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Apr 3, 2007 01:54 PM

Milky Flavor Tea on West Side?

My friend at work brought me some Asian milk tea that she got at 99 Ranch. It's pre-packaged, with the nondairy creamer and sweeteners already added.

This stuff rocks -- I know it's readily available at 99 Ranch -- but my travel radius is pretty small -- Culver City, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, maybe Venice or Westchester in a pinch. Any Asian markets in these areas that carry this pre-packaged milk tea? It's made by a company called Good Young, which is based in Taiwan. I've also read on Chowhound that Lipton's Taiwanese milk tea is also good, and I'd try that, too.

BTW - I know about the Japanese markets on Sawtelle -- haven't checked to see if they have something similar....Maybe that's another idea....

Thanks in advance

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  1. You might check Simpang Asia on National in the Palms area - this kind of tea drink is popular in various forms throughout most of East and Southeast asia... If worse comes to worst, you can head out to 99 Ranch in Van Nuys and make an afternoon of it - the same shopping center has a Sam Woo and a Pho shop as well... bring an ice chest if you do - you will probably end up impulsively buying alot of things... and 99 Ranch has a decent selection of other sache' powdered drinks made of tea and coffee as well... It's only 15-20 minutes from Culver City/Mar Vista if traffic is decent...

    6 Replies
    1. re: bulavinaka

      thanks for the tips! I'll try Simpang Asia

      Yes, a trip to Van Nuys would probably have to be scheduled for a weekend when my girlfriend is out of town - though I don't know when a Valley schlep would be just 15-20 minutes! :)

      I stopped by Mitsuwa today on Centinela -- they have something called Royal Milk Tea -- but it was $5.49 for just 10 bags -- a little rich for me! The stuff from 99 Ranch was $2.79 for 10 -- and they've been having a buy one/get one free special!

      1. re: Neely_Ohara

        Neely - Stop in your tracks! Simpang was near an errand I was running so I stopped in for a look-see. Didn't see what you were looking for. They had a Thai version of milk tea but I believe it has tamarind - they had a thai boba version as well... No Taiwanese milk tea. Lots of milk coffee mixes though...

        The Japanese grocery stores will me more expensive in general - that's been my experience. You may not only want scope out 99 Ranch but get their member card as well. The last time I checked, it was still free - works like a Von's card. This will privy you not only to store membership discounts, like the one that you mentioned, but alot of others. These places are stuffed with great deals on a weekly basis. Also they will send you a "birthday" gift in the form of a discount coupon - I don't remember how much, but hey - it's worth something...

        Sorry about the false lead... close but no cigar...

        1. re: bulavinaka

          thanks Bula -- appreciate the research :)

          Looks like I will have to get to 99 Ranch -- and don't get me wrong - I love the store, but I so wish one was closer!!

          1. re: Neely_Ohara

            I heard that - but if they were closer, I'd be there every day - at least for the first few monthes... If you haven't gotten a preferred customer card, it's worth it - even if you only use it occasionally...

            1. re: bulavinaka

              For reasons completely irrelevant to Chowhound, I unexpectedly find myself driving out to Victorville tomorrow -- so a stop at a San Gabriel Valley 99 Ranch is planned!! Too excited!

              1. re: Neely_Ohara

                Go early if you can - that one is probably their flagship store, and becomes neck-deep in elbows & asses by 1PM on weekend - probably even earlier... We always bring an ice chest as it's much hotter in SGV, and we always end up getting things we hadn't planned on getting... Hope you have a safe drive and a fun trip - and score on some nice food surprises!

    2. Not that brand, but milk tea is sold at Nijiya Market on Sawtelle JNO Olympic. You can also get the real thing (and boy, is it good) at Volcano Tea House across the street. Skip the boba. Not worth it.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        I stopped going to Volcano Tea because those "Hello-Kitty" teeny-bops have been rude to me (and always for their own errors and oversights) one too many times... If they'd only stop yakkin' with their friends just long enough to get my simple orders right... I think they might have graduated from the "SLJ School of Snottynosedness."

        1. re: bulavinaka

 what does that say about UCLA undergrads?

          Personally, I'm just annoyed that they won't accept anything but cash (and I've checked my accounts online--those privately operated ATM machines will charge you twice...unless it's BofA charging me the second time around).

          1. re: PseudoNerd

            I can't speak for the Bruins of today - it's been too many years since I went there... even when I was there, the ratio of US to foreign students was leaning towards foreign - no, it's not a bad thing as they raise the curve and make everyone shoot higher - just that so many of these students from overseas are silver spoon recipients and behave accordingly.

            I just don't get how the staff at Volcano can stand with their backs to the counter while chatting with workmates or even worse - face my general direction all the while ignoring me while talking with friends, nonchalantly look over at me while I've been standing there for a minute (felt like five) with no greeting or apology, and stare at me waiting for my order.

            Of course, I'm a little peeved at this point, but calmly give my order, slip some change in the tip cup just as a courtesy, and of course, they go back to yacking while one of the two does the drinks. Because they never really gave me any attention to begin with, my order comes up short. Politely pointing out that they forgot one of two milk teas - boy that was a tough order - I get the glare and roll of the eyes like I was at fault. My receipt shows two milk teas - obviously she took the order and charged me for what I ordered - did I do something wrong? Was the order tantamount to an organic chem final? She blurbs something in Mandarin to her buddy who cranks out another milk tea on the machine, who then hands it to my counter girl with the "sweet" disposition, who then slides it across the counter at me and turns her back without even an apology or thank you. One incident like this can be considered an aberration. But I've experienced situations like this at Volcano at least three times. My local consumption of milk teas has fallen off drastically since then...

            1. re: bulavinaka

              You know, I've definitely had that experience myself, and just chalked it up to "Chinese" service (this isn't a slur, honestly, it's that in China the burden of happiness is on the diner, not on the waitstaff -- people tend to be very direct about what they want and tend to treat waitstaff as sentient trays, to be used only for the delivery of food).

              It seems to be endemic to that plaza, though -- there's the Crêpe Nazi, the sushi jerks down at the north end, and the "you don't want that, you won't like it" folks from Little Hong Kong Cafe.

              I respond by going into "New York" mode, but in Chinese -- I speak enough Mandarin and Cantonese to make my wishes abundantly clear, and if a mistake is made and no apology or "fix" is forthcoming, I'm fine with making cutting remarks. "Stop talking and give me the two milk teas I ordered! Talk to your friend later!"

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                I have experienced plenty of 'Chinese' service at Volcano, but never as bad as the situations described above. But for me, it is worth it because the teas just taste better to me than that from the three other options within a block or so... might not seem so if I was just ignored outright though.

                I especially like the Jasmine milk tea and the Barley tea. The boba at Volcano, however, are not very good...maybe they just sit out too long? Anyway, not a pleasant texture, so I skip the boba.

      2. I haven't been to Volcano since last year - when they swung strike 3... if their service is more or less actually functioning now or if there are viable alternatives, please chime in... I haven't had a milk tea or otherwise in the Westside for what seems an eternity...