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Dec 23, 2006 02:34 AM

Are There Any Non-Asian Restaurants in Los Angeles That Actually Serve Tea Brewed With Tea Leaves?

Had a holiday lunch today at La Cachette.

Nice ambience, nice waiter, food fine, if not particularly memorable.

After lunch, I ordered tea. Waiter brings by big box with bags of tea for me to choose. This is my absolute pet peeve with so-called upscale restaurants. Would they serve packets of instant coffee?

Anyway, took a bag of jasmine. Waiter brings cup and pot of lukewarm water. Jasmine tea undrinkable (do they make a Grade F tea?). Replaced with Darjeerling. Better than the jasmine, but not much (think Grade D, not F).

Really sour finish to the meal. Made me feel like I was in Peoria, not L.A. (most nicer restaurants in New York like the Four Seasons, for example, actually serve real tea).

So my question is does anyone know of any non-Asian restaurants in Los Angeles that actually serve anything other than insipid bagged tea?

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  1. Indian and Iranian restaurants usually do.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hrhboo

      I guess I meant are there any Western cuisine restaurants -- i.e., not Middle Eastern, not Asian, not Indian subcontinent? Somebody at lunch mentioned don't even think of trying to get tea in Sweden. Should the same be said of 99% of fine dining establishments in L.A.?

    2. 26 Beach Restaurant sells loose leaf teas, they have this pieapple/mango or something that is reall good

      5 Replies
      1. re: Burger Boy

        Omotosando has a point. Why are LA restaurants not able to acknowledge that teas are as sophisticated as various types of grappa, whiskies, cheeses, chocolates, etc?

        To have a teabag ... or a fruit flavored tea offered to you is an admission that they are not trying to offer the best. Yet I do not have an answer to the original query.

        For those interested, a wonderful site to Google for a huge selection of teas is Upton Tea.

        1. re: SilverlakeGirl

          26 Beach has about 12 teas, i just happen to like flavored teas, blackberry/currant, this chocolate tea. etc. I really like the Green/Orange Bergamont tea from Trader Joes, it rocks !

          1. re: SilverlakeGirl

            Believe me, if a restaurant could charge $15 for a tea like they can a whiskey, grappa or dessert, then the business would certainly start to offer more choices like these...

          2. I believe that Grace serves loose tea - they get their tea from Serendipitea. The last time that I was there I had the Earl Grey which was very nice.


            1. I remember having wonderful darjeeling at Spago one time, but then I would hope that for the price of Spago, they could at least have good tea.

              1. I haven't been there in a couple of years so I can't vouch that this is still the case, and I'm far from a tea expert, but the lounge in the main lobby of The Beverly Hills Hotel (and perhaps the other dining establishments at the hotel, e.g., The Polo Lounge) used to serve tea with unbagged leaves in a brewing strainer atop the cup.