American Tea Room in Beverly Hills is a high end retailer of organic and non-organic teas, accessories and accoutrements, a spot where you can mosey on in after shopping (or window shopping) on Rodeo Drive, after grabbing a bite to eat with the posh 90210 crowd at Enoteca Drago across the street. Since 2003, the tea shop on Canon Drive has held tasting events, but did not offer a menu or a place to sit with a pot of tea on a daily basis. As of last weekend, you can now order American High Tea (a spin-off of the British sorts) for $30, which comes with an array of sweets that don't include lemon curd or cucumber sandwich triangles.
American Tea Room, originally called Le Palais De Thes, broke away from the famed French tea company about five years ago and became Le Palais Gourmet, selling teas from India, Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and all over the world. But, why all the name changes? "It's less pretentious than under the old French names," says co-owner Randy Arnold, who runs the shop with David Barenholtz. And its new name might be a bit easier for customers to pronounce. In an effort to make make the tea shop a more welcoming space, the owners will bring in tables and chairs for inside the store and patio within the next week or two.
Included in the full service tea bar are freshly baked goods from a local baker, who incorporates store-brand teas such as earl grey, brioche, and ceylon into the petit fours, tea cakes, salt and pepper truffles, and matcha cookies. Other menu items include pots of tea and cookies from $5-$8; vanilla mint pu er hot chocolate with chili-laced Mexican chocolate for $8, as well as an assortment of ice teas and smoothies. Gourmet tea enthusiasts, get high--the American way.
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American Tea Room: 401 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 271-7922.