Armed with a ball of yarn and two needles, I met up with a friend tonight at EURA, a new cafe and tea lounge on Post between Jones and Leavenworth.
I had been there once before to grab a mocha to go (nice and strong, but not better than either Peet's or Delessio), and was eager to try the tea and food. The whole place is a two-woman show, so service is apt, understandably leisurely, and 100% friendly. It's a tea house, not a fast food joint. Here's what transpired:
I had a pot of Vanilla Earl Grey: presentation was impeccable. An adorable pot and two cups came on a small wooden tray, with the fun addition of a tiny three-minute hourglass to let tea newbies know exactly when to start pouring. The tea was light and refreshing, and neither flavor overpowered the other. I don't have extensive experience with Earl Grey, but as tea goes in general this was well done. $3
My friend had a bowl of udon and an order of California rolls. Both were as well done as most places in Japantown, at a fraction of the price. That is to say, it wasn't gourmet, but it was filling and tasty. I don't mind eating this type and quality of food, but it angers me when I have to pay Japantown prices for it. EURA has the right idea when it comes to pricing. $5 or $6 for udon and $2 for 8 pieces of cali roll.
I saw a person next to us eating what must have been the ribeye bento on the menu. It was three scoops of rice (like little ice cream cones) topped with furikake (seaweed and sesame seeds), and a generous portion of steak slices. It smelled and looked wonderful. $7 He also had a giganto glass of iced tea that came in one of those two feet tall beer flutes.
Lauren, the proprietress, greeted most of her customers by first name in the two hours that I was there. In the few weeks since she opened, she seems to have already established a small cadre of regulars who enjoy her simple menu and array of tea. She only keeps 20 teas on the menu at any given time, but told me she keeps 40 in stock and pre-screens them for her customers. She feels that most people don't know enough about tea not to be overwhelmed by an exhaustive selection. I inquired after Osmanthus tea, a favorite floral tea of mine. She doesn't currently stock it, but promised to ask her tea supplier to look into personalizing a blend for her shop.
Not having tried more teas, I can't recommend that people go out of their way to visit EURA. Already, however, I know it's going to be a neighborhood favorite. I for one am certainly glad I no longer have to schlep all the way down to Imperial Tea Court or Samovar for a relaxing pot of tea. Most teas are under $10, with a good number under $5. Food prices max out at $7, and there's a grill-your-own-smores dessert option. Fun stuff, I say. There's also a small selection of chocolate bars, Izze soda, gourmet cookies, and pastries at the counter.
Just don't stop by on Tuesdays, cuz my gals and I will probably start taking over the tiny cafe with our needles and yarn. Just kidding--come by and take a look, we love to show off our latest projects.
PS. Cafe Trofi and an Italian restaurant have also recently opened on the same block of Post. It's a virtual Cuisinassance! If anyone has been to either new place, please start a new thread about them. Otherwise, I will have to go myself in the next few weeks and see what's up--not that that's a chore.