I have been reading effusive articles about Jin on Abbott Kinney ever since they opened (boy, they must have a good p.r. firm). I've wanted to try it forever, but I just never get to Venice.
Today, I needed car work and my mechanic is in Venice, so I thought Jin would be a perfect place to spend a few hours while I waited for my car.
Ordered the quiche set, which included salad, slice of quiche, pot of tea and dessert. $16. Quiche okay, but not great (more like a frittata than a true quiche - if you want a great quiche, go to Cafe Midi on La Brea - French-owned and the best quiche I've had in L.A.) Salad fine.
The real disappointment was the jasmine tea. They bring you a pot with no leaves, so I was wondering if they actually just stick the hot water in the pot, dunk in a tea bag, take out the tea bag and bring you the pot of tea. I'm really not sure since they sell loose tea from Palais des Thes, but perhaps they actually serve bagged tea, not the stuff they sell. All I know is that this was not good jasmine tea - either the tea quality was inferior or they don't know how to brew tea. Very, very disappointing.
I didn't particularly care for the dessert either, but don't want to judge that since it was gooey-creamy and I prefer a different style of dessert (They only have gooey-creamy cakes, not the drier style I prefer).
Still had over a hour to kill while the mechanic worked on the car, so I thought I would order a second pot of tea in the hope that the first mediocre pot was an aberration. This time I ordered mint tea, which the menu implied actually had real mint leaves (a pot of good quality tea, with real mint leaves floating in it - usually only found at Middle Eastern or North African restaurants - is a thing of joy). This mint tea had no mint leaves and was as mediocre as the jasmine.
I had read so much about Jin's chocolates that I wanted to try them and ordered two small pieces (at $2 a pop) to go with the second pot of tea. One was cinnamon infused, which I just didn't like - the flavors didn't work. The other had green tea in it - it was okay, but nothing I would dream about.
Total bill for lunch for one was $26.95 before tip. I would not return.
Apart from a really good Japanese restaurant or the Tea Garden in West Hollywood or my own kitchen, I find that it is virtually impossible to get a good cup of tea in this town.
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