Seeing shades of green around Los Angeles? It’s not jealously—it’s matcha.
By Christina Xenos
If there were an “it” ingredient of the moment sweeping across Los Angeles, it would be matcha. True matcha is made from tencha leaves that are ground into a powder and whisked into liquid, making—at its most basic—an earthy, nutrient (and caffeine)-filled tea that trumps traditional leaves because you are actually ingesting the leaves and not steeping them. Not only is the powder popular in drinks from cortados to cocktails, it’s also blended into food as well. Where can you start living the green life? Find out below.
Suhari Matcha Cafe
The matcha-obsessed cafe recently opened on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice. Its founders are matcha-obsessed, weaving it into everything from traditional matcha tea and matcha sparklers (sparking sodas) to matcha cinnamon black sugar toasted bread rolls. 1522 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, 424.238.8324. shuharicafe.com
Rubies + Diamonds
In Hollywood, standout coffee shop and wine bar Rubies + Diamonds features a sweet and earthy matcha on one of its nitro taps. The drink is a lightly sweetened creamy combo of matcha, housemade simple syrup and almond milk. The mix goes into the cafe’s nitro system for a delivery that gives it a velvety-smooth texture. It also pairs perfectly with matcha scones from Sugar Bird Pastries in their case. Get it by the glass or growler. 6115 Sunset Blvd #150, L.A., 323.465.0400. rubiesanddiamonds.com
The Cannibal Beer & Butcher
The new meat-centric restaurant in downtown Culver City’s The Platfrom complex, takes normal chicken liver mousse to the next level by adding matcha. Those who aren’t perplexed by its celadon hue will relish in the earthiness that balances out the offal bite along with sharp roasted plums, almost and oats. 8850 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 310.838.2783. thecanniballa.com
You get a 1-2 punch with Gracias Madre’s Sour T-iesel. The cocktail is a combination of tequila, lime, agave and matcha powder sifted into a cannabis leaf on the top. Why the decoration? Because in addition to matcha, CBD oil—a phytocannabinoid oil extracted from cannabis—is a special ingredient. Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. graciasmadreweho.com
The ethereal dessert is inspired by traditional Mizu Shingen mochi from Japan. On its own, it is literally a somewhat gelatinized raindrop, made out of water barely solidified with agar agar. You can get it at Smorgasburg downtown every Sunday, served with brown sugar syrup and roasted soy flour—or with matcha syrup and roasted soy flour. Smorgasburg, 746 Market Court, downtown. la.smorgasburg.com
Another booze and matcha mashup comes from new downtown arts district bar and eatery Westbound. The restaurant is partnering with Van Leeuwen Artisanal Ice Cream to offer three boozy milkshakes in August. The standout is the ever-green Matcha Madness with vegan matcha ice cream, Rittenhouse rye, honey syrup, Amaro Montenegro and matcha powder. 300 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown, 213.262.9291. westbounddtla.com
American Tea Room
The American tea company boasts outposts in downtown, Newport Beach and one soon-to-reopen in Beverly Hills. Not only can you buy a variety of matcha powders from their website, you can also enjoy a variety of matcha drinks at their cafes. One of the most creative is the green tea terere—layers matcha floated over freshly squeezed orange juice. 909 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown, 310.271.7922. americantearoom.com
The stylish Sunset Strip elevated teppanyaki restaurant offers a very sweet and green ending. Their matcha tiramisu is a stout tower of layered of matcha sponge and mousse teamed with green tea ice cream and strawberries. 9201 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. innovativedining.com