Tang & Java in Woodland Hills Satiates Your Sweet Tooth with Food and Drink
CategoryEat & Drink
Written byJoshua Lurie
Above L to RTang & Java; ube latte; assorted crinkles cookies; affogato
How, you might reasonably ask, did a vape shop owner and a fashion designer/jewelry maker come to join forces on a coffee, gelato and dessert shop?
Soccer, of course.
Entrepreneurs Diana Lua and Sjareska Martina Karni met during one of their kids’ soccer games. The friendship ultimately spawned a partnership, with the duo opening the Tang & Java shop in a strip mall a few doors down from Diana’s other business, Hidden Vape.
The creative concept, kicked off last December, is a fusion of their backgrounds and heritages. Diana, who completed her culinary arts training in 2019 to become a chef, is from the Philippines. Sjareska grew up in Curacao, a Caribbean island and former Dutch colony. So their shop incorporates popular Filipino ingredients like ube (purple yam) and calamansi (a tart citrus) in signature beverages, while griddled poffertjes—tiny Dutch pancakes sweetened with powdered sugar and syrup—are also on the menu.
The shop’s name is also a fusion, combining java (coffee) and Tang, a reference to China’s Tang Dynasty, which is supposedly when people first made ice cream.
Tang & Java devotes 16 gelato bins to inventive flavors like Madagascar bourbon vanilla, goat cheese with passion fruit, and a caramelized cookie called Biscoff. Scoops fill house-made waffle cones, affogatos (dessert drinks), cups, crinkle cookie sandwiches and brioche buns.
“I want food for the soul,” Diana says. “Something that will give you an experience.” The gelato “reminds you that life is too short, and you can have that little goodness in your life without guilt nor tons of sugars, preservatives or coloring.” As for the java, “You can taste the quality. Once you have that first sip, it gives you that ‘aah’ feeling and reminds you what a good cup of coffee should be.”
How people are treated is also paramount to the owners. Diana strives for “a staff that’s welcoming and a place where everyone is not judged.” A mom of four boys, including twins with autism, she strives to create a safe space where children with disabilities can feel comfortable. She envisions Tang & Java as a popular hangout spot, “not just a coffee or gelato shop, but a space for the community.”
A colorful play on the popular multi-textural Filipino frozen dessert halo-halo. It combines a choice of fior di latte or ube gelato with nata de coco (coconut jellies), kaong (palm sugar), ube, jackfruit, crispy rice and leche flan.
A signature fior di latte gelato sundae topped with nutty tahini sauce, crumbled halva (sesame confection), pine nuts and crunchy sesame brittle.
On Sundays, Tang & Java utilizes their poffertje molds to make bibingka—Filipino rice pancakes studded with salted egg and cheese and showered with shredded coconut.
22776 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills | tangandjava.com