01 November 2006

Jin Patisserie

Tucked away on the street I dub as the “Disney World of Venice”, I found a little place that is as magical as the story of Cinderella. The name of the cafe is Jin Patisserie, and though it specializes in beautiful pastries, it happens to be a tea house. A house of tea, off of Abbot Kinney, with pastries as beautiful as any you have ever seen, on a Sunday afternoon, is as nice as it gets. When I feel blue I will remember Jin and I will treat myself to tea and chocolate cake that is so delicate, you should eat it with a spoon.

The space is a little overly designed—too medical for such pretty, little confections. But as was the case that I had a bevy of Swedes with me, I was confident they would find it comfortable and homey. We dined on tea sandwiches and salads; most drank iced tea, though my friend and I shared a hot pot of white tea that was so clean and beautiful, there were no tea leaves to read at the end of service.

The pomp and circumstance of tea service should be observed, though it probably isn’t tolerated by our fast paced society—so in order to accommodate both worlds, the service is slowed a bit, but there are no rules that must be followed. The tea is simply served in beautiful cups with little pots of accoutrement such as crystallized sugar, simple syrup (served cold to cool the hot pot of tea), and sugar in the raw (prepared in the old fashioned sense—“one lump or two?”). Even the iced tea comes in pots and the glasses come out as delicate as the tea pots with ice so clear it could pass for diamonds.

The only complaint I would have is that a BBQ place is right next door and it blew smoked brisket in my tofu salad which made me a little grumpy. I considered calling the BBQ joint and asking them if they could deliver—but thought better of it as I was, after all, dining with sophisticates.

★ ★

All reviews are compiled out of a possible four stars.




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