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85°C Café--Has The Mystique Faded Away?

Chandavkl Sep 14, 2011 02:46 PM

Since this was my first time in the neighborhood since 85°C Café opened up its Hacienda Heights branch I decided to drive by to take a peek. It was high noon so I really didn't expect to actually go in and buy something. But as I entered the shopping center I surprisingly found a parking space close by so I pulled in. When I got to the entrance I saw an amazing sight--there was no line to get in! There was a queue of sorts of people choosing their goodies out of the bins, but as it turns out you really don't have to wait your turn to clamp what you want and put it on your tray. There was a line to check out, but with the four cashiers on duty the line was no more than 10 people long and checking out was not that difficult.

Actually I don't think that the mystique is totally gone. Rather this location is much more efficient. It's a lot larger and was built to handle large crowds. This compares to the Irvine location where they did not realize that the space they had requisitioned was wholly inadequate for the demand. While the Hacienda Heights store has a large number of bins of goods, it turns out that the same item (e.g., marble taro rolls) appears in several different bins that are spaced apart. Consequently, you can walk straight to any section of bins and find the items you want, as opposed to starting at the beginning of the displays and working your way around.

Of course, it's also quite possible that the people in Irvine are crazy (to wait outside the store dozens deep to get in). Or maybe they don't have the same alternatives.

85°C Café is at 17170-A Colima Road.

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  1. TonyC RE: Chandavkl Sep 14, 2011 03:20 PM

    I got a message the other night (Fri), at 11pm, saying the lines were insane. It was before school started so...

    But really, let's hope this is the final thread on 85 for the rest of 2011.

    1. Das Ubergeek RE: Chandavkl Sep 14, 2011 03:26 PM

      The one in Irvine has done the same thing—there are two sets of the same items. One starts near the door and the other starts near the entrance to the kitchen.

      I like the stuff, but it isn't so special that I want to put up with the hassle and the so-jaded attitude.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek
        choctastic RE: Das Ubergeek Sep 15, 2011 04:59 AM

        Well, if the mystique has faded away, unfortunately it didn't take the lines with it. I was at the Irvine location this weekend and lines were longer than ever. Luckily, I was just passing by.

        1. re: choctastic
          Das Ubergeek RE: choctastic Sep 15, 2011 08:37 AM

          Yes, I was on a bakery crawl with a bunch of foodies and the lines were as bad as ever.

          It's a shame I love their green onion bread, or I could give it a permanent miss, given that I can get better pastéis de nata (Macau-style egg tarts) at Désir in the Anaheim 99 Ranch.

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