Downtown Afternoon Place?

I am trying to find a place to spend a few hours visiting with a good friend who is staying downtown, starting at about 3 pm. on a weekday. She is French, travels extensively and has excellent taste so I want it to be somewhere nice and suitable for talking. I haven’t been to Bottega Louie, would that work for having tea and perhaps a small plate and/or pastry? Has anyone been to the American Tea Room in DTLA or have other suggestions? I can drive somewhere, but the time frame is not working with my usual ideas.

Many thanks in advance,

Hi Heidi,

I haven’t personally tried either of these two, but maybe they’re something that would sound appealing; both seem to have a quiet ambiance and are highly-rated on yelp:


Happy hour starts in 2.5 hours. Just don’t eat the disgusting beef.

or Zinc. Drink rose, skip the food.

While your friend might be impressed w/ the ambiance at Bottega Louie, I would not recommend going, based on my one visit many yrs ago. Horrible acoustics (couldn’t hear people across the table from me), and the food in general was meh. The macroons are pretty and fairly tasty, though.

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Pour Haus.

If you just want tea (and a bite to nibble on), then American Tea Room.

Or just go hang at Grand Central Market.

Awkward time. Limited choices, unfortunately.


Daily Dose in Arts District might fit the bill. Can’t really speak to the quality of the food, but it’s a nice place to sit outside if it’s warm enough.

I’ve only ever eaten The Farmer there, but it must be the most gloriously lascivious vegetarian sandwich I have ever eaten. I don’t go often enough, but I would say that for what it is (simple sandwiches), the food is rather extraordinary, at least as far as The Farmer is concerned.

Hi @ipsedixit,

Thanks. How is American Tea Room? Is it like a simple “coffee house” type setup? Or something more fancy like those High Afternoon Tea service places?

And, wow, did you try their Hekisui Master Artisan Matcha for… $45 per cup of tea?! :open_mouth:

I have friends who adore Bottega Louie, and when I go there with them, I make do with the portobello fries, the mache salad, and the lobster nage. I do make room for macarons and usually take them home, too.

I like Bronze Aussie, but their set up isn’t conducive to sitting and talking for a few hours. They have a few chairs and a counter.

Agree, the noise level there is ridiculous.

Off the wall suggestion if you’re not completely committed to tea. Bierbeisl in the Spring St arcade. I’ve settled in there during the afternoons and early evenings talking with friends. You can order a small plate of food, they have house made baked desserts. See if their list of non alcoholic beverages appeal to you

Bonus is it’s next to Uli’s, you can wander there to have a gelato, settle in and talk some more.

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Ah, yes, the portobello fries! We had them, and they were quite good. The pasta dish (whatever it was) was the item that was PARTICULARLY disappointing (as in, tasted like it was from Souplantation; I like many thing from Souplantation, but NOT the pasta).

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Perch opens up at 4pm.

448 South Hill Street Los Angeles, CA 90013

Can’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon….

Maybe at the Biltmore?

I think GCM is an excellent idea - coffee at G&B and a stroll through the market is a great way to spend an afternoon. And if it’s nice you can sit outside by horse thief with whatever you get elsewhere.

Bierbeisl or Guisados and other things in the Spring St. Arcade is a great idea too, and if you want a drink (but definitely no food) Clifton’s is a fun/weird place to sit and chat and explore a bit.

There’s a ton of stuff in the arts district, too, if that’s appealing - Blacktop/Blue Bottle/Stumptown for coffee, Bread Lounge, Little Bear, Arts District Brewing, etc.

I believe Drago Centro also has a nice outdoor patio and a decent happy hour.

@heidi, I went to American Tea Room for the first time this morning to take advantage of their sale this weekend. Loose leaf teas are 20% off, and tea accessories are 50% off. Normally, I buy loose leaf, but I managed to score some major bargains on jasmine pearl green tea (normally $24.71 for two ounces) and masala chai black tea sachets - $15 per bag, each containing 50 sachets.

The atmosphere is akin to an upscale third-wave coffee shop - very industrial chic. There’s a cluster of tightly packed tables inside and a patio with a verdant plant wall, which makes sitting near the bustling traffic of Santa Fe and Violet more appealing.

There is a small menu with shakshuka, hand pies, salads, sandwiches, and panna cotta. Their baked goods are from Valerie Confections. I ended up ordering the iced matcha latte and Okinawan Life Tea (a jasmine tea-based drink), which were both very lightly sweetened, allowing the earthy teas to shine. I didn’t try any of the food, but there was a wide variety of tea of exceptional quality.


Is it me or do the Arts District coffee places make it as uncomfortable as possible to actually drink your beverage there. Seating really seems like an afterthought.

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Not a tea person myself, but that was a very nicely written, concise comment. A pleasure to read. Thank you!

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