A Taiwanese Tea House in San Gabriel.
I think I may have mentioned before that I had Chinese Godparents.
Still, does that make me an expert on all things Chinese? Not even remotely. Does that make me an expert on all things Taiwanese? Oh double-hell to the no. I’m still learning about all these components and parts that make these civilizations great, about how these people and this culture makes my city great, and I’m doing so with the enthusiasm of an enthusiast.
So I’ve still got a lot to learn, and–oooh, there’s a Tea Shop on Rosemead. Let’s go there.
Why Thirsty (no website) first entered my radar right at the time I discovered Bhanu Indian. Then again, it was basically next door. How could I have not have discovered it?
The first thing I read about it (it’s sign) was that it was a Tea Shop, and my lopsided brain instantly jumped to Tevana and Bird & Pick.
Of course it did. The problem is that Tea Shops are one thing here, and another thing there.
Tea Shops or Tea Houses are place to — yes — have some tea, but also to socialize, mix and mingle, have a date…
…oh, and have some food as well.
Yeah, that’s the part I keep forgetting.
Tea Houses are right in my comfort zone. They are comfortable, causal places. You don’t have to dress fancy. You can relax. In fact, the very idea is to relax, and take it down a couple of notches alongside some good food and Tea.
Walking in itself is no big shock. They’ve got a TV on playing what looks like Taiwan’s version of MTV, lots of well-coiffed pretty boy rock stars singing their hearts out to their lady loves. Other than that, its sit down, order up and wait for magic to happen.
I must stay that I made a royal mess of things on my first visit, but the Waitstaff were wonderful, helpful and friendly. (And oddly enough, all dressed up in black T-Shirts and Scottish Tartar patterned skirts. I have no idea what was up with that. But they all looked good, so…)
It’s good, cheap affordable Taiwanese. Best ever? No, but you’ll like it. Why Thirsty is comfortable, and cheap (in the good way).
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Once I saw the words, Honey Sausage Rice I knew what I was getting. Sausage Rice is a item I’ve seen on many menus in the San Gabriel Valley. Because of the amount of Scrambled Eggs you get with the dish, it can look a bit breakfasty, but it’s really good, and who knows…you may be the mood for breakfasty at that time of the day (or night.)
One of the things Why Thirsty does reminds me…exactly…of what Sinbala does, no Sodas. Only teas here, in cold or Hot variety.
Remember, Tea House. (As in…why did I keep forgetting I was in a Tea House.)
I was very unoriginal, and went with the Jasmine Green Tea, which was great.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Since I made such a cluster-F of my first visit, let me share with you what I learned.
Most places that have seating and a cash register, what do you do? You go up to the Cash Register and place you order. Not so here. You only go up to the Cash Register if you’re placing a To-Go order. If you want to eat in, you sit down.
I did not know that.
There’s a Minimum $10 transaction for Credit card/Debit Card purchases, but you can handle that.
It doesn’t look immediately like an Taiwanese/Chinese place on first viewing, in fact there’s nothing on the outside that says “Asian” from jump. Other than that…
PARKING: Why Thirsty is part of the same retail complex that houses Bhanu Indian. The complex has a pretty good sized lot, but that lot is ALWAYS busy. Still be persistent and head in there. There will be a couple of spots somewhere. I guarantee you.
Oh, and it’s all free.
7248 Rosemead Boulevard
San Gabriel, CA 91775
Tel: (626) 292-5858
Monday-Saturday: 11:30 am-11:00 pm