If I need a baguette and I'm in the area, chances are I'm headed to Cream Pan. Fellow Forker Dave Lieberman recently honored the Tustin bakery with the top spot on his "Ten Great Bakeries in Orange County" list for having the best strawberry croissants, baguettes and epi in all the land.
I'm not going to argue. I went in for a baguette at 1 p.m. on a Friday only to be assed-out. Either they aren't making enough or we've told too many people.
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As the heartbreak set in, I eyed something unfamiliar: a $1 cake donut.
Its golden hue shone like a beacon through my despair. Cream Pan's version comes plain, and it's a good thing because even the tiniest amount of sugary gloop would've glazed over the finer points of this puffy masterpiece.
Dunk it in something saccharine-shocked if its a sugary treat you want, but first, take a moment to appreciate the exterior. It's cooked longer than others dare to, resulting in a shell that you can hear crunching and crackling in your brain as you chew. The toothsome interior is so dense that each bite sticks to the roof of your mouth like gum to the underside of a table. An airy sweetness hides in the small pockets throughout the cake: simplicity perfected.