Saturday, May 21, 2011

Afternoon Tea at Chado Tea Room (Little Tokyo)

A pastime I enjoy but don't get to do quite enough is afternoon tea. I've slowly tried various afternoon tea places around town but have never tried Chado Tea Room before, despite the fact that they have three locations including Pasadena.

The afternoon tea is $18 per person (one of the cheaper options in LA), but I had bought a Groupon for the Little Tokyo location and invited Wandering Chopsticks to come along.

Chado has a pretty extensive list of loose leaf teas, priced by the ounce and some can be quite expensive. One good part about doing the afternoon tea is that for the same price you get to choose any of the teas on their list, some of which are a lot more expensive than others.
I ordered the Chado Afternoon Tea (usually $5.67/oz) which they said was "the most elegant blend of the best gardens from Darjeeling." It was a good cup of Darjeeling, though I ended up enjoying the tea Wandering Chopsticks ordered better, though, the Lavender Earl Grey, as it was more interesting.

Our afternoon tea set, served on the traditional three-tiered trays

I enjoyed sitting outside in the back, next to the Japanese American museum. It's not a lush garden but I liked the bare, clean lines, which reminded me of a zen garden.
The scones were pretty good, buttery and flaky. We got two kinds between the two of us (plain and raisin). The marmalade was ok and while I enjoy fresh strawberries I didn't think they really go with scones. Where can I get my clotted cream around here?

They served a pretty generous amount of sandwiches and I like their bread which partly uses potato flour. We each get four slices:
  1. Smoked Salmon Served open faced on rye, cream cheese then topped with baby dill and a slice of lemon.
  2. Mediterranean: Goat Cheese, watercress and oliveade spread
  3. Punjab: Eggs marinated in our Lapsang Souchong Smoked Tea, Mayonnaise, green onions
  4. Souchong Chicken Sandwich: Shredded smoked Chicken Breast, mayonnaise, and Cranberry Lingonberry sauce

The sweets were rather boring as a finale. Half of a mini bundt cake each, and a cookie. The dessert part here certainly doesn't compare to some of their competitors, although the price here is a little lower.
Overall it was a solid afternoon tea, considering their price point is lower than most. They have good loose leaf teas and a nice variety and you'll get full from the sandwiches. Sipping and eating outside on a nice day here is certainly a good way to spend an afternoon.

As a parting gift, here's a picture of a tanuki statue there. Just don't look down.

Chado Tea Room
100 N Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 258-2531
Chado Tea Room on Urbanspoon


Banana Wonder

The savory sammies sounds yummy - better than the ones we had at Jin. I haven't gone back to afternoon tea since then :-( wah wah wah

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