steph C yelp
My cousin's wife had her baby shower at Chado Tea Room and I cannot think of a better setting for a non-drinking woman to gather her female friends and relatives to squeal about babies. The place isn't particularly fancy and the space actually feels a bit old, but it's very cozy with its little shop of teapots to one side. The cute came with the service of afternoon tea. The only other place I've had high tea was in a fancy place in London that had the most incredible scones that ever crumbled into butter on my tongue. Chado Tea Room is a different kind of place, less formal and less focused on knocking it out of the park with food. The price tag is accordingly less hefty, and I think you get a lot of value for the $18 a head you (or your hostess) pay for the experience. I don't mean to imply that Chado's food is lacking, because it is not - I just wouldn't come back for the food alone. With your afternoon tea, you get an adorable tiered rack of sandwiches, scones, and pastries that look and taste pretty and delicate. There are four varieties of sandwiches on the top tier - the Punjab, consisting of eggs marinated in smoked tea with Mayo and green onions; the Mediterranean, with goat cheese, watercress, and oliveade spread; the smoked salmon, served open-faced on dark rye with cream cheese, baby dill, and lemon; and the Souchong chicken, with shredded smoked chicken breast, Mayo, and cranberry lingonberry sauce. All of these sandwiches were lovely, though none of them had me wishing for more. The second tier holds scones with strawberries, cream, and apricot jam. The scones were good but not marvelous, and I think scones need to be kind of marvelous to merit the calorie expense, don't you think? As to the cream, I think I actually whip better at home. The third tier offers pastries, which vary from rack to rack. We had slices of chocolate cake and banana walnut cake with vanilla custard. I'd ordinarily prefer banana walnut, but that chocolate cake was delicious, moist and interspersed with on-the-mark half-melted chocolate chips. We also got a couple of wafery cookies. Throughout our time there, waiters came around and offered us different kinds of tea, usually pouring two varieties at any given time. I tried the pina colada rooibos, peach black tea, and black tea with jasmine, mandarin, and vanilla. I have to say, the teas were all excellent, soothing and wealthy in flavor. I especially like that all the teas were perfectly steeped and poured at their best. I don't like when my cup of tea gets bitter on me when I ignore it for five minutes. All in all, I'd say Chado Tea Room offers a pretty unique experience in L.A. and that I'd recommend it for any girly non-alcoholic occasion. High tea takes time, but I'd also come back just for the tea and a light lunch. The food may not wow you, but the whole package is really quite sweet.