There is a bit of ritual with boba — slurping up tapioca pearls that are submerged in milky or flavored tea through that wide straw. Boba shops in the San Gabriel Valley offer a range of flavors and special touches, including flakes of gold leaf and stir-fried boba balls. Food and travel journalist Kristie Hang has a roundup of the best spots. For those new to boba, Hang suggests starting with Half and Half Good Old Time. And pro tip: Forgo the ice for more liquid.
From handmade boba to Crème brûlée Oreo flavors, ordering boba has become a process similar to ordering a fashionable coffee. Photo by Kristie Hang.