Orange County

Cloud Pancakes Are Forming in Irvine

Chef Paul Cao of Burnt Crumbs has created his own batter-scrumptious version of the breakfast taste sensation, a Japanese favorite.

Burnt Crumbs

What to Know

  • Burnt Crumbs at Los Olivos at Irvine Spectrum
  • The soufflé pancakes debut on Jan. 18
  • Choose from three toppings: strawberries, butter and syrup, or housemade whipped cream

The formation of a cloud?

A dedicated sky-watcher can plant herself on a hillside or bench, all to see how all of that high-up-there water vapor changes shape, and moves, and bewitches.

The formation of a cloud pancake?

Such a pursuit doesn't take place above our heads, but in the kitchens of dedicated chefs, the kind of culinary innovators who are fascinated with the delicious Japanese delicacy, a hearty foodstuff that has been making fresh and well-earned headlines in recent months.

Chef Paul Cao, of Irvine's Burnt Crumbs, spent time in his own kitchen working with clouds, as in "mesmerizingly fluffy, jiggly treats." Think of circular soufflé pancakes that possess both height and presence, filling goodies that work well with under a spread of strawberry topping, or whipped cream, or classic syrup and butter.

The cloud pancake, in short, has more moxie than most morningtime meals.


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These celebrated soufflés will debut at the Orange County eatery on Jan. 18, 2020, and if you'd like to order one that day, or two or three, you'll want to show from 8 a.m. to 2 in the afternoon.

And one other bright light, in this souffle-sweet stretch of pancake-eating winter days?

Brunch at the restaurant is "expanding," meaning you can find the earlier-in-the-day meal on both Saturdays and Sundays, starting on the final weekend of January.

As for selecting the perfect topping for your cloud pancake? For sure, strawberries (they're fresh) are one way to go, or butter and syrup, and if you choose the whipped cream? It's made at the restaurant, which is not cloudy news, but so very sunny.

But clouds can by sunny, too, if you love their beauty, the rain they deliver, and how, just sometimes, they can land on your plate, in the form of a sweet soufflé, if you happen to be at a place that's now perfecting cloud pancakes.

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