Excellent tea, friendly and helpful staff, nice food that goes really well with some of their teas, and outstanding ambiance. I live a little over an hour away but for a while was going here weekly just for tea and dumplings.
They have surprisingly broad hours and are open into the evening, which is very convenient if you are meeting from distant locations. I actually don’t think I’ve found a better place for a date, but I keep tea close to my heart so the shared interest factor sort of skews my opinion.
Parking can be a little rough, but it is worth parking several blocks away either at a grocer or bordering the residential neighborhoods.
The tea house gives you a really great opportunity to try a gaiwan or full service of some of the more expensive teas at a very reasonable price and comfortable pace and atmosphere. The staff are generally knowledgeable and helpful with recommendations but don’t try to upsell particular teas. It is a foodservice atmosphere, not a seller’s platform.
It’s a shame the original ITC in Chinatown closed. This location is far better than the one in San Francisco’s Ferry Building.