MJ Cafe and Teahouse is one of San Gabriel Valley’s many Taiwanese style cafes, known for its dizzying variety of tea-infused drinks and its confusing 17 page menu. The chain since expanded, opening up branches as far south as Irvine and as far west as Sawtelle.
At random times of the day, it’s absolutely empty. But other times, it’s completely packed, with 30 minute wait times and dedicated crowds itching to be seated. On our visit, I guess we got lucky. After a hike at nearby Schabarum Regional Park, we decided to grab a bite at MJ, the mothership of MJ Cafes.
We all ordered drinks from MJ’s selection of Magic Drinks (魔力冷飲), which comes in three sizes, regular, large and extra large. The Red Zone is blended with strawberries and watermelon, while the Sunset Plaza is a blended slush of orange and peach with egg pudding. The Angry Boba, my personal favorite, is a strawberry slush topped with cream (MJ 奶泡) and honey-soaked tapioca balls (boba).
The taiwanese chicken leg rice was puny, just 3 pieces of chopped chicken thigh, served with 3 braised vegetable dishes of the day.
The MJ pork chop rice also came as a rice set, a few pieces of pork chop, a bowl of rice, and three Taiwanese braised vegetable dishes of the day. The pork chop portions were likewise pretty skimpy, though I admit I liked the fried batter mix.
The rosemary chicken steak sizzling platter was less impressive than its name implies. Sizzling plates, called tieban (鐵板) in Chinese, are relatively common in Taiwan, where a staple food (noodles or rice) is served alongside a protein, all cooked in one dish.
MJ Cafe and Teahouse
17521 Colima Rd., Rowland Heights, CA 91748