Tea by the Sea at The Getty Villa

4.8
105 Reviews
$50 and over
Afternoon Tea

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Afternoon Tea
In the interest of Public Health, we have temporarily closed Tea by the Sea for service and are not taking reservations at this time.
The wellbeing of the community is our top priority and we are taking our lead from federal, state and local government agencies as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times.
We wait patiently and look forward to reopening our doors to eagerly welcome you back with warmth and hospitality.
Until then, be well and take good care.

Your friends and family from Tea by the Sea at the Getty Villa
What 105 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.7
value
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100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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j
jillh
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

it was a beautiful afternoon... overlooking the gardens, the food, service was great...!

i do feel the room could have more ambience, and the dinnerware could be more festive, to reflect the gardens, and a real tea (ish) feeling..

the garden tour was a great way to end the day

HS
HermieS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The food was delicious, especially the house tea, the lemon mascarpone, and ALL the desserts. The cheesecake in the pink waffle cone was so clever. Made me feel like a kid again.

I liked that the room was casual and low-key. View is really nice too.

I brought my mother who has issues walking. They provided her with a wheelchair at the end of the meal. She was able to enjoy the tour of the garden much more than if she'd had to walk. The staff were kind, friendly and all had a wonderful sense of humor. A big value for the price.

FG
FoodieGal
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service. Lovely venue, good pacing of food; overall, a great experience.

KP
KimberlyP
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An amazing time. The service was incredible. Server was extremely attentive and staff was very accommodating with substitutions. Staff was aware and knowledgeable on the substitutions upon our arrival. Food was delicious and the dessert was some of the best U’ve had. Service charge is high so total price was a bit pricier than anticipated but worth it. Staff deserved the high gratuity. Much smaller dining room than I pictured which made it even more enjoyable. Makes sense why reservations are booked so far in advance. Only complaint is parking is a walk. Not easy for older guests. Highly recommend!!

GV
GigiV
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience3

We loved our server- she was very nice and accommodative. My stars are based on the experience as it being a traditional high tea. Since I have travelled from Victoria to New York to London I can be quite particular about the nuances of tea pouring and the knowledge of the teas themselves. Also, the food was quite tasty - a bit too much in the carb dept but that is to be expected. The title "Tea by the Sea" suggests that there may be a stellar ocean view which there is not. The floor to ceiling windows reveals the museum and its research and storage buildings along with the trees leaves changing color and the green perfectly mowed grassy knoll. But the room itself is like a conference room - not decorated to give the cozy appeal of a "tearoom". The room itself is a bit sterile. Nice but not cozy. final touch with the carrot cake recipe was fantastic. Loved the chocolate truffle!!! And the English breakfast tea was very good.

C
vipCece
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Other than the fact that it takes a long time before we can reserve a table (2-3 months) ... this place is worth the long wait ... and it is such an awesome location to have Afternoon Tea! Their Tea By the Sea is superb as you can tell, the team at the Getty Villa is very serious about putting forth a most pleasant, high quality, & most memorable Afternoon Tea experience for their guests. We highly recommend Tea By The Sea at the Getty Villa!

SC
vipSoCalFoodie14
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall1food3service2ambience1

It was a little disappointing. I’ve been to several afternoon tea and I think this was overpriced for what you get. Part of why people go to places for tea is for the experience the ambiance. This place failed. The food overall was good, but not enough to make it good and worth the hype and price.

In addition, The table was wobbly and when we ask to move to another table, they said it was pre arrange seating, but those tables were never occupied. Several table also said their table was not straight which is concerning when serving hot tea.

It was loud and no view of the garden. I reserved this months in advance and was looking forward to this experience, but I was ultimately disappointed.

I wish I could get a refund.

Tea by the Sea at The Getty Villa
Responded on December 3, 2019

Dear Majelle, Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us and I'm so sorry that your visit with us fell short of expectations. We are using your feedback to make some important changes, we would love to make things right if you give us another chance. we will contact you soon to obtain further details. Efrain Pesina

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RO
vipROYBOY
Los Angeles
29 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonder in every way. This made it a special birthday for my wife.

ML
MeredithL
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful tea, followed by an equally wonderful garden tour.

Tea by the Sea at The Getty Villa
Responded on November 17, 2019

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

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PW
PattyW
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A great example experience though I highly recommend that you inform people when making their reservations that they will be charged a $39 fee on top of the tea price. I think patrons should be aware of this fee before coming.

KD
KeriD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A special occasion event. Food was fantastic and plentiful; appreciated that the savories balanced the sweets. The service was personal and always at hand.

j
vipjw2098
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Food was just fair - nothing to rave about. Way overpriced for what was served. Special menu for one of our party with food allergies was disappointing - a "wrap" does not justify as a "tea sandwich". Tea refill was unbelievably slow - perhaps separate tea pots for each guest would be better???? WAITER SERVICE WAS HORRIBLE. Although we were seated 5th in line, we were the last ones served. Service was so slow that we missed our garden tour. I am offended that we were forced to pay an 18% service charge for this terrible service. Table assignment method should be described online.

D
Doree
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a lovely experience. Room was open with big windows. Service was outstanding and food was nice. Our server explained what everything was. One of our party is allergic to strawberries (they ask if any allergies with the first communications and when we arrived they double checked AND even took the strawberry jam off the table.!!! Two negatives, there is an 18% charge added to the bill. Was not told that AND it was not for the server but for the Getty Villa. The second negative was $20.00 parking that no one told me to expect. With all of that, it was a really lovely afternoon for 3 friends.

SL
ShannonL
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Amazing experience! The food was incredible and great service. Just be aware that they include an auto gratuity on the bill that isn’t mentioned.

The villa is beautiful and you get a complimentary guided tour of the garden afterwards.

The only negative that I can say is that the room itself is like a conference room- doesn’t have a great ambience.

A great way to spend an afternoon. Highly recommend!

BR
vipBR5318
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We were surprised that the $44 per person charge was not really that at all. For the 4 of us, they tacked on a $37+ charge for, apparently, the caterer. Then asked for cash tip for the staff. This would seem to be misrepresenting the true cost of the meal. The food and service were fine. But the way they did the bill was not appropriate. If the meal is $50 or $52 per person, just say that upfront.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Gorgeous views & the best afternoon tea food selections we’ve ever had in LA.

FW
FayeW
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful way to celebrate my spouse’s birthday. Garden tour after was quite nice too.

JG
JoanG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience2

I would not recommend this experience to anyone. First, location: The founders room overlooks the cafe which is serving a robust menu of soups, salads and entrees. Beyond that is the Sea. It's very misleading if you think your going to be in a natural setting. The Good Things: There are a small numbers of tables. The linens and table service are very nice. It is a quiet room. The servers are friendly and accommodating. The selection of teas and the scones and banana bread that are waiting on the table for you are all truly delicious. (The scones are available at the cafe below ). The bad: The sandwiches and desserts are served all at once on a tiered dish that sits in the center of the table. They are just kind of OK. While they sound special they come across as ordinary. The kicker was when I pulled an eight inch blond hair out from my chicken sandwich. That sort of stopped the eating at my table. The server took it back to the kitchen. No one came out to apologize. It was embarrassing because it was my idea to do the Tea rather than eat at the Cafe. After some negotiating they decided to charge us for only one Tea service. Should they have charged us for any? Should they have given us a free return, or offered to pay for parking? They were hardly gracious. I think many people go there to celebrate birthdays. Towards the end of the Tea, there was so much happy birthday singing to the other tables (Maybe about 5 or the 8 tables) that you couldn't carry on a conversation at your own table. We paid up and got out of there, vowing never to waste our money on that experience again. And you shouldn't either!

Tea by the Sea at The Getty Villa
Responded on August 13, 2019

Dear Joan, thanks for sharing your feedback. We’re sorry your experience didn’t match your expectations We take all the comments very seriously, so we can improve every day! We will contact you soon. Efrain Pesina.

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PF
PamF
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience5

I think the sandwiches could have been better. Scone excellent. Tea choice great. Desserts great

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

Hello Pam, Thank you for your feedback, your feedback is really important for us. We take all the comments very seriously, so we can improve every day! Thank you!! Efrain Pesina.

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EW
ElaineW
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall2food1service4ambience1

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

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

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
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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 on July 16, 2019

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
vipAndreneB
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.

SE
SheilaE
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

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!).

r
rsquared
Detroit
13 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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!

SC
vipSerbianCrepes
Baltimore
13 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.

GH
GwenH
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience3

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
Desirebleu
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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!

L
Leia
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience3

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.

LC
vipLisaC
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall3food5service5ambience1

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.

Report
EA
EAB1
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

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.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Special in every way.

r
risingsun70
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

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.

d
dine2enjoy
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.

S
Simonek
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience2

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

W
Wamo
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A real treat with the museum

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pre wedding celebration

RR
RobertR
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall3food4service5ambience4

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.

PC
PatriciaC
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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!

C
Chichi
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall2food2service5ambience2

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"

HB
vipHBhalogirl
Orange County
11 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience2

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.

FAQs

Tea by the Sea at The Getty Villa is rated 4.8 stars by 105 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.