July 16, 2007

Fourth Meal in the East San Gabriel Valley

RJ Patisserie [Hacienda Heights]

Since we had already eaten dinner, we thought we'd start off the night with some dessert at RJ Patisserie in Hacienda Heights. I had been checking out a lot of French-Japanese bakeries lately, so I thought I'd give the Taiwanese spin a shot.

The three display cases each housed sheet cakes, cake rounds, and sliced cakes. There was an entire mini case dedicated to the cheesecakes, which would lead me to conclude that they were a specialty of the bakery's.

However, we were looking for something more exciting and settled on a mango mousse and chocolate-coffee duo.

The mango-cheese mouse had a sliver of sponge cake inside and an out-of-place chewy pie crust at the bottom. The cakes tasted like mango and coffee and nothing more. They were very literal creations and qualified my requirement for lightness, but not worth checking out unless you were in the area. They were, however, quite large compared to their Japanese counterparts, which also run in the $4 range.

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

Class 302 [Rowland Heights]

After coming across a review of Class 302 in the LA Times, I knew I had to give the quirky spot a try.

Class 302 may be the English translation, but the actual Chinese characters refer to the third year in school, second period. In Taiwan, restaurants are often themed, so Class 302 follows in that tradition with a classroom-style dining area.

The menu is written in childish handwriting on the blackboard, the dining tables are actual school desks, and your utensils dangle on the edge of the desk by a messenger bag. If you went to school in Taiwan, I hear that the experience can be very nostalgic with the uniform-clad waitresses, class president nominated dishes, and pinball machines at the front of the restaurant.

We were pretty full, but we trudged on for the love of food and settled on some stinky tofu and fish ball soup, which we figured would be pretty light.

The stinky tofu wasnt as stinky as I would have liked and it seemed as though it got most of its pungency from the sauce and fermented cabbage. We did, however, enjoy the fish ball soup, whose clear broth warmed our stomachs under the freezing cold AC.

Even though Taiwanese schooling rings no bells for me, I'd come to Class 302 just because its that's damn cute.

*Note: Our receipt said the place was called "Legendary Taiwanese Grill"

Class 302
1015 S. Nogales St., #125
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(626) 965-5809

We also managed to check out Yummy noodle house for drinks and Dream to check out the Taiwanese clubbing scene. A regular at Dream told us that the club used to be pretty hopping about a year ago and now really only counts Wednesdays (lady's night) as a reliable night.

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