With establishments like the recently shuttered Magic Restroom Café and the City of Industry’s dinosauce-themed Jurassic Restaurant, the San Gabriel Valley is a regular hot bed for kitschy, pop culture-themed restaurants.
The newest addition? How about a café dedicated to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the 1865 Lewis Carroll novel that’s inspired a handful of movies, musicals, plays, and now a café (extra credit: there’s also a popular cocktail bar in Alhambra, The Rabbit Hole, that pays homage to the book as well).
Located just a few blocks west of the former toilet-filled Magic Restroom space, Lin’s Wonderland Tea Room is at first glance a pretty standard Taiwanese café—albeit with miniature teapots lining every corner of the room—serving a combination of teas, pastries, desserts and savory snacks. You’ll find colorful house-baked macarons, tea sandwiches, salads and other dainty-plated treats, many with Alice in Wonderland-themed names, naturally.
The “Cheshire Cat Smile” salad is topped with salmon, while the “Into the Garden” is topped with grilled chicken. The beverage counter will happily shake up drinks like the “Red Queen”, a strawberry and rose-flavored iced tea, the “Alice Malice,” the “Mad Hatter,” and the “Caterpillar’s Lychee Hookah,” all made from various fruit-tea combos. If you’re not hooked by the whole whimsical tea room thing, you can snack on plates of fried gyoza, popcorn chicken, and crispy roe and mayo-filled “popping fish balls”.
While the cute and colorful Wonderland Tea Room might not be as attention-grabbing as a restaurant filled with toilets, it’s also much more likely to stay in business. If Rowland Heights diners aren’t into porcelain thrones, perhaps they’ll be enticed by the porcelain teapots used during tea service instead.
Lin’s Wonderland Tea Room, 18248 Gale Ave., Rowland Heights, 626-965-7771