Paru Tea Bar To Bring Second San Diego Location To La Jolla

July 8, 2021

Paru Tea Bar will open its second and flagship location in San Diego's La Jolla, taking over the space that housed Harvard Cookin’ Girl for more than a decade. 

After meeting while studying International Studies at Meiji Gakuin University in Yokohama, Japan, Amy Truong and Lani Gobaleza took inspiration from their experiences abroad and started Paru Tea Bar as a pop up experience. They opened their first brick-and-mortar location in San Diego's Point Loma in 2019. For the second location, Paru owners have partnered with Sunset Projects, a design and fabrication collective with Miki Iwasaki and Jess Falstad, and will offer a retail shop with a tasting bar. One new feature is an art gallery that also serves as a private tasting room called "Bow Hall."

"After living in Japan and being involved in the local community there for a few years, we found ourselves searching for good tea and a places to connect with other tea enthusiasts," explained Paru co-founder Lani Gobaleza. "Although San Diego’s food, coffee, and craft beer cultures were continuing to climb, we felt that there was a need for the tea community. Our hope isn’t really to redefine anything but to bring subtle modern twists to the traditional tea experience. While millennials are often focused on disrupting the system, we’re here to remind them to slow down and focus on staying conscious and thoughtful, which sometimes means slowing down. We are inspired by good tea, simple design, and omotenashi, the Japanese practice in which hospitality is focused on care over expectation."

Like the Point Loma branch, the La Jolla Paru Tea Bar will be primarily a retail shop offering seasonal single-origin teas and artisan blends, such as their year-round Blue Chamomile herbal tea and summer blend Pandan Waffle. The team works with a number of small growers to procure small batches of specialty tea from China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Laos, and Thailand, with a special focus on under-represented tea-producing regions. There will also be a line of pantry items, like tea-infused salts. From the tea bar, expect a tea flight service where customers enjoy three teas from a curated menu, as well as gongfu-style service - a traditional Chinese way of serving tea in which tasting is emphasized over drinking. Paru will also offer educational workshops by appointment. Ceremonial matcha, sourced directly from Japan and whisked by hand, will also be available. The shop will also offer handcrafted luxury chocolates by chocolatier and confectioner Deux Cranes, whose work is inspired by Japanese and French flavors.

Paru Tea Bar is scheduled to open in early fall at 7441 Girard Avenue in La Jolla. For more information, visit