KB Bake - 1st store in SF Westfield Mall Downtown w/ PICS


#1

Tried out KB Bake on the 3rd day it opened in SF. It’s inside the Westfield Mall Downtown, foodcourt Bloomingdale side, by Sur La Table/Cako.

Only 1 cashier and they take a long time because the box they use it hard to put the tarts in. I think that’s why it takes so long. The tarts were already made and there’s only 2 choices: regular cream cheese tart or chocolate made from Dandelion Chocolate in SF.

I got 3 regular and 3 chocolate. Regular is $3.50 ea, chocolate I think were $3.65? not sure, it’s not listed on my receipt, I just remember they run up higher.

They charge tax too so it was a lot more than $21 that I was expecting to pay. Charged it.

Regular - crust is crispy like a shortbread cookie, creamy and fluffy, a bit tangy. Chocolate I seemed to like better, same crust, chocolate blended well and not as tangy. Chocolate should be on the menu for 3 months.

I asked about green tea tart a lady in line said they have in Hong Kong, they don’t know if they’ll have it.

Suppose to refrigerate any leftovers. Can be eaten cold, frozen, or warmed up in toaster oven.

I might go back, not in any hurry.


#2

Wow this place has either been very popular and/or very slow. I’ve passed by it every day this week coming from/going to Bart and there has always been a line wrapping around the corner, sometimes even into the Bart station.


#3

I’ve passed by multiple times now. I think the answer to whether it is very popular or very slow is “both”. It sounds like this company is either deliberately using very inefficient processes (or just not hiring enough people to sell the things) to build hype, or they were caught wildly unprepared for what would happen when they opened their first location outside of Asia in downtown SF - and, frankly, I have a hard time believing this given that they are savvy enough to be partnering with Dandelion Chocolate for their seasonal flavor. Some of the Yelp reviews note that there’s only one person at a single register serving the line.

If they legitimately can’t bake enough tarts fast enough at their required level of quality to meet demand, that’s one thing, but it’s maddening to think that they might be making people stand in line just because of their stupidly designed packaging and because they’re unwilling to pay a second cashier.


#4

Were they that slow in Japan?

Reminds me of bouncers letting people in slowly to build hype.


#5

I saw a branch in Japan this February and a long line formed every day before they opened and there was a line every time I walked by the store when they were open.


#6

Got both the original cheese and the special which is the matcha. I enjoyed the original cheese more. The matcha was ok but felt like a remixed song where the original is just noticeably better and the special version feels a little forced. The line was about 15 minutes long at around 4pm on Saturday. Hard to make a case to wait any longer, however. They did have more than one person servicing the line now.


#7

I finally made it through the line around 11am on a Friday a couple of months ago. Ten minute wait.

I’m glad to hear they finally added a second cashier. The way I see it, there is one obvious improvement they could make to their processes besides the ones that have already been discussed here: they could pre-pack the tarts in the boxes so they always have boxes of the most typical orders ready to go.


#8

I dunno, its a psychological thing for me, but when I see someone put baked items in front of me into packaging, I think its more fresh. Just a little peace of mind to see them not prepackaged cause I wouldn’t know how long they sat there.


(Kathy Ramsey) #9

I completely agree with this.


#10

I get that, and I’m sure that is a major reason why they have this annoyingly inefficient system. Still, this is the hottest place in the city right now for baked goods. They are moving an absurd number of tarts. I have a hard time believing that most people get to the front of that line after watching the 40 customers in front of them and still have subconscious doubts that maybe whatever they’re buying wasn’t baked recently.


#11

Mmm… maybe there’s another psychological factor. The idea of rarity, exclusiveness, and possibly sheer insanity of waiting in line. I’m thinking that if I see a huge line, that place must be good and I’ll eventually go back and check it out…

Honestly, no idea, I think SF just likes to stand in line… I’m looking at you, Golden Gate Bakery…