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After Years Away, the Huntington Library’s Nearly Century-Old Tea Room Reopens

Plus, an all-day opening in Los Feliz, tinned fish as trend, and more

A black and white historic photograph showing two men standing in front of a white building.
Henry E. Huntington and his personal secretary, Robert Varnum, in front of the, at the time, billiard building (now the tea room) on the Huntington grounds, circa 1915.
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

The Huntington’s iconic tea room is ready for its big return soon. The sprawling, private former estate in San Marino, south of Pasadena, has for many decades been a place for tourists and locals to wander well-manicured gardens and peek at historic works of art — and, of course, to drink tea. The Huntington’s tea room, which was originally built as a bowling alley in 1911 before transitioning in 1928 to a sunny spot for high tea, has been dark since the earliest days of 2020. Next month, the Rose Garden Tea Room is returning with a whole new look and feel.

Starting May 24, diners will once again be able to enjoy high tea in glassy, comfortable new digs, adjacent to rows of blooming roses and complete with housemade scones or smoked salmon with dill cream cheese and caviar. Reservations are available beginning May 10. Can’t snag a reservation fast enough? Here are a dozen other spots for afternoon tea around greater Los Angeles.

A chance for new names

A new incubator program at the Original Farmers Market will focus on small business owners, with the aim of getting one lucky winner into a rent-free stall for three months to try out their business model. Excited applicants can apply now through the market’s New Originals website and, if chosen, will also receive $7,500 in cash for starting costs.

A bit of Italy in LA

Two prominent Tuscan winemakers and an Italian chef will be in town on Monday, April 24, popping in for an evening of food and wine at Toscana in Brentwood. Massimo Piccin of Podere Sapaio and Roberto Giannelli of San Filippo is teaming up with Omar Barsacchi of Osteria Magona in Bolgheri for a four-course meal with pours of rare labels, with tickets running $250 per person, before tax and tip.

Seafood up for discussion

Resy writer Jamie Feldmar is talking tinned fish for the reservation site’s blog, calling out local names like Kippered in Downtown LA, Bar Moruno in Silver Lake, and Saltie Girl, with locations on the Sunset Strip and in Boston. The trend isn’t going anywhere, says Feldmar, noting that the market for tinned seafood could reach $11 billion by 2027.

A new arrival

Cafe Caravan is now open in Los Feliz at 4459 Sunset Boulevard. The cozy, colorful corner spot takes up residence in the former Caffe Vita space, directly across the street from the historic Vista Theater. The split-level dining room focuses on coffee drinks and a variety of mezze items like merguez sausage and Persian rice salad, in addition to sandwiches, breakfast plates, and more. As of now, the restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.