I’ll be the first to admit that I hate restaurant deals and promotions. I can’t count the number of times I’ve bought a coupon for an eatery — only to have a disappointing experience because quality and portion-size are compromised.
But when a $20 for $50 deal for Chado Tea Room popped on Groupon, I immediately slapped down my credit card, texted Clark* and had him make a reservation for the weekend. I’ve heard so much about it and there’s almost always a wait because reservations fill up fast.
Attached to the Japanese American museum, Chado Tea Room is a quaint early afternoon tea stop — perfect for long conversations, taking it slow and soaking in the cool morning rays of a prototypical Los Angeles summer day. It’s one of the few brunch places in L.A. actually conducive to conversation. Al fresco dining in the back garden is also an option.
You start off with tea, soup or salad and then a traditional three-tier curate stand of freshly baked scones, assorted sandwiches and sugar cookies. The meal ends with a sundae, drizzled with strawberry syrup. The tea selection is dizzyingly long but the servers are kind enough to walk you through it based on your preference.
I’ll be honest, from a culinary standpoint, the offerings aren’t impressive. While the tomato bisque was fantastic, there was a little bit too much cream cheese in the lox half-sandwich. The toast could have been crispier, and the chicken sandwich was overall rather boring.
…But I’d come back in a heartbeat simply because this place is so adorable. And yes, that is a legitimate reason of return in my book. Rarely do I walk out of brunch feeling relaxed, clean and zen — like I just walked out of a very thorough spa treatment. No regrets here. I’d choose Chado over unlimited mimosas and pancakes any day.
The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering in the Arts District toying with my new camera lenses. We saw a sign for an Avocado Beer Festival at Angel’s City Brewery and wandered in out of curiosity right before a queue began to form. Leave it to me to be at another food event. This was completely by accident though.
What a fantastic venue. There was live music, simple games (Jenga, Connect Four, Pick Up Sticks) available for use, a food truck and lots of mingling.
And the avocado ale?
It was a light-bodied, golden Kölsch-style ale brewed with avocados. The flavor was subtle but you could taste the creamy finish.
Chado Tea Room
369 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Angel City Brewery
216 S Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
*Boyfriend, name changed.