Jin is that wonderfully grating paradox that Los Angeles uniquely engenders. A place by every right The Monster vehemently dislikes (calling you out Whole Foods in Venice, the lack of anything comparable to the Ferry Building and that we have no Autumn) but finds despite higher than necessary tariffs, snootier than comfortable service and disappointing (at times) food and tea – a return is soon in the works nonetheless.
A converted house on Abbot Kinney turned patisserie, Jin boasts a small, cramped inside nook housing the day’s cakes, chocolates and macarons one can examine behind the glass and a more roomy, partially shaded outdoor area from which one can enjoy their purchases. Outside is teeming with insufferable hipsters engaged in ridiculous conversation and invariably one twenty-something reading a book whose pages never get flipped for an entire hour.
Jin offers a tea-time lunch menu of finger foods The Monster will never order. They sound dainty and annoying and are most certainly overpriced. If that’s your cup of tea (literally) have at it. Tea time is an antiquated British notion and Americans already adhere to too many of them as is. Let’s not encourage more.
An oft repeated complaint is small portion size for the price. Especially with the macarons. And while true, macarons from France can be twice the size at half the cost, that argument is asinine. If you want to fly to France to pay less money for a macaron, The Monster hopes you stay there.
The reality remains despite these quibbles, Jin does good business. If one wants a decent selection of tea and a delicate dessert not riddled with cloying flavor, where else to go in LA?
On this day, The Monster gets the spring bouquet: meringue rolled with passion fruit cream, fresh mango and strawberries along with the tiramisu: Italian mascarpone mousse, espresso and Kahlua infused sponge cake. From the chocolate selection the sea salt caramel, vanilla caramel clove, and passion fruit are sampled. Over the years The Monster has worked his way through the whole of the dessert, chocolate and macaron menu.
The cakes and chocolates are supremely satisfying and gone in mere minutes. But true to form, Jin decides the customer is never right. Apparently, a small pot of tea may only be for one person. If a second person wants to share this tea there is a charge for a second cup. The menu fails to state this. That policy, something one could imagine the same people embroiled in our government budget crisis would dream up, defies explanation. The charge for the second cup makes a small pot more expensive than a larger pot would be shared between two people. Explain that please?
Damn you Jin. See you next time.
Why go? There’s a book you’ve been meaning not to read.
Monster rating: 2 ½/5 Monsters
1202 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Venice, CA 90291