Pango Tea Bar is the "one of these things is not like the others" storefront near the northernmost end of Congress Avenue -- our own version of the Hollywood Blvd./Times Square renovation projects -- sandwiched as it is between bank buildings, jewelry stores, fast food joints and theaters. There surely is some good ol' down-home eatin' on Congress Avenue north -- NoCo -- but Pango's has a big city feel without the big city prices or big city pretense. Artfully appointed with high ceilings and a somewhat austerely zen interior, Pango's has, simply put, excellent feng shui. Good vibes. It seems carefully designed and executed. The eye is drawn up and back, and one feels warmly welcomed upon arrival. Classy dames and gentlemen dine at nearby tables, alongside the rowdier hipster set who suck down their cosmopolitans and their pearly tea balls through giant straws with abandon, while bamboo and other plants give off oxygen. Great first date place, plus the wait staff is friendly and unperturbed. Oh, and have we mentioned the food? A dream. All the delicious, fresh sushi and other delights you can eat without having to take out a loan.
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