It might be considered part of the subtle changes happening in Silver Lake*, but so far it has prospered. There is a perfect seating area outside, tiled and partially covered, for sitting and watching Sunset Junction awake, considering whether to drop into the Silver Lake Cheesestore for some supplies. There are quiet people with eyes locked on their laptops, but it's also social and chatty.
Inside is a rectangular island of furiously busy young people with varying degrees of wild hair and well-trained barista brusqueness making things with percolating machinery. A few sleepy individuals will be sitting around the edges of the bar.
At first it might be a little intimidating since you have no idea what they offer until you can get close enough to the counter to pick up one of their cardboard menus and quickly scan it. Or ask the person behind the counter for a recommendation. They know what it will be. After that point you're fine.
They have a few miscellaneous items--pastries and muffins and such--but this is mainly because they're not going to spread themselves thin trying to make sandwiches or other labor-intensive food fare. The edible items are there to accompany the coffee, and Intelligentsia is about coffee. It's a coffee company from Chicago, of which this confidently designed café is but a part; their coffee is featured at several L.A. restaurants. They feature heirloom-grown, seasonal, single-origin, and organic coffees from all over the world (upon which I would explicate if I had the sommelier-like knowledge to draw from), and use vacuum pots and a Clover brewer (is this the same $11k monster that LA MILL has?).
Here is where I can get an expertly-made espresso: not too yellow, not too dark, with a thin rendering of foam. Here is where I can appease my ever-present iced mocha fetish. There are teas, too.
* Well, maybe not so subtle, not with the two massive blocks of "please buy me! Aren't you hip? Don't you want IN on this stylish lifestyle?" lofts down the street...
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Los Feliz/Silver Lake/Echo Park, Coffee/Tea/Desserts )
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