A Glass Half Full

Bringing back the taste of boba tea in the City of Industry

Taiwanese-style boba tea joints are rather ubiquitous east of the 110, and most tend to attract a youthful crowd towing laptops, card games or magazines; beverages are often more an afterthought than the focus.

Not so at Half & Half Tea House's newly opened City of Industry location, where thoughtfully prepared drinks draw in the young and the retired, students and professionals alike, all wanting something more from their boba.

The drink menu starts with a list of over fifty flavors of black and green teas, followed by sippers' choices of such gelatinous add-ins as lychee jelly and taro pudding. Additionally, there's a select range of savory and sweet snacks to complement the tea, including mushroom-pork bao ($5) or slices of toast layered with caramel and a crispy, praline-like garnish ($4).

A 30-minute-plus wait at peak hours has become the norm here, but the adage about good things has never been truer. Our favorite combinations include iced fresh milk black tea with honey boba, and iced fresh milk grass herb tea with grass jelly. Never overly sweet, the taste of tea comes through in each cup ($2.50 to $4; 50 cents per add-in).

Half & Half Tea Express, 17575 Colima Rd. St. C, City of Industry; 626-810-8778