Factory Tea Bar opened last summer in the quaint “Mission” district of San Gabriel. It’s an joint effort between a Thai and Chinese partner, focusing on Taiwanese style milk tea (and boba) drinks, with some side snacks from the kitchen. The space is faux industrial chic, with cutesy art, a “study bar” area meant just for 2-top of students, communal tables, and outdoor seating.

Since opening, the San Gabriel High School community has been very supportive, and despite the loud music, they continue to study here. In contrast are the riff-raffs, and less studious “cool” kids who hang out here to smoke and create. I use the term “create” loosely. Service here is top notch, but the menus is a clear cross between Ten Ren and Half & Half, which is to say, uninspired. On any given weeknight, you will find mostly young adult kicking it here with a few interpersed ah-gong and ah-mongs trying to find their hipness. On the weekends, it’s infested by the under-21 with no fake ID crowd.

This is a highly functional space, and it’s great the neighborhood is able to support the establishment (and its rather high prices).

Factory Tea Bar
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MJ Cafe

The Pinkberry-eqsue space is the third branch of the MJ empire-let. The original is now a hot pot joint, and the second branch is really a 0.5 mini version serving teas and snacks from within Monterey Park’s MomoKiki Bakery. So then, here is the new real to goodness MJ Cafe, located inside a plaza that is full of free and available parking. Gone is the small boba shop space, gone is the cutesy quaint feel. This might as well be the new Tasty Garden, with its never ending booths and omnipresent LCDs. Thankfully, one thing is constant: the ice milk tea “lattes”, formed by shaking the half & half into a whipped cream state, is still fantastic. It comes in green, regular and black teas, available with boba or without.

One note on MJ Cafe’s desserts: absolutely skip the waffles. They border atrocious. Stick to the Taiwanese snacks of brick toast, or the “little squares”, which are chopped up cutesy pieces brick toast.

If in the WSGV, Factory Tea Bar is a great place to relax without paying $6 Ktown milk tea prices, but Oh My Pan still rules for its pastry selection. If in the East SGV, stick to 85 Degrees until MJ works out its kinks, or get the teas to go.

MJ Cafe
http://www.mj-cafe.com/
17521 Colima Rd
Industry, CA 91748

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