Restaurant Review #4: Tapioca Express, West LA (now closed)

Tapioca Express has an amazing array of flavors, including rose and watermelon. My rose icy was disappointing, but I think it would be great as a creamy drink, and the light plum was just what I had in mind. They also use fresh fruit in some drinks when in season, like honeydew and canteloupe in the summer. Also, their boba is notably fresh, and has the perfect amount of subtle sweetness for those of you who don't have the kind of maddening sweet tooth that I do.

The other cool thing about this place is that in spite of being a chain located in a conspicuously pink strip mall and in spite of having to contend with blender noises from all the frozen drinks it makes, Tapioca Express has managed to create a certain degree of atmosphere by having sleek furniture, bamboo plants, very friendly service, the lowest prices in the area (your drink with boba after tax is only $2.71), a comfy couch, pale blue walls, magazines, free WiFi (no electrical outlets, though) and best of all, a babbling brook that runs along one wall next to your table. In terms of atmosphere, they have outdone every other boba shop.

Tapioca Express also serves a few Thai dishes and appetizers. I like the vegetarian eggrolls: they're small, very crispy, made to order, and served steaming hot. There are cooked vermicelli noodles on the inside, along with the usual melange of cabbage and carrots. The rolls are served with a thin sweet and sour sauce that tastes perfect. Finally, the service is always friendly.

Tapioca Express
11870 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

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