BY: DANIELLE CARSON
The royal cup is jammed between apartments and other small businesses on the corner of 10th and Redondo. Upon entering you see a medley of decorations that don’t exactly fit together, but the place has an air of elegance that you can’t exactly pinpoint. Everytime I come in, the art on the walls changes and I often get distracted from my homework my gazing at the interesting art pieces on the walls, not to mention the eclectic décor that constantly adds new pieces.
Take a considerably long stroll to the back of the venue to the bathroom, where you’ll find another lovely room painted in rich red and adorned with sculpture, art and tapestry. It’s as if the owners have traveled the world and manifested their experiences in this humble shop off Redondo.
While the place looks like a coffee shop with its plush chairs, low coffee tables, stools and grounded couches, it’s more like a restaurant, so don’t seem surprised if they approach you as you’re setting up your study station and ask if you’re ready to order.
The restaurant-café combo is known for their gourmet sandwiches and drinks, which include influences from the Middle East, India and Europe, to name a few. They always bring a glass of water with a mint leaf, which I think tromps lemon.
What’s even better is that all of their drinks come in huge cups, the cold ones in big mason jars and the hot ones in tall mugs that seem bottomless.
Drinks on the menu include a triple caramel black tea, which is simple yet sweet, and green tea with white chocolate; these are just a few of a seemingly endless menu of coffee, tea and fruity smoothies, such as the creamy mango lassi or smooth simple berry.
As a dirty chai fanatic, I have tried a good amount from different places, and this is the best. I have somewhat of a milk phobia, which is fine because they don’t charge extra for almond or soy milk. Try it with almond milk for a lighter taste with a unique hint. Unlike the syrup that most places use, this dirty chai tastes like the real deal.
The breakfast menu lists tons of combinations of bagel sandwiches and egg plates, and the salads range from chicken curry, to hummus, to veggie tossed with fruits and cheeses.
However, the most notable are their Panini sandwiches, compiled on a two-page list. You’ll find any combination of anything here— a Panini with cranberry and turkey like thanksgiving dinner, or an African safari with hummus and chutney. Chinese, Thai, African, Indian and
Mediterranean have roots on the Panini menu, or you can just get a simple grilled cheese or roasted turkey.
I ordered the Veggie Panini with Mango Chutney, which came warm and toasted with kettle chips and a sweet pepper on the side, which seems to accompany all of their paninis. This one requires napkins for sure, for as your bite the sweet and tangy chutney is likely to run down your fingers as the cheese melts on your tongue, giving a mixture of flavors that you’re unlikely to taste anywhere else.
I could identify every ingredient in the sandwich that was listed on the menu in each bite- the stimulating spicy and sweet flavors of the mango chutney, the richness of the three cheeses (goat, American and provolone), the savory tastes of the hummus and onion, the cleanliness of the tomato and sweet pepper and the grounding texture of avocado.
The only downside is they have very few outlets for plugging in your laptop. Otherwise, the Royal cup is the place to go for those who like to bum around at coffee shops all day, and may get hungry from studying and daydreaming.
The Royal Cup is located on 994 Redondo Ave, and there is a second Long Beach location on 194 Mariana Drive.