Restaurant Review: Lin’s Wonderland Tearoom

Lilly Ball, Asst. A&E Editor

Popular for its “Alice in Wonderland” themed menu and colorful décor, Lin’s Wonderland Tearoom in Rowland Heights is a typical teahouse with a cute spin; perfect for anyone who has ever dreamed of having a tea party with the Mad Hatter.

I was excited to visit Lin’s Wonderland Tearoom because I had driven past it many times, wondering what it was. When I finally looked it up on Yelp, I was overwhelmed by beautiful pictures of dainty tea sets, colorful plush chairs, and intricate dishes.

As soon as I stepped through the door, I felt as if I had been transported to a modern wonderland. Neon colored booths and chairs popped out amongst the white tables, brightly lit by large clear chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. The walls were adorned with shelves of cute trinkets, Rilakkuma toys, gold and silver bound books, and model cars. I was given the option to sit at a candy-colored booth, or at a separate tea table, surrounded by large plush chairs. I opted for a booth, where I was presented with a menu and a cute plate with a lace design.

The menu was rather limited, with the majority of the foods, choices yummy dessert items, like crêpes and waffles. There was a section of “Wonderland” inspired drinks, which were mostly fruit drinks along with the typical teas you would find at Asian teahouses. I ordered the Mad Hatter, which was a very sweet, bright green drink that had kiwi bits floating around in it. The non-dessert items were few, they consisted of typical teahouse snacks like fries and popcorn chicken, with the exception of sandwiches with side salads. The small menu was surprising because I saw many dishes on Yelp that I could not seem to find in the menu. I ordered a chicken salad, which was under the sandwich section, but because of the lack of description, I was unsure wether I was ordering a sandwich or a salad.

After about 10 minutes of sipping my drink, a waitress came over and explained in Chinese to the person I was with that the kitchen was closed that day and that we could not be given our orders, but that we could order any dessert item or fries. We were given two plates of fries, one order of sweet potato fries and one order seasoned with Lawry’s seasoned salt. The fries were average, nothing that I haven’t eaten at any other tea house. However, I was thoroughly disappointed as I had postponed eating beforehand, so I could fully experience the restaurant and the seemingly delicious dishes that I saw on Yelp. If the kitchen was closed, why couldn’t the waitress have warned me before ordering? I was offered 10% off of my total order, but it was not what I had wanted in the first place. I ended up spending about $20 on the fries and drinks, leaving me hungry and unsatisfied.

The only aspect of Lin’s that would ever lead me to returning after my horrible experience is the cute décor and Yelp reviews suggesting that others had at least gotten the food they had ordered. It is possible that I had just went on a bad day, as there were only two visible waitresses who were multi-tasking by working behind the counter as well.

Overall, my experience at Lin’s Wonderland Tearoom was unsatisfactory due to the service, but I will admit that the theme and original décor, made it the cutest teahouse I have been to.