Tustin's Japonaise Cafe Closes, Again
When it comes to baking, Cream Pan can do no wrong. But as a business trying to expand its reach, it has struggled.
The bakery that started out as a literal hole-in-the-wall appears to be shuttering its not-as-successful café spin-off.
Even as it grew to be called Japonaise Bakery and Cafe and had aspirations of being more than a bakery, the customers really were just there to buy the baked goods. This continued, as most of the clients followed them next door when Cream Pan split from Japonaise via cellular mitosis. In the meantime, without the crutch of the baked items, Japonaise swung and struck out on its own as just another Curry House carbon copy.
Now that Japonaise Cafe has closed again, I asked the workers at Cream Pan what's going to happen with the space. They said they have another remodel planned. I pressed them for more info, and they mentioned that the food will change, too. They're hoping it'll reopen in a month or two. In truth, I won't miss it while it's gone. I liked the soy sauce and butter pasta but, really, not much else.
What I'm hoping for, if the owners are listening, is a total rethinking of the restaurant. Forget the pasta, ditch the curries, and do an extension of what Cream Pan does best: Use the bakery items as a base for new dishes, like it used to do. French toast from the breads, pair omelets with the croissants, do an expanded breakfast for lunch and dinner, and price it reasonably. But who knows what's going to happen. Perhaps Cream Pan might just reabsorb the space, and we might just get a really, really big bakery after all is said and done.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.