pick up their jazzed up cakes. In the short time I was there, 3 different people were there to pick up their cake. I’m not all about fancy cakes with all the color and designs, but this is really making me consider. Maybe next time for someone’s birthday, someone will get a nice surprise. ūüôā

Beverly's Bakery on Urbanspoon

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Porto’s Porto’s Porto’s. ¬†Burbank is lucky to have a Porto’s. ¬†Any city to have a Porto’s is lucky — Glendale and Downy included. ¬†The thing about Porto’s is that there is always a line, a long long line. ¬†You will never find yourself inside a Porto’s and be the only one ordering something. ¬†I never at Porto’s right when it opens, but I would guess there is a line for the door. ¬†This is what makes Porto’s so special. ¬†Their bakery department pumps out amazing pastries and breads along with elaborate cakes and sandwiches. ¬†For me, I get the usual.

I must, you must, we all must get a dozen cheese rolls. ¬†I don’t care if I ate dinner, or I am about to go eat afterwards, I am getting my dozen. Two dozen? ūüôā ¬†I can always eat them the next day, or share it with my family. ¬†The cheese rolls are a must. ¬†Especially warm, they are nice and custardy inside with a sugary, flakey exterior. ¬†This savory yet sweet¬†pastry¬†shouldn’t be dismissed.

If you remember back from my Porto’s Bakery Glendale blog post, I wasn’t a real fan of the potato balls. Granted, I will never eat them one after another (like the cheese rolls) — they are more enjoyable this time. ¬†They grew on me, or I was hungry that day — either way, I enjoyed them. ¬†I even ordered the meat pies out of impulse and as a safety net of the potato balls. ¬†The dough was chewy and meaty on the inside, flakey on the outside. There is hope for these meat filled goodies I guess.

Porto’s is a must visit wherever you are. ¬†They have pastries and sandwiches for savory or sweet lovers. ¬†The Burbank location was a lot more roomy and less chaotic than the one in Glendale (at least that day). ¬†Two lines helped the crowds disperse and have everyone going happy with their boxes of treats. ¬†After trying the Glendale and Burbank locations, I can only imagine what Downy has to offer. A definite visit when I venture to the first McDonald’s in history.

Porto's Bakery & Cafe (Burbank) 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¬įC 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¬įC Bakery Cafe (Irvine) on Urbanspoon

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Sometimes you enter a place, and you are instantly happy.¬† The colors and the decor just pop and makes you somewhat feel like a kid again.¬† This feeling I am talking about is the feeling you get walking into Disneyland or in my case, Walking into Jean-Philippe P√Ętisserie.

Visually this place is stunning.  The mellow pastel colors just make you melt as you walk in.  It is almost like walking into a fantasy cartoon land.  All the treats and desserts displayed behind the window just makes you want to eat them all. The most fascinating thing is the chocolate fountain.  Not only is this a grand fountain of sweet melted goodness, it is record breaking.  It is the largest chocolate fountain in the world, circulating 2 tons of chocolate! Interesting to know that the largest chocolate fountain in the world is a the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  Check out the short video to see it all in action.

The decor and design is amazing, how are the pastries?¬† The selection they had was too much, not a bad thing.¬† I wanted to try them all, but only stuck with 5 things: dulce de leche brioche, nutella brioche, cheese danish, chocolate macaroons, and banana muffin.¬† My favorite were the brioche. Inside was a gushing amount of dulce de leche or nutella — almost too much.¬† By far, the nutella was better than the dulce de leche.

I was sad that they did not serve the gelato in the morning.  I just got some pastries for the road before checkout.  These pastries made the drive back to Los Angeles a little better.  AC on my face, taking a little bite of everything as I drove back home. The cool thing is, you can get a lot, and just stash them at your place back home.  Every pastry is a memory of Vegas.

Jean-Philippe P√Ętisserie (Bellagio) on Urbanspoon

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Pain du Monde – Beachside Bakery and Eats

by Franklin on April 10, 2011

So you are shopping at Fashion Island and you ¬†get a little hungry.¬† You want something good and fast, but not fast food.¬† Maybe you want something from a bakery or cafe.¬† How about a sandwich maybe?¬† Something like Panera Bread or Corner Bakery, but not exactly that?¬† Well how fitting, because Fashion Island has Pain Du Monde.¬† Pain Du Monde is French, and it means bread of the world — this place is serious about their bread and baked goods.

Upon walking it, I just had a feeling it would be good.¬† It’s a small bakery and cafe situated next to all of the expensive restaurants.¬† And since it’s a cafe, it won’t hurt your wallet. It looked like a coffee shop, but most of the people there were eating.¬† “Hmm, must be some good eating over here”, I thought to myself.¬† I saw in the front, a whole display of baked goods and a menu full of wraps and sandwiches.¬† ¬†I ordered half of their southwest chicken sandwich and tuna salad sandwich.

The Southwest had chicken, jack cheese, guacamole, and other veggies on a cheddar jalapeno roll.¬† The kick from the southwest sauce really made this sandwich stand out.¬† The tuna salad sandwich was great too — It had a fresh tuna taste that was clean and not overly “mayonnaisey”.¬† The fresh tomatoes and greens were perfect in it as well.¬† Both sandwiches were delicious as I would want to try the others.¬† I also gave in and ordered a cinnamon twist.¬† I was hesitant on getting a dessert, but sometimes I have to indulge myself on trips like this.¬† Are you with me?

This thing was massive — they served it on a plate, and it didn’t even fit.¬† I could tell by looking that the outer layer was going to be flakey — you could see all the layers of the dough.¬† The inside was also very yummy — the best part.¬† You bite in, and you get the crunch from the outside, and inside you get that mix of the dough with cinnamon and sugar.¬† The whole thing was scrumptious —¬† when I start using words like scrumptious, you know it’s good.

I’m glad that this was one of our stops.¬† It was good food done simple — none of this fancy shmancy stuff.¬† They also have these cafes in Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, and Dana Point.¬† I think these guys like to stick near the water.¬† That is alright by me because I like the beach, and I like Pain du Monde.

Pain Du Monde on Urbanspoon

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