“Friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks!” I agree whole heartedly. Amen! That’s why I want to introduce you to the best coffee served in southern California. Last year, I introduced you to Blue Bottle Coffee located at Ferry Building in San Francisco. From your positive affirmation, I was determined to find that same sensation in Los Angeles.
Welcome to Intelligentsia!
One of my favorite weekend pleasures is to walk along Abbot Kinney Street in Venice, California. Right off of Main Street (which caters to tourists and those fascinated with generic stores and restaurants), Abbot Kinney caters to unique shops and restaurants unlike anything else in LA. I prefer to call it “grungy chic”! Everyone walking the streets has an understated coolness to them. No one is trying to be noticed, but you can’t miss their unique style.
One day on my leisurely stroll along Abbot Kinney, I noticed a long line outside of this hidden coffee spot. I walked in to see what the fuss was all about. There were four stations in which dedicated men and women were producing work of sheer sensation for their patrons. The entire staff had an air of sophistication and worked like a Swiss watch. There were copper pipes with exact temperature water feeding into the stations. For a second, I found myself reminiscing my chemistry lab years as a student. They had glass flasks, weighing and timing instruments, and devices that made you ponder: “are they making coffee or tea, or conducting a science experiment?” A lighted, magnifying glass hovered over two of the station (somewhat like what you would see in a jewelry store to analyze diamonds). One whiff and taste of their coffee, and you instantaneously know you have discovered your gem!
Their coffee changes with the seasons. On your first of many trips there, ask about their different coffees and request it to be served in a mug. You will be given an exact description of the flavors you will be experiencing. Their selection of tea is just as amazing. Having tried it a couple of times, I realized, I am there for the coffee…ONLY! They have a fine selection of sweets. My personal favorite is their croissant, however be warned, they did not skimp on the butter! I must also warn you, once you have their coffee, no other joe will satisfy… sorry.
Next week, I will introduce you to Zinc in Orange County, California.