The Los Angeles region has certainly jumped on the hipster coffee bandwagon pioneered by wetter coastal climes to the north. There’s now no shortage of spartan digs, with baristas in tight jeans and fashionable eyewear dispensing pour overs and cold brews.
But for a metro area of gazillions, there’s surprisingly few indigenous places roasting beans, especially now that Handsome Coffee’s been bought out by San Francisco’s Blue Bottle. Of course, there’s longstanding Klatch, but it’s based out in the relative L.A. hinterlands.
One exception is Caffe Luxxe, which bills itself as a local, artisan coffee roaster. What’s nice, from my perspective, is its signature Testa Rossa embraces the darker side, which many “third-wave” roasters have abandoned in favour of lighter beans. It’s most pleasant sipping a smoky Americano in a high-ceiling Santa Monica cafe, while chewing a scrumptious apple crumble muffin from nearby bakery Huckleberry and listening to soft jazz and conversation among friends.
925 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, California
Weekdays 6 am-6 pm, weekends 6:30 am-6 pm
If you don’t mind venturing into the downtown L.A. area, Blacktop is a wee coffee bar in the funky Arts District. Its lovely little street-front patio is a great place to sip an espresso and then saunter over to frequent-visiting, outstanding food truck Guerilla Tacos. You’d hardly know you were in the heart of the giant city.
826 East 3 Street, Los Angeles
Daily 7 am-7 pm