Cheese Cake Factory
120 Brea Mall Way
Brea, California, 92821
Date: 11-4-07, Sunday.
Brunch at 10 am when the restaurant opened.
This restaurant also offers curbside to-go service.
My wife and I had Sunday brunch right after the restaurant opened. If you have never entered a Cheese Cake Factory Restaurant before, it is a visual treat. I was mildly shocked when I first entered. I did not know if I had entered Disneyland or some other fantasy theme restaurant. I asked our server to tell me to define the interior but he could not. I asked him to check around. He came back a short while later to tell me that the manager defined it as Mediterranean. That definition is a good start but does not convey that much for you so let me come up with some other words:
• Pseudo-Mediterranean fantasy
• Mediterranean hodgepodge
• Mildly opulent modern Mediterranean.
The ceiling is anything but bland. Looking up one sees straight and curved beams, large light wells decorated with drawings that mean nothing and red toned tiles.
Image above shows part of the interior ceiling. (Image taken with BlackBerry cell phone.)
Huge pillars rise from floor to ceiling and at the top are images of a women’s face. We were told that the image is modeled after the owner’s mother’s face. The floor is tile colored in a dark sand color with dark small squares. Walls that have booths might have dark wood paneling. The wall separating the kitchen has low wall to ceiling glass so the kitchen shouting is not that loud. The colors are earthy colors from pastel walls to darker tone woods. Muzak of piano music started our dining experience but it did not take long to loose track of the piped in music as the restaurant filled in quickly and the background chatter masked the music. The seating at booths, and chairs are comfortable. The table edges are curved. Cloth napkins and complete table setting including spoons is included. Bread may or may not appear on you table depending upon your server so if you do not see any and want some, you might have to ask. Both dark and white bread come in a basket. I just love the dark bread. It has a slight sweetness. Our dark bread today, I believe, was yesterday’s bread, not soft. I have noticed that restaurants flush out day old bread the next day, a penalty for arriving soon after the restaurant opens.
My wife ordered Joes Special ($9.95). Because the restaurant just opened for the day, I thought it might be safe to order the eggs benedict with Canadian bacon ($10.95). If this last comment does not make sense to you then read the book Kitchen Confidential. In that book, the author describes the problem with ordering eggs benedict. For beverage, my wife and I ordered coffee but also requested a dish of whipped cream. The coffee is Prebica from Superior Coffee, a Sara Lee Company. I thought the coffee had a very good flavor and came in glass mugs. The drinks cost $2.95 each. The meal before tip cost $28.88.
Both meal dishes were very good. The service was quiet good. I did pick up some shouting from the kitchen, but I liked that. I took it to mean the cooks had passion for what they were doing. On a busy day there can be twelve to fifteen cooks and two expediters. We were told that the cooks stay until about one thirty in the morning cleaning the kitchen to a spotless condition and then another crew comes in to clean it again.
My son liked their omelets. They come to the table looking so smooth it is a wonder how they can make omelets look that way.
Tip: If you roll out of bed late on a Sunday you should know that most restaurants start to have a wait by ten in the morning. Just remember that Cheese Cake Factory opens on Sunday at ten. I have noticed that there is little to no wait up to ten forty five.
Tip: If your order takes a long time on a busy day there is the possibility that the cooks counted an order twice. This means that instead of making two of some dish they made one and the one they failed to make was your dish. If the manager comes out and tells you that the cooks burned your dish, the reality is fifty, fifty that that is true. There is also a good chance that they forgot. They will NOT admit to that as that conveys to the customer that they are not paying attention, which is not true either. It just means that cooks got slammed with orders and lost count.
Summary: Quite enjoyable place with good food, good service and really good coffee.