When there's not enough time to sit down and have lunch--or when you have a Family Picnic Day at your kid's school and aren't interested in yet another peanut butter and jelly sandwich--you need to think of the salmon onigiri at Cream Pan, the newly-reopened-for-the-umpteenth-time Japanese bakery in Tustin that makes the best baguettes in the county.
Onigiri is technically a rice ball, usually wrapped around fillings like pickled vegetables, salted plums (umeboshi), or, yes, fish. They're insanely popular as snack food in Japan, but they're almost unknown here unless you're one of the nine kawaii kids who still visit Famima!! on a regular basis.
Whereas a normal onigiri has the fish in the middle, at Cream Pan the rice is mixed with flaked salmon so that you get one enormous ball of mixed media. The salmon is so perfectly seasoned that soy sauce seems unnecessary; the only thing missing is something crunchy. One is a small lunch; two is plenty, and they cost less than $3 each.
And, of course, those strawberry-cream cheese croissants are perfectly suitable for Lenten Friday lunch dessert...
602 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA