Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Class 302 New Irvine Location

Class 302 has remained my favorite place for Taiwanese snow shaved ice. When I found out that they were opening a location in Irvine, I was ecstatic. As a quick review, snow ice is different from traditional shaved ice because the ice is frozen with condensed milk. As a result, it takes longer to melt, and once shaved through a special machine, it comes out in sheets that are lighter and fluffier than just plain old shaved ice, and tastes more like ice cream.

A few places in Irvine offer snow ice but I’ve found them to be really disappointing. To the point where I’d rather drive the extra forty minutes to enjoy it in Rowland Heights.

For whatever reason, the Irvine location decided to open its doors before it had the equipment to make snow ice. So for about a month after it opened, they only served drinks and Taiwanese dishes. This led to a slew of really bad reviews on Yelp. I’m not surprised since Class 302′s food and drink have always been just mediocre. Their fame lies in the snow ice.

So I waited patiently, and as soon as the snow ice was finally being served, I went to check it out. The bad reviews obviously had not deterred people from coming because their was a long line when I arrived. The Irvine store is a lot bigger than the Rowland Heights location, and has the ability to seat about twice as many people. And while it also still has the Taiwanese classroom setting and decor, the desks customers sit at seem to be a little bit bigger, which is a nice change.

The menu is also not completely the same. For instance, I saw several savory dishes like stinkfy tofu which is not offered at RH.

But I was just here for the snow ice. And even then, the menu differs slightly. The Irvine store offers the same toppings, but in completely different combinations and with different names.

We stuck with what was closest to our favorite: the golden mango. It’s mango flavored snow ice, topped with mangos, mochi, condensed milk and milk pudding. The closest version at RH is served without the pudding. We asked for the mango snow to be substituted with original snow. I find the mango snow to be a little too tart and I like the original flavor best.

Cute bowls!

The quality of the snow ice here was as good as the one in RH. Another difference I noticed was that the black sugar syrup which is offered as a separate side sauce at RH was poured directly onto our ice here. It makes the ice taste even better so I didn’t mind. I was also surprised to find that the serving portion is a little bigger. While on the surface it looks the same as the one in RH, the bottom of the bowl is quite deep and filled with snow ice as well.

FH couldn’t resist order a milk tea. Even though the drinks here are just alright, the super large cup size reminded us of our favorite place for tea drinks in LA: Half & Half. I need to do a post on that place one of these days. I personally got a kick out of the little students on the drinks.

Here’s a size comparison next to our snow.

Service here was pretty hectic. It was clear that the staff was completely overwhelmed and haven’t yet found their groove to adjust to the popularity of this place. Hopefully they’ll hit their stride soon. I’ve always been impressed with how fast and efficient the employees at the RH location work.

You can read my post on the Rowland Heights location here. I’ll definitely be coming back here more often. It’s only an hour drive away now for good snow ice. Now if only they would migrate farther south into San Diego…

Class 302 Irvine
18090 Culver Dr
Irvine, CA 92612
http://www.class302.com/

 

4 Responses to “Class 302 New Irvine Location”

  1. 1

    Jess — April 11, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

    So excited to see this place open much closer to San Diego! Thanks for the post.

    • Kirbie replied: — April 11th, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

      I’m excited too! The other snow options in Irvine were pretty bad. I’m so glad there is a good option now.

  2. 2

    Sandy — April 11, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

    I’m not very familiar with Taiwainese shaved ice except for what I’ve read on your blog. I think I’ve only had it once before in New York. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to trying out this place (even though I was in the area last week!).

    • Kirbie replied: — April 11th, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

      The snow ice is something that started appearing a few years ago. The old school Taiwanese snow ice is like other types of shaved ice, but maybe with different toppings. I like the old one since I grew up on it, but the new one is really good. Even my siblings who don’t like shaved ice love it. I think the best combination is mango pieces with original flavor snow. I dont know why it’s not a combination on the menu because it’s at other places, but you can do what I did and order the mango snow but ask for the original flavor instead. Though if you have a big enough group you can also try other flavors and see what you like. Green tea snow is popular too though it’s not as sweet as the others.

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