Sunday, April 26, 2009

Half and Half Tea House: Was it the "Best Boba in the U S of A?" (San Gabriel)

In Front of Half & Half Tea House

A few months ago, some idiot (Ya, that idiot was me) proclaimed Half & Half to be "The Best Boba in the U S of A." Well, fast forward to the present day, do I still hold the same opinion? Or was my infatuation with this specific tea house similar to the crazy Angelinos believing Kogi Tacos is the best thing out there since sliced bread?

Pudding Ice Milk w/honey boba ($4.58)

What I would say about Half & Half is to try their ice milk drink with honey boba and either their grass jelly, coffee jelly, or pudding. It's their signature drink, where I've yet to find anywhere else in the SGV. Truthfully, their boba milk teas are really just OK. I prefer the boba drinks at Ten Ren/Tea Station much better.

Hot Taro Milk Tea ($4.38)

Like I said earlier, the milk tea here isn't anything special, and that carries over with the hot version(s) as well. Just as FYI, you're able to get pretty much any cold drinks here, hot. For me, the tea based drinks are slightly lacking in the tea flavors that I like and can be a tad too sweet. (Of course, you can also ask for less sugar when you order)

Sweet Butter Brick Toast ($2.50)

Sweet Butter Brick Toast w/Almonds ($2.50)

The above 2 are the various types of brick toasts you'll find at any Asian tea place. I personally feel the ones made here are top notch, and at $2.50/each, it's one of the cheapest in the area. I'd stick with the regular sweet butter version, as sometimes, when chocolate, or strawberry syrup are added, it makes the dessert just a tad too sweet.

Taiwanese style Shaved Ice ($6.99)

In addition, they do have TW style shaved ice at Half & Half. This is one of my favorite desserts, ever! It's one of my regular orders when I'm back in Taiwan or some sort of post dinner dessert at Sin Ba La. Honestly, the version here is OK. I was pretty gung ho about it at first, since they do use those damn delicious honey boba, and brown sugar in the shaved ice. Yet, after comparing to a few places I frequent for this stuff, I prefer the much bigger (and cheaper) version at Sin Ba La and *gasp* Shao May. Honestly, for the price you pay for the shaved ice here (~$7), it's not a good deal.....

So, to answer the title of the post: No, Half & Half does not have the best boba in the U S of A. Although it has some nice flavor options (Lavender, rose flavored milk tea), in an area of tough Asian food competition, it really doesn't stand out to the pack. My recommendation is that, if you do venture out in the SGV in need of something sweet, come here for 2 things: The ice milk (my favorite is the pudding one), and the brick toast. Trust me on this one.

Oh, as a side note. Don't get the food here. I just don't recommend it.

Final Grade
  • Taste: 3.5 out of 5
  • Decor: 4 out of 5
  • Service: 3 out of 5
Half and Half Tea House
120 N. San Gabriel Blvd.
Unit H
San Gabriel, CA 91775


cocochanelella said...

Uh huh, I remember your delusional-ness with them as the BEST of USA. Hey I'm going to see my bff in Aug, can you tell me places in SGV I CAN'T miss? Maybe put together a yelp list just for me? Please? with honey boba on top?

choisauce said...

hahahaha long live shau may! LOL =P eat it "korean style" the way u loooove it :) frick, why am I craving this right now at 2am?? we just had beer and onions rings!! (and before that kbbq...oh f- me :()

juma said...

idiot! j/k

Aaron said...

How sweet are the teas. American tea shops in general, even in Taiwanese areas are way too sweet

Kung Food Panda said...

Bonnie: I'll make sure you'll eat well in the SGV when you're in town. Can you bring me some bi-rite?? :)

Choisauce: LOL, SBL's shaved ice is still king, but Shao May has impressed me with your K-style shaved ice.

Juma: Ha!

Aaron: I think you can ask for half sugar, etc....That ice milk is not too bad in terms of sweetness.

Kat said...

dude you guys should see him drool over the girls!!! lol you were totally smitten and complimenting her and her "nai su"... I just kept laughing and rolling my eyes! I do like the brick toast. It's a LOT better than Ten Ren's, but I am over this place too. Although the brick toast makes me want to stop by again. Maybe this Sunday O=9

joanh said...

wow! $7 for shaved ice! that's like NT$240- so it should be topped with a tower of mango... or flakes of gold. LOL

Kung Food Panda said...

Kat: Hey, it's not true! *sigh* Plus the brick toast is no bueno now, I don't even know if I'll go back for a long while.....

joanh: I know huh! I love Taiwan and its cheap food. I love that "tai yi bing" place by NTU for their red bean/condensed milk shaved ice. I think it's 50NT, right?? Have you been?