Coffee & Tea

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Upper House Tea - Sawtelle

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Upper House Tea - Sawtelle

igj | Feb 9, 2005 02:56 PM

after reading Sophique's recommendation for the spicy fries at this boba shop (in the same shopping plaza as Nijiya), I decided to pay the place a visit. I had seen their sign advertising ‘crispy subs’ and was always intrigued – I was expecting a Chinese or Japanese take on banh mi.

Well, I ordered one of the spicy fries (named Flaming Fries) and a veggie crispy sub. The subs come with a free green or black tea (iced), which makes the $3.50 - $4.50 price tag more in line with banh mi prices.

The fries: heavily seasoned McDonald-esque fries. I am going from looks alone on that description since I haven’t had McDonald’s fries in at least a decade. The fries were thin, not too crispy and coated in a salty, spicy powder. My girlfriend claimed she could taste a hint of garam masala… the spice mixture was very nice, but the potato part of the dish was unexciting.

The tea: well, it was a nice iced jasmine-y green tea sweetened in boba parlor style. Quite refreshing and will make it onto my Saturday afternoon need-a-break list.

The sub: this was the strangest thing I have eaten in a while. The ‘crispy’ part of the name comes from bread that tastes fried. The sensation was like eating a sandwich on a donut — my girlfriend said it was also like a sandwich made out of yoa-teow (the Chinese cruller-ish breakfast staple). The fillings included avocado, a slice of bland-ish white cheese, cucumber, mayo and some lighter veggies. The crispy sub was actually somewhat less than crispy, probably due to the moist ingredients (avocado and cucumber especially). I suspect that the meat sandwiches would be crisper. Still, I quite enjoyed the sandwich – I did – but it made me glad I had eaten a large salad for lunch!

Unlike other boba shops in the area, Upper House seemed to have no TV, nor was there any music playing at all (that was probably an anomaly???). If that is the normal state of affairs though, this would be a nice place to hang out. Unfortunately, the shop seems to open at 2pm!

Upper House Tea Shop
2130 Sawtelle Blvd
(310) 914-5228

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