When I went to visit Japan in 2004, I felt cheated out of seeing any of the “fruits” that loiter Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Fruits are mostly young Japanese girls who dress up as gothic lolitas, neo punk, really anything they can get their hands on. But since I’ve been attending comic conventions to help Paul promote his work, I’ve lost all desire to see people dressed up. It starts to get tiresome seeing the 19th Heath Ledger Joker who is 20 pounds over the ideal weight.
Then I read about Royal/T Cafe in Culver City. I had to go up there for a midmorning meal and maybe relive my memories of Japan.
The thing about Royal/T Cafe is that you are served by girls dressed up as maids. The whole purpose is to replicate maid cafes in Tokyo. I can think of a lot of reasons why this might appeal to the average male. But for me, I love the idea of a hip place to get some tea and maybe a bite to eat. The fact that the help here are dressed up as maids adds to the experience. And did I mention it’s also an art space? It totally reminds me of that Gwen Stefani video too.
The dining area is nestled inside of an airy space. Patrons are surrounded by glass, exposed brick, manga and art which can take the form of faux sushi, port-a-potties decorated as iPods, you name it. The food offered in the restaurant are the usual things seen in a tea place but with some add-ons that are uniquely Asian: rice bowls with your choice of chicken curry, tofu or salmon with edamame. The one thing I was interested in was their high tea which includes finger sandwiches, sushi, quiche and pastries. Unfortunately, I had arrived a few hours before high tea service so I just settled on a pot of Jasmine rose tea.
Their tea presentation was first class all the way: clear cups on top of gold saucers. What’s not to love? I wish these tea sets were available when I was 5. A bit of Belgium chocolate made it all the better.
Paul ordered the baked eggs with tomato. Although we were warned that it took 20 minutes to prepare the eggs, it was worth the wait. I’ve never had baked eggs before; it was deliciously creamy and had a few slices of tomato baked into it — something I would never have the patience to make at home. Their pastries were nothing spectacular. I am almost certain they weren’t baked on site. The almond croissant simply helped us endure the wait for the eggs.
Although the ambience surpassed the food, I enjoyed the experience. Going through the small gallery and gift store could be a visit in itself for cool items like faux flowers made out of bullet proof cloth. Speaking of theme restaurants, I would love to see a restaurant based on Lost. Now that would totally get me excited but confuse me as well.