Boba/Pudding tea? Long Beach -> OC -> San Diego
Im not a big fan of the tapioca pearls that make Boba truly Boba tea. But I went to a place in the SF area last year that had a wide selection of things you could put in your tea (I think there was a place like it on sawtelle in W. LA too)
One of my favorites was to put Chocolate pudding in my tea... but I haven't found another "boba" place that does this.
I split my time all over south western California - Long Beach to OC to SD -- along the coast. I almosy never go into LA proper anymore.
any suggestions along the way?
Tapioca Express is a chain and they have chocolate pudding boba, among a million other things. There is a standard menu and each branch will have their own additional menu. There are 2 in SD, one on Convoy Ave and the other in UTC in the Vons shopping Center off Nobel Drive. The Convoy one has more non-tapioca boba (apple jelly, grass jelly, coconut pearls, coffee pearls, ai-yu jelly, red beans, you name it) than the UTC one. Their website is tapiocaexpress.com. I suspect there are many branches in OC where there is a large Asian population (ie: Westminster).
Tea House is a smaller chain. The SD location is off Clairemont Mesa Dr and the 805 freeway, across the street from Ranch 99. They may have a website too. I can't remember if they have chocolate pudding or not, but they have slightly different stuff than Tapioca Express.
I think Daantaat meant to say Tea Station, not Tea House. As far as boba in the SD area goes, I have to say that Tea Station is probably the best. Their tea is excellent and the boba has the right texture and flavor. I'm not a big fan of Tapioca Express. Their tea tastes watery and the boba is usually stale and too hard. Tea Station is probably the most authentic as well (you'll find a lot of selections on their menu that don't cater to american tastes). There are a number of locations in SoCal if you check their website.
The other boba place that I frequent in SD is Green Tea House on Convoy. Their specialty is green boba, which I swear tastes slightly different than normal black boba although has been debated between myself and my GF. I really like their ice cream milk tea. Unfortunately, their quality has gone down since the new owners took over about a year ago. Now its kind of hit or miss but I still go there once in a while.