Five favorite places in L.A. for “Taking Tea” by Chery Glaser
Chery Glaser, KCRW Host.
Back when I was in third grade, my aunt from England taught me the proper way to make and drink tea (pre-heating the pot and truly boiling the water are a must for the former; I prefer milk and a skosh of sugar for the latter). I’ve been a fan of the brew pretty much ever since. There’s nothing like it for curling up on the sofa on a chilly night or lingering over on a lazy Saturday afternoon. But I’m also a fan of tea, the meal–particularly when somebody else has done all the work and I can just sit back and enjoy. So forthwith, my five favorite places for taking tea in L.A.
1. The Tudor House–Santa Monica. My folks discovered this place when I was in high school, and I’m still going there all these years later. There’s the friendly staff, complete with the requisite U.K. accents; the flaky savory pies (spinach & cheese, lamb with mint, and the Cornish pasty are some of my favorites); and the diet-busting sweets (my husband can’t get enough of the Empire biscuits; I tend more towards Bakewell tarts and–on truly special occasions–a creme slice). Plus they’re KCRW Fringe Benefit providers!
2. The Huntington Library–San Marino. Some purists quibble because this is a serve-yourself operation. But it also means you can keep going back until you get your fill of a wide assortment of finger sandwiches and bite-sized pastries (plus the healthy salads and fresh fruit, of course!!). In the meantime, a cheerful server keeps you supplied with a bottomless pot of fresh tea and unending scones–some of the best this side of London. And afterwards, you can always walk off a few of the calories in the gorgeous gardens–or curl up under a tree for a quick nap.
3. Susina–midWilshire. With its chandeliers and banquettes, Susina’s makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a tearoom in Paris. They don’t offer afternoon tea per se–it’s more a case of building your own. But between a wide assortment of quiches, sandwiches, and croissants (both savory and sweet), plus a mind-blowing array of scones, cakes, pastries, and other goodies, it’s hard to go wrong.
4. The Raymond–Pasadena. When it comes to location, location, location, The Raymond scores big on two fronts. If the weather for some reason happens to be less than perfect, you can nibble away on a cucumber-watercress sandwich and pastries in the restaurant itself–a cozy Craftsman-style bungalow. And if it’s one of those stunning, only-in-L.A. kind of days, opt for a table in the garden. Talk about living the good life!
5. Chado Tea Room–downtown L.A., Third Street, and Pasadena. With literally dozens and dozens of teas to choose from (black, green, white, herbal, rooibos, you name it), you could spend all afternoon just deciding what to drink. And to go with that selection, there are even ore choices to be made–from finger sandwiches and cakes to scones and fresh soups. Plus, they take your KCRW Fringe Benefits card!