Something made us turn the other way at the 405 Culver offramp and head towards UCI yesterday. Call it female intuition, but we found ourselves at University Park Center, watching the door to Class 302 swing open. It beckoned us.
Handmade flyers stated the
two three main ideas customers needed to know: This was a "soft open", shaved snow would be served after their eventual grand opening, and (maybe most importantly) cash only. Now that we know the rules, what's next on the syllabus?
If not for the fact we just had some excellent Cuban fare an hour before, our lunch money would've surely gone towards this student store. Instead, we decided on a beverage to beat the heat before gym class. Our counselor tried to steer us towards their fresh fruit drinks featuring grapefruit and apple flavors, but our taste buds craved something more rich: chocolate pudding milk tea.
Open since Tuesday, their entrees reflect a Taiwanese style of cooking. A wall-mounted menu with English translation reads like a textbook: peppercorn garlic fish, spicy basil stinky tofu, ground pork noodles or rice noodles. Between their dim sum plates, bento boxes, and sizzling tappan, they are confident in offering this Cheesecake Factory-like menu of endless options.
Their official grand opening is slated for early February, which could mean as soon as next week. Although I don't think they really need one, since 98% of the classroom was present (the other 2% was occupied with finding a parking spot). And a word of advice: if you do order a beverage to-go, you'll either need a passenger or some re-purposed container to carry your boba. It ain't fitting in your standard cup holder. We had to MacGyver ours with a box in our trunk. . . . not that we're complaining.
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Class 302 is located at 18090 Culver Drive, Irvine. (949) 552-0555. www.class302.com.