[we interrupt a week of shills with some fun content…]
Oh My Pan (which is unrelated to Oh My Buns, we are all silently waiting for the cease & desist letter in ’12) is the winner in the non-savory food category.
$3 for properly done brick toast, ie, not just squeezed condensed milk on top of a 2″ slice of white bread, $3 for properly shaken, foamy tea lattes. They just don’t have a proper espresso program yet, but they’re working on it. Taiwanese owned, buns baked on premise, and their pastry program is a bit interesting (think: taro and black sesame cream puffs, chocolate covered macarons). It’s open late, it has out door seating, free wi-fi, and an airy, cheery space that’s not jam packed ala Half & Half/Tea Station/Ten Ren. This is possible the most perfect new Taiwanese cafe, as the most basic of green tea boba milk tea is “handcrafted”. Think milk tea “mixology” bar — sorry. I’ll stop now.
Oh My Pan 胖胖屋
801 E Valley Blvd Ste 105-106
San Gabriel, CA 91776
MJ Cafe wins for the complete Taiwanese food menu inside a baker category. MJ, the Hacienda/Rowland Heights branch, may be just another faux Tea Station Taiwanese coffee shop. They serve tea, they serve pork chop rice, there’s a wee bit of cutesy design in the interior, but people still go to Guppy and JJ BAkery. In the subleased Monterey Park space, however, MJ has the auspicious addition of a full blown bakery. LA suffers from such a serious lack of evening desserting joints, and MJ fulfills that void with very little square footage. With its concise menu (pork chop rice, popcorn chicken, etc.) and the availability of solid Chinese style buns, MJ Monterey Park is a tiny JJ Bakery & Cafe, without the lines. They’re currently offering Buy One Get One cold teas. Actually, they’re going to offer BOGO cold teas until probably 2012, then they’ll offer a new discounted gift card. Take advantage of this place soon; try the black tea latte.
127 E Garvey Ave
Monterey Park CA 91755
Open until 9pm.
Wildcard entry: Whatever Tea Lounge, San Gabriel Just opened around November, still untested. Heck, they may even close up before 2011. After all, that corner is known as the Bermuda Triangle of Taiwanese tea shops.