I've passed by here many dozens of times without taking a second glance, missing out for the last few years on what should have been my local-est coffee joint.
If people are waiting you'll have to shift around to find room. There's a comfy couch, a couple of small tables that you won't get because someone else's purse, smartphone and laptop are on them, several barstools along the window, and tables outside. At least three patrons will be parked in any of these spots when you arrive and when you leave. One of them will have a dog.
The owner, Julie, and one or two women with arm tats and spritely dresses bustling and hurrying in this space, somehow getting everything done. They do coffee, naturally, almost as a rebuttal to the eternally long line of Intelligentsia down on Sunset, and they do it superbly well. The Iced Hazelnut Mocha is a full-flavored wakeup call; the nice little powdery grit at the bottom feels almost intentional, like a childhood glass of cocoa. I prefer this iced version over the ice-blended mochas. They also do a Spanish Latte, which needs no sweetener.
Do this for your morning, and you'll thank Bianca and me. While you're still yawning, order a BBJ: Bagel, Butter, Jam. Simple, but devious. The bagel, its crust bubbled and brown, is heated and a bit crushed, and the butter (the amount of which depends on who makes it) is outside as well as in, resulting in finger-lickness and a lot of ohmygodding.
There's a Scramble on a Bagel, which is harder to eat but blended into warm simplicity: a folded quilt of scrambled egg, tomato, cream cheese, and a smidge of black pepper. It tends to squeeze out the sides, so don't eat this in the car.
There are other playful items, at least two of which are Elvis-themed (the Elvis Bagel has, as might be expected, peanut butter, banana and honey, and the Elvis Smoothie is mocha with PB & B).
I never thought I'd crave tuna salad. The Tuna Roll at Bossa Nova is something i have a hankering for here and again, but this superior sandwich might be my new favorite. The Tuna Melt (on a bagel or a croissant) is a spicy bully, beige with harissa sauce and little dried peppers. Even a caper or three is tucked away, adding bite. White cheese speckled with red blankets it, along with avocado, tomato, and slivers of red onion.
MorningsNights opens up at seven and closes at 8:30 in the evening, every day. Now that's a reliable independent coffee house.
I have a lot of catching-up to do.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Los Feliz/Silver Lake/Echo Park, American, Coffee/Tea/Desserts )
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