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RJ Patisserie - A Photo Review

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Got some cakes to go from RJ Patisserie, a small Chinese bakery on the corner of Azusa and Colima, in the 99 Ranch Plaza. I enjoyed looking at the bakers meticulously decorating these petite cakes in the open kitchen. They looked so intense. I chose a few cakes to bring home and enjoy, but there were a few folks who ordered and ate at the restaurant with tea and coffee. Most of the cakes run about $3.50 to $4.00 each.

RJ Patisserie
(626) 810-6678
1635 S Azusa Ave
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

P.S. I understand there is an RJ in Newport Beach/Costa Mesa now, but I still haven't been.

Link: http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=yrrnjom....

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  1. If this is the place on 17th in Costa Mesa, then I have been. The pastries are beautiful. The one I purchased was pretty, but flavorless--threw it away after just a couple bites (smarts at $4!). I also received a sample taste of another cake, which I did not like either.

    P.S. How is Let Them Eat Cake on Newport Blvd.?

    11 Replies
    1. re: Funwithfood

      I've never tried "Let Them Eat Cake."

      Maybe the RJ in Newport is different from Hacienda Heights. I will have to try it and compare. But generally Chinese patisseris/bakeries don't use as much sugar as its American counterparts. For example, I don't understand why people line up for Karen Krasne's "Extraordinary Desserts" in San Diego. I found Krasne's creations just too horribly sweet and heavy-handed.

      Another one of my favorites is JJ Bakery in Irvine. It's just as good as RJ in my opinion (less fancy and a smaller selection, but far less expensive). I may have to do a photo report of it.

      1. re: elmomonster

        There's also J Sweet Bakery in Irvine at Jeffrey and Walnut, which is fancier than the JJ Bakery on Culver. which I think has a branch as well in Rowland Heights?

        I haven't been to this RJ Bakery. Thanks for the tip elmomonster. Hey, can you share your album in ofoto, because I can't see the individual pics.

        1. re: jschyun

          Hmm...I'm not sure what's wrong. I was able to see it myself, maybe OFoto loads slower because I did not resize the photos to a smaller resolution. Does anyone know if this is true? If so, I might just reupload with a smaller res.

          Link: http://www.ofoto.com/BrowsePhotos.jsp...

          1. re: jschyun

            Ofoto just changed their "share" albums restrictions.. you cant click on the individual pics UNLESS you sign in.. if you DONT want to sign in, click SLIDESHOW on the right.. you can see the individual pics that way as well

            1. re: jschyun
              p
              Patrick Smith

              Yes, I find J Sweet Bakery at the cornor of Jeffery and Walnut in Irvine has a lot of nice pastries and baked goods. Specially their pastries - the Mango mousse cake and Passion Fruit Mousse are my favorit, they also come in different sizes. I can by the slice for just myself, or I can by a longcut (enough for 5 persons) for a very reasonbale price. Their Pastries have much better quality and price compare to RJ. And on their Business Card, they are total of 5 Stores - check out their website - jsweetbakery.com.

              Link: http://jsweetbakery.com

              Image: http://jsweetbakery.com

              1. re: Patrick Smith

                I agree with Patrick, I ordered my Wedding cake from J Sweet Bakery and I was able to pick up the cake at their Arcadia Store (JJ Bakery at Balwin Blvd). They are a very nice chain store, I find their quality very consistent.

                1. re: nini

                  I enjoy dessers very much. The J Sweet Bakery is a great place to buy desserts. They have different style breads, cakes and pastries. Don't be confused with the one in Culver Plaza (Janus Bakery? JJ Bakery-Irvine??) J Sweet Bakery has much fancier desserts and more variety than the one in Culver Plaza.

                  I love their cheese cakes, there are at least 6 different kinds, especially the indivudual size one (perfect snack size, my kids love them too). Whenever I visit firend's house, it's a no brainer, I always pick up something to take with me, everyone loves them. RJ's might look fancy but flavorless.

                  Link: http://www.JSweetBakery.com

            2. re: elmomonster

              I'm not sure that sweet 'per se' is what I look for in a bakery, but flavor--definitely. Maybe the two cakes I tasted were just not their best. Also, it takes a lot for a cake to "wow" me.

              Does JJ Bakery just do cakes? (I'd drive for good croissants and baked goods.)

              1. re: Funwithfood

                True true. Flavor is the most important component. It is likely that the Newport branch does things differently than the Hacienda Heights branch. Or maybe I also got lucky in the pastries that I picked.

                In any case, JJ Bakery does indeed do baked goods. In fact, the bulk of its offerings is savory breads and pastries, like croissants (good and flaky, but not as buttery as I would like), and other goodies.

            3. re: Funwithfood

              I tried a few pieces from Let Them Eat Cake last year and was very disappointed. I don't remember the specific items, but I do remember that the macaron I tried was horribly dried out from sitting in the refrigerated case for so long. Very unfriendly bunch of people, as well, who work there -- I find it a bit annoying to walk into a shop as the only customer and be completely ignored by 3 staff while they finish up whatever tasks they're doing. Not even a "hi" or "we'll be with you in just a moment".

              1. re: Funwithfood

                The "throw it away after a few bites" thing happens a lot with me, particularly at chinese bakeries. I like things not-so-sweet, and I am enticed by the beautiful presentations, but I often find that the fillings, icings, and custards are made with artificial creams that taste like vegetable fat. Is there an asian bakery that makes pretty pastries that taste like real cream? (actually, I have the same problem at lots of bakeries...must choose carefully!)

              2. I don't know if I can talk about service on this board, but here goes:

                I went to RJ to special order a cake for my grandmother's birthday. I placed my deposit and confirmed the pick up date and time. When I went to pick up the cake, on a Saturday, they told me that the order is actually for Sunday. They weren't the least bit apologetic and seemed convinced that I had the wrong date. Since the cake wasn't ready, I had to purchase twenty separate pieces to take to the party.

                Long story short - they called me on Sunday to tell me that my special ordered cake was ready. They called me again on Monday to ask when I was planning on picking up the cake.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Jen

                  Wow...sorry to hear about that. That does suck! And those little cakes are darned expensive!!

                  1. re: Jen

                    God, this really sucks. Frankly, even one time is too many, you have convinced me never to special order from here ever. I have gone through enough hassles with idiot catering companies to deal with stuff like this. Gah, I was taught not argue with the customer but to work with them.

                    I think it would be handy for us to have a list of bakeries, including ethnicity, some sort of price list, location and phone, comments. That way if something like Jen's situation happens, we can call the next number on the list (or just go and pick up a ready made cake). There are plenty of bakeries that would have been able to serve up a decent cake (perhaps not as special as the one ordered) that would do in a pinch.

                    Speaking of which, another occasional stop of mine is Assal Pastry in Irvine, which is I think Iranian? I actually don't like their baklava (haven't tried their other non-Western stuff) but their Western style cakes are decent and reasonably priced. They also price their little cakes by the pound so you can walk out of there with a couple little cakes and maybe a fruit tart for about $3-4. Not in the truly excellent category, but still quite good and a damn good value. My favorite is the ladyfinger sandwich dusted with ground pistachio.

                    Gustavo Arellano did a piece on this place a while ago.

                    1. re: jschyun

                      I agree. Btw, thanks for the Cream Pan recommendation. I got a strawberry and cream filled croissant. Delicious! I'm definately going back.

                      1. re: Jen

                        Yes! Cream Pan is delish! I tried the custard filled bun. What an awesome custard! Cool, creamy and eggy!

                        1. re: elmomonster

                          Yeah, I'm surprised nobody else mentioned it, or maybe they did but not with the fevered delight that I had. Maybe they were trying to keep it for themselves, which is a sentiment I totally understand.

                          FWIW, I think Cream Pan is a step above Assal Pastry though this is kind of an apples and oranges comparison. But I do like how inexpensive Assal Pastry is and I do like those pistachio dusted ladyfinger sandwiches, yuuummy.

                  2. gotta love cakes from chinese bakery.. taste is just right.. not tooo sweet and NO COSTCO SIZE icing!.... good report elmomonster