(A food review by Nit&Picker)
On a sunny Saturday afternoon we went for high tea at the cafe at LACMA
The first course was waiting – we were on time, our table and food was not. A not alltogether unreasonable but still regrettable amount of time as my stomach was rumbling and considering they require reservations (which we had) 24 hours in advance.
Then came the tea. A silver tip earl grey for me and the house darjeeling for my companion. His: A bit pale and characterless, an acceptable tea for a meal but not interesting in its own right. Mine: delicate as is to be expected for a silver tip, the hint of bergamotte in it almost untraceable. Still hungry I was not impressed. On the positive side it came with a variaty of utensils, suger, honey, lemon and milk, the one complaint being the size of the spoons relative to that of the cups, especially as honey requires vigerous stirring to dissolve in tea.
Finally the food arrived. Five dainty sandwiches on a bed of watercress and deliciously crunchy flowers. The egg salad with English mustard mayonnaise was my companions clear favorite, though its moistness had partly disintegrated the bread. I preferred the grilled vegetable and hummus with the prosciutto, tomato and basil on sourdough as a strong second. Sadly we agreed that the mascarpone and zucchini spread made a weak and tasteless last, its shortcomings accentuated by the cumin seed in the bread and its coming after its more interesting siblings.
Fourth came berries – blueberries and raspberries – sweet and ripe in their own right appreciated so much more for not being strawberries. With them came sweetened and not very fluffy whipped cream very much to my taste, though in fairness it should be mentioned that my companion would have preferred them with traditional Danish unsweetened heavy whipped cream. Inharmonious agreement we crown the blueberry king of all berries.
Next the scones. Heavy and Danish-like in dough type, very sweet and with raisins, They tinged our meal with the feeling that fullness came primarily from cake, but were tasty nonetheless. Served with a supreme orange preserve and very heavy Devonshire cream. I would have preferred a more sour cream, but my companion rejoiced in its heaviness and I must admit it matched the preserve and honey admirably. Also in favor of the scones were that they – though thinnish – split very easily into two for ease of adding cream and preserve.
Last an assortment of pastries. 5 of each so as to match the sandwiches. All good each in their category, but the brownie their uncrowned king. Surprisingly strong chocolate taste with a hint of bitterness from the walnuts, not too dry, nor fudgily moist. Undisputedly the height of the meal.
All the cakes – with the exception of the banana muffin were a bit on the heavy side, a characteristic maybe not ideal after having consumed both sandwiches and scones, but still more than passable, A freshly tangy lemon shortcake was the closest to light to be found on the pastry tray.
Despite our criticism we still mark this as a quite satisfactory afternoon tea. Especially as the quantities were perfectly adjusted to people our size; eating it all resulted in that feeling of pleasantly full but not painfully so that concludes a well proportioned meal.