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Oct 24, 2008 07:14 AM

tea in Santa Monica/WLA?

Hello, I've searched the board but couldn't find it: tea house or tea restaurant or any cafe or restaurant that does a good tea service? Bulk teas, well brewed... you know.

to get things rolling I've searched and found the following places as possibilities:

Jin Patisserie in Venice

Lollicup on Sawtelle (this looks more like a bubble fun boba place which has it's place but....)

Catch 22 on Olympic

I'm looking for a quiet respite with great tea (away from my children.)

I know there's got to be other great tea places in this large city!

thanks for your help!

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  1. You could also try the Pacific Dining Car in Santa Monica as they have an afternoon tea.

    1. Have you checked with the Santa Monica beach hotels? Le Merigot, Shutters, Loews, Casa Del Mar are all possibilities. There are also a couple of British pub/restaurants like Ye Olde Kings Head (I am blanking on the other one at the moment) that might be potential suspects.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Servorg

        thanks to both of you, I might try those... especially when my 11 year old daughter who loves all the pageantry is with me.

        and I wasn't clear in my first post, apologies!: I'm not into high English tea with all the trimmings, my experience is that the tea itself isn't always that great. I'm looking for a morning place that does great tea: greens, oolongs, pu-ers, etc.

        I just tried to visit Jin Patisserie in Venice after a quick farmers market visit, but they don't open until 10:30 am so instead I had a lovely small chai at the Rose Cafe. Only $1.75 with tall tables and chairs to linger.

        I'm looking for a cafe or actual tea establishment that brews whole leaf loose teas in real pots with no tea bags: many choices or few: as long as the teas themselves are well chosen.

        I'm certain there are LA Tea-Heads out there!

        If I find a good place or two I'll post back.

        wish me luck!


        1. re: Chardgirl

          If you will stretch your geographic boundaries a bit then:

          1. re: Chardgirl

            I love that chai from Rose Cafe. Definitely try to stop by Jin again when they're open; it's one of my favorite places to sit with a book and a pot of tea.

        2. check out funnel mill on broadway, a couple blocks east of lincoln.

          8 Replies
          1. re: wilafur

            Second Funnel Mill -- very comfortable and tranquil setting.

            1. re: wilafur

              Funnel Mill. Esp for good coffees and Chinese/Japanese teas

              1. re: WBGuy

                Thanks to all! I'll stop by Funnel Mill and Jin on Abbot Kinney this trip if at all possible. And YES I'll travel for tea: Mumbai here I come! or for now, the downtown LA location of the Chado tea room will do. this is exactly the thing I was looking for.

                I did stop in at the Sawtelle Lollicup after my generous bowl of noodles at the famous place across the street: Asahi I think. I love the condiments they have at table. I love their noodles. I got there before noon to secure a seat! I got the predictable miso ramen with veggies and I loved them even though it was hot outside. The cold noodle dishes (without soup) passing by to other tables looked perfect.

                Lollicup: from the menu it looked like a strictly bubble tea/fancy perfume-y milk tea kind of a place. It's hot enough today that would be good! but the gal at the counter (the place was empty) was busy on her cell phone and looked annoyed when I walked in. Easy: I walked right out.

                Thanks much for the recommendations. If I don't make them this trip I'll visit each one next time: I'm an only child with aging parents in Venice, I'll be back often.


              2. re: wilafur

                I fourth Funnel Mill!

                This is a serious, no-nonsense tea house.
                They are very accommodating and will let you sit.

                1. re: liu

                  A couple of days ago I had an hour to myself in Santa Monica sandwiched between two activities. I went to Funnel Mill about 4:00pm on Tuesday for some tea.
                  Most of the tables were occupied and the place felt very comfortable and cozy.
                  The owner spent some time talking to me about the teas that he liked and assisted in my selection. He took pains to brew my tea in the proper way and even gave me a dish of green tea pumpkin seeds to munch with my brew. These salty seeds were the perfect accompaniment with my oolong.

                  The hour passed quickly but my experience at Funnel Mill was extremely relaxing and tranquil. The service was extraordinary; the owner offered to keep my tea pot hot, and while I was preparing to leave, one of the servers brought me a sample cup of an herbal tea that he liked which contained dates and goji berries...very sweet and warming.

                  I felt very pampered and revitalized when I left. While the printed prices appear to be a bit steep, they do not accept any tips. For the entire experience, I believe their prices are very fair.

                  Funnel Mill is like no other tea/coffee shop I have visited and I highly recommend it for anyone wishing to take a break!

                  1. re: liu

                    I really think you've captured this place well, liu. All that pampering used to frustrate me a little bit when I would stop there wanting a quick cup of coffee. Then I realized -- it's just not the kind of place you do that. To get your money's worth and really appreciate Funnel Mill, you have to immerse yourself in the total experience.

                    1. re: a_and_w

                      Well said, a_and_w!
                      It reminded me of a sushi experience. For me, eating sushi is not just about the fish or the rice; it is about everything from the moment you enter. Funnel Mill was a wonderful hour!

                      1. re: liu

                        Thank you all for the Funnel Mill string. I have been locked in the house injured in Venice, and did not even know about this place! Going Weds after farmers' market.

                        By the by...Here is the place link...

                        Cheers, JOHNNIE

                        Funnel Mill
                        930 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA

              3. For an excellent British afternoon tea: Gordon Ramsay. They do a very delicious tea.

                1. i'm sorry this isn't in west la or sm, but there's a great tea place on Franklin next to UCB, but i'm blanking on the name... great tea choices, and and interesting place to sit.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Emme

                    thanks for this reply, I'm willing to travel for tea... but I've not actually lived in LA since 1983... I now live in the Bay Area, so "UCB" sounds to me like UC Berkeley... help? -cg

                    1. re: Chardgirl

                      Emme may be referring to: UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE THEATRE 5919 Franklin Blvd. in Hollywood. However, I have lived here my whole life and am not sure if that's right or not.

                      Add: Could it be 101 Coffee Shop?

                      1. re: Servorg

                        that's exactly right... it's a little place like four or five doors west of upright citizens' brigade... sorry to abbreviate before. it's west of the the japanes place... it's really cute and great tea selection... i *wish* i could remember the damn name... and unfortunately the guy that would know the name... well, we don't speak anymore :)

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Well if its 4 or 5 doors down from UCB it cant be 101 Coffee Shop, thats like 3-4 blocks down the street.

                          I think emme is thinking about the bourgeois pig.