Tea by the Sea at The Getty Villa

4.4
84 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Afternoon Tea
Enjoy Tea by the Sea, a special experience inspired by the herbs, vegetables, and fruits that grow in the Villa's authentically re-created first-century Roman gardens.

Feast on a Mediterranean-inspired menu of savory panini, sweet scones and tea breads, and gourmet cakes and tarts—along with fruits, cheeses, and a varied selection of teas. (Wine and prosecco are available for a small additional charge.) Tea is served in the Founder's Room, an elegant space featuring floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Villa.
What 84 People Are Saying
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Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.6
service
4.0
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Quiet
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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EW
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 1

The food was terrible. It was the equivalent of a bad airline coach meal.

Tea by the Sea at The Getty Villa
Responded 3 days ago

Dear Elaine, thanks for sharing your feedback. We’re sorry your experience didn’t match your expectations. It was an uncommon instance and we’ll do better. I will contact you via email to obtain further details. We would love to make things right if you give us another chance. Efrain Pesina.

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OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A friend and I took our daughters for a graduation celebration and had a lovely time at Tea By the Sea. Big shout out to Efrain for accommodating last minute dietary restrictions. I made the reservations a long time ago and dropped the ball that of the four of us, none ate pork, one is a vegetarian, and one is gluten free. Efrain was quick to respond to our request and went above and beyond to accommodate us. Separate plates with individual requirements were brought out, in addition to the usual high tea tiered stand full of delicious sandwiches, scones and desserts. Food, tea choices and service were all great. The only less than stellar comment is that the room itself is unimpressive. Granted you are in the Getty Villa, so one thought is once you've had your tea and sandwiches, you go outside to the villa and gardens for beauty, but the room needs a little more ambiance, and a little less conference room.

Tea by the Sea at The Getty Villa
Responded 3 days ago

It was a pleasure serving you and your family I really appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback and being so open with us. I'm glad you had a great experience with us at the Getty Villa We hope you'll come and see us again soon! Efrain Pesina.

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AB
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A lovely place for tea - great service and food. I do wish they would have it on Sundays too and perhaps two seatings on Saturday and Sunday. I'm guessing there's a reason they don't but it wouldn't be for lack of customers. It does take planning quite a bit ahead of time to get a table on Saturday.

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SE
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Had a lovely afternoon-the service and food was outstanding. I wish the setting was prettier, it’s a lovely view of some of the grounds but also a view of an outdoor cafe that’s not aesthetically pleasing. I envisioned a more opulent room with a view of the sea. There’s a tour that’s included with the reservation but it felt rushed as we still weren’t done with our tea service (it’s at 2:30, the tea is from 1-3). And I do wish a glass of champagne or Prosecco were included with the tea. For $44 a person, not including tax and 18% gratuity I expected more, especially since this service is only on Thursdays and Saturdays and you must book way in advance (that needs to be stated on the website!).

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r
Detroit
13 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The perfect way to make a special day at the Getty Villa even more special. Well worth the cost. The food was delicious and the tea do good we bought some in the gift shop. Indulge yourself! This tea is a real treat!

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SC
Baltimore
10 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely time as a group of 4. A few of us had visited the previous year, but we weren't able to get reservations. The food, tea selection, and staff was amazing! I was a little sad that our view wasn't closer to the water, but I still enjoyed people watching. For disclosure for folks wanting to book this place--the party limit is 4 (I'm sure you could work something out if you called them directly) through OpenTable as there are only 8 tables set inside the High Tea overlook.

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GH
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

We enjoyed our tea by the sea but feel that a few items could be improved. The wood paneling in the room is outdated, creating an undesirable banquet room feel. Potted herbs or flowers from the garden on the tables would’ve been welcome. We liked the food and accompaniments but the tea itself was never hot. The service was excellent ,creating a friendly and environment.

Tea by the Sea at The Getty Villa
Responded on June 16, 2019

Hello Gwen, Thank you for your feedback, your feedback is really important for us. We are working in creating a special place for our Tea by The Sea, Hopefully, we will have it ready soon.

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D
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I Think I should have included parking, but it wasn’t clear. I ended up paying for parking also... which was fine. But it was a beautiful day/experience, and it also included a short garden tour I didn’t make time for... Next time!

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L
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Lovely experience and staff was very accommodating to all of our dietary needs, went above and beyond> There's no view of the sea at all, just the Getty Villa cafe courtyard, but it's still a lovely tea experience by itself.

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LC
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 1

Thank you for making the accommodation to our food allergy. But while the food and service were excellent, the tea’s location in what is essentially a bare bones conference room, was not. We greatly enjoyed our personalized tour of the gardens after the tea.

Tea by the Sea at The Getty Villa
Responded on April 27, 2019

Hello Lisa, Thank you for your feedback, your feedback is really important for us. We are working in creating a special place for our Tea by The Sea, Hopefully, we will have it ready soon.

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EA
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

For a special occasion, this is fun. Private room with about 12 tables, white linen, attentive service, many choices of interesting teas, and a decent tea service with 6 different tea sandwiches, scones, bread, and 4 little desserts (each person gets one of each so it is a lot of food). Some of the tea sandwiches were truly outstanding and some were ordinary, but overall a very nice "high tea" experience. My only downside warning is that it was $44 per person for the tea, and then $20 to park at the villa (not included) and then tax and a "service charge" are automatically added to the tea service, so the total cost for two people in one car was $135. True, you also get a docent-led tour of the Roman gardens (which was great), and access to the museum. So if you make a full day of it, it's not that bad. You'll spend half that much just going to the Villa and eating in the (also pretty decent) cafeteria there.

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OT
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Special in every way.

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r
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

There was no ocean view, but it was still a lovely experience, and the food was good. You can do a garden tour that is included with tea after, then wander the museum. A lovely afternoon, and reasonably priced for L.A. tea.

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d
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best staff ever!
Have a vegetarian in the group or a super picky eater?
Efrain will help you out and you will have a seamless and enjoyable experience.
Come early and plan to stay to enjoy the museum.
Also, the staff will update you via text regarding you reservation.
For example it was raining heavily and the morning of the tea Efrain sent a text that PCH was open and there were not reported traffic problems. Nice brunch!!! Food and tea was really great.

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S
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 2

I felt it was overpriced ..... loud. I enjoyed the service and music.

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W
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A real treat with the museum

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RR
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 4

Tea by the sea was a nice experience with good food and great tea. Service was great as well but the price is probably twice what it should be. Over one hundred dollars for tea, a few small sandwiches and small desserts is astronomical for two people. A fun time without thinking of the price, but I personally felt a little ripped off.

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PC
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I took my 4 yr old granddaughter for her birthday date with Grammy! We enjoyed the experience even though it was a rainy day as the tea and hot chocolate were heart warming! The sandwiches and desserts were nicely presented and little miss got 3 helpings of the miniature candy cones, her favorites!

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C
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 2

Despite being called Tea by the Sea, you can’t actually see the sea without craning your neck and borrowing a pair of binoculars The food is okay and the service is great but there is a nasty surprise when you get the bill. An 18% service charge has been added and the staff very quickly point out is not a gratuity but an "administration fee,” none of which goes to them, If you want to show your appreciation for their service, a tip should be left as well, What the hell is an "administration fee"!? In a restaurant. I have never heard of such a thing and it left a very bad taste in the mouth. They should have the honesty to say that the cost of the Afternoon Tea is $50 per person, instead of $42 + 18% "administration fee"

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HB
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

The food was delicious. The tea was ok. I was disappointed in the room, view and ambiance. Given the name is Tea by the Sea, I expected a view of the ocean. Our view overlooked the patio of the cafeteria. And the room we were in was a nondescript all purpose meeting room. Nothing special about it. No flowers, no decor, no ambiance. Our price did include the garden tour and we were pleased to have a private tour just for our Tea by the Sea group. So the value was good in that regard. Overall, I would not recommend it. There are many places nicer to have tea.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

The food was over priced and low quality. The experience felt like being at a hotel conference. Do not recommend sadly.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Family get together.

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k
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

They let you try all the selection (8-9) of teas they have . U are not limited to just one .They were accommodate your dietary restrictions .

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NM
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Very bad experience. Villa was close because of fires. And i do understand that. But Managment can be professional enough to inform all the guest that Villa is close. They could of respect guests a little bit and email or call guest accordingly. All the guest turned down infron od the gates. Very very unprofessional

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k
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Our server Michelle was amazing! Brought us Prosecco because our table was not great. She was above and beyond a pleasure and made our experience wonderful for our friend birthday. The only problem we had was we wanted to give her extra when we tipped. We found the “charge” at the end confusing. I dine out daily at high end places and I’ve never been confronted with this type of situation. I found it strange and awkward that she had to explain it to our table. So they automatically add 18 percent to bill but it doesn’t really go to server but they get paid well so don’t worry about tipping them? But if you would like to give a gratuity they all split what is given extra at end of day? Confusing and wrong we all felt. We gave an extra 10% on bill which out of our pockets was 28% which I guess she will only get 10 percent split for doing such a great job! We feel this needs to be changed.

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MH
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

I was very disappointed in the service, we had to keep asking for a pot of tea, tea refills,a box twice for our leftovers and also a bag and we had to bag our leftovers. I have been to many tea time places and especially for the cost I was very disappointed.

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J
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and view! Everything was delicious!

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LG
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrating a birthday. Great Tea Room. Great service. Food good. Nice place to walk around and enjoy the beautiful view and artifacts.

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DJ
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Food and service were great. I prefer quainter tea houses with more traditional tea decor. And, I was surprised there was no ocean view from the tea room (the picture with ocean is from the grounds, not the tea room) being that it's "tea by the sea" but it was a relaxing, quiet, delicious and filling (ample portions) experience nonetheless. Access to the grounds, museum, and garden tour really add to the overall value and experience too. I never got the parking reservation email mentioned in the open table confirmation.

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ML
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 2

Our waiter (johnathan) was a dream. But the ambiance and location for something that is supposed to be “by the sea” had zero ocean views. You’re actually in the founders room at the Getty, tucked away in a small, minimally decorated make shift dining space. I wish we had actually been by the sea and that the food was a little fresher.

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HW
Adelaide / SA
4 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I really enjoyed this! I recently went to a high tea in Canada and was disappointed with the food. Every sandwich was cream cheese based. This however had such an amazing selection! We had a vegetarian with us and they made special sandwiches and marked each one. The deserts were all very different and small little tastes which was perfect. The staff was really attentive. Great service, everyone seemed happy and the tea cup was never empty. I would highly recommend this to everyone!

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BV
Los Angeles
28 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The scones and walnut bread were delicious. The sandwiches were hearty, nice variety and good, however, some of them tasted like they were made the day before.
Unfortunately, there were two young mothers with 5 small children who were being children. It did take away from "the high tea experience". There isn't any ambiance per se, but there is a nice view and beautiful grounds. Great to go to the museum before and after the tea.
The service was very good.

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LG
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 5

Cost was outrageous. Food was not very tasty. Service was poor.
Would never go back

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DC
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 1

I was expecting a beautiful setting given the name, "Tea by the Sea." The tea is held in a room on the third floor, above the cafeteria. The room looks like a conference room. There are several large windows which look out onto people from the cafeteria eating outside. There was nothing beautiful about the room and no ambiance.

When I made the reservation, I knew there would be an 18% service charge. What I did not know until it was time to pay, was that the service charge was an "administrative fee" and did not count as gratuity/tip for the server. The server made a point of telling me when he brought the bill. I gave a 15% tip. I think the additional 18% service charge is excessive and resented having to pay more so that the server could get a tip.

All in all, considering how long it takes to make a reservation in advance for such a mediocre experience, it is not worth it.

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DD
Los Angeles
25 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

With great disappointment I write this review. We had made reservations 4 months in advance and it was not worth the wait. We have sampled many afternoon teas all over Los Angeles, and this has to be one of the worst. The food served tasted stale and pre-prepared. The scones were the only highlight of this special lunch that I had planned for my mother. This chef needs to take one look around the dining room and see how much food is wasted and discarded on the patron's plates. Sorry but I will not be returning...

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SS
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing! The service in particular stood out. I feel so grateful to the staff for making it such a special meal.

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M
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 1

Not very impressed with this afternoon tea experience; recommend Huntington Gardens Afternoon Tea as an alternative. First, it was very expensive when everything was tallied up: there's the $15 parking fee (not included!); the $42.50 per person charge; of course, tax and tip; but what really annoyed us is that they charged an additional 'administrative service charge' that must have been about 18%... which they say is NOT a tip. So, because we didn't want to short-change our waiter, who was very good, we left him a tip on top of the $30 mandatory fee that we were assessed for "administrative service," so basically a $60 fee/tip expense... Therefore, the tea for four people came out to over $300 (which included a few glasses of wine each that was extra.) Second, it's in a very bland nondescript room that looks like a very small banquet hall upstairs away from the restaurant. There's no view of the sea at all. And the tables were cheap and wobbly. Third, the wait staff was ok; our waiter was good but over-worked. We had to hunt him down to ask for things we needed. The staff seemed disorganized; after we were seated they came back and asked us to move to a huge table for 8-10 people because they needed our smaller table for a party of two... we opted not to move as we were by the window (I had made the reservation well in advance) so they figured something else out. Fourth, the tea and food were just ok. They were quick to offer us their regular lavender tea, which they brew in bulk--it was too weak. They never told us that we had the option to order better teas off the menu, so half way through we switched after figuring that out ourselves. The sandwiches were just ok. The assortment of little desserts were nice. My recommendation, especially for tourists, go to the Getty Villa for the museum itself, and for Afternoon Tea try Huntington Gardens--it's a better experience and ambience can't be beat. There's also hotels in LA that offer afternoon tea.

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JK
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The atmosphere and food were singular. Overlooking the Getty Villa with unique finger sandwiches and wine was wonderful. Staff were helpful, cheery and engaging. This is an experience I hope to have again.

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KC
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 3

Food and service was amazing. I will dream about those scones forever. But the setting was in a sterile cafe, I thought Tea by the Sea would be outdoors overlooking the ocean. That totally ruined it for me and made the $55 (with tax and gratuity) totally not worth it. Would not go again and would not recommend to my friends. They sell the scones in the cafeteria downstairs. Save yourself $50 and grab a scone and stroll around the beautiful villa sans tea.

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PM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Be on time. 1:00PM, this allows for you to have a guided tour of the gardens.

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