The Boba Files: Half & Half Tea House (Monterey Park, CA)

8:00:00 AM

File #013: Can You Meet Me Halfway…

… right at the borderline?
That’s where I’m gonna wait for you.
I’ll be lookin’ out night and day
Took my heart to the limit, and this is what I’ll say


This is what happens when you decide that it was a great idea to make food references between Black Eyed Peas, Pokemon and boba..

It sounded great in my head. Truly, it did.

Now we return to your regular broadcasting

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Alright. I’ll stop!

For this special edition of The Boba Files, I left the comfort and familiarity of the Bay Area for Southern California. That’s right, I went to LA for a few days for the Korea Times Music Festival back in early May.

And I got my first exposure to boba in LA.

It was early Sunday afternoon and my friends and I had just finished an early lunch, eating dim sum.

And wow… the prices of dim sum in Los Angeles was so much cheaper than what I’m used to paying in the Bay Area. Between the six of us, the bill came out to a total of $60, while in the Bay Area, it would be closer to $120, if not more.

We walked over from the restaurant to Half & Half Tea House, which was down the street. The layout for the boba shop was interestingly shaped as the counter to receive drinks was at the entrance, while to order, you have to venture deeper inside the shop.

Give them a honk, if you need anything. 
Seating was very limited with the exception of the long bench running down the side of the shop, set up specifically so that customers could wait for their drinks. There were also some bar stools near the entrance and some seating outside, but Half & Half wasn’t a type of place where you want to kill an hour or two chatting it up with friends.

The owls and cat figurines are so adorable.
The layout was cute and I liked the dark wood furnishings and interesting lighting. They had an extensive menu, but also had a poster listing the TOP 10 drinks at their shop.

The cluster lighting oddly reminds me of something out of a CLAMP manga. xxxHolic perhaps?
I went with my “usual” at most milk tea shops: honey green milk tea with honey boba. Having just finished eating dim sum, I wasn’t in the mood for too many toppings, especially since I was going to be carrying it around that day, going to different places.

Half & Half carries the “troublesome” cups that will not fit in standard cup holdersnot that there are any cup holders (to my knowledge) that can fit these suckers. They also use much smaller ice cubes for the milk tea, which may or may not be advantageous to the situation. My drink was diluted by the time I was about half way, but I was also walking around Japantown during that time. So that may be a contributing factor.

VERDICT On The Milk Tea

It was… good. Hands down, one of the best tasting cup of boba. Possibly enough to crack the TOP 10 best tasting boba drinks I’ve drank. I have my qualms about those cups, but they make good milk tea and it’s set at a reasonable price for the size.

The honey green milk tea had the perfect ratio of honey to tea without needing them to adjust the sweetness (unsure if they allow you to change the level of sweetness).

Honey Boba was on point, sweet, chewy and cooked all the way through. I had no complaints there!

Even my friends were nodding in agreement or in their words, “it tastes like heaven!” Though I wouldn’t take their word for it because they’ve used that phrase several times over the course of our trip.

I completely understand the hype surrounding this place and out of all the “big chubby cups” boba shops I’ve tried, Half & Half does it the best.

It's so... beautiful. 
If anything, those cups come in handy when you want to build a… BOBA PYRAMID!

Honestly, it took us a few tries to snap this photo because the large cup had problems balancing on top of all the “smaller” ones. And the lighting was too dim inside so we had to shuffle outside to rebuild the pyramid. Needless to say, we put a lot of effort into getting this photo.

And at the end of the day, I had my boba cravings satisfied and all was good in the world except for maybe the cups. But that’s more of a transportation and stomach capacity issue… heh.
Closed on a Tuesday. So heads-up!
What are your thoughts about Half & Half Tea House? I see that they’re known for their pudding and they also have some interesting flavors, but I decided to be safe since I wanted to enjoy most of my milk tea rather than taking a risk and hating the flavor.

Half & Half Tea House
141 N Atlantic Blvd
Ste 112
Monterey Park, CA 91754

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