Coffee & Drinks in LA

I was lucky to be staying in close proximity to a range of good coffee options during my time in Los Angeles.

The first place I visited was Andante Coffee on South Grand Avenue. It was a really impressive little place with just a few seats for sit-in customers and a regular stream of regulars pouring in for their daily cuppa.

I had my usual espresso and it was served to an excellent standard.

I then wandered on to Cognoscenti where I had both excellent coffee and very good breakfast.

I then popped to a very lively spot called Verve. This roastery has three branches across the city.

I really enjoyed their balanced espresso and had fun hanging out in the smart cafe space.

I had another couple of espresso stops at Two Guns and Brasil Kiss. The former was clearly a big favourite with local office peeps. It had a curious set-up with people having ordered ahead making the wait for service rather more lengthy than originally seemed likely. Disappointingly, it was serving routinely mediocre fare. Nearby Brasil Kiss was interesting and friendly but again not to the standard of Andante et al.

In terms of drinks, I had a liberal sampling of the city’s options. I had a lovely opening cocktail with my dinner at The Hearth & Hound.

It was obviously a highlight of my trip to see Kaiko Tulloch in her new role delivering the excellent drinks offering at Duello. With Panda and Hoot co-owner, Iain McPherson as creative director of the bar, it’s so fantastic to see an international expansion of Edinburgh’s top-notch drinks scene.

Kaiko and the team whipped me up some excellent bevvies with the Sage Against the Machine a standout. There was also the dubious honour of sampling Malört for the first time. Kaiko created a drink called the Spare Tyre to showcase it’s almost rubbery bitterness. It was…!

I really enjoyed the cocktails at Here’s Looking at You. From their list I had an excellent riff on a negroni called the Hindsight. And they made an excellent daiquiri, too. Combined with some really good snackage, this was one of my favourite spots from my time in town.

And then there was the drinks pairing at Spago which featured a couple of absolute bangers. Vintage 2005 Lanson is always a great way to start a meal and exclusive Pichler Riesling is a nice way to continue. It was a great meal with some beautifully considered drinks pairings.

Caffe Roma served us some nice amaro based drinks and I couldn’t leave town without a stop at the Mikkeller bar in Downtown. It served its expected array of top-notch craft beer.

I had a lot of fun in LA with the coffee and drinks scene playing a key role in that. As is often my refrain with these little features, I barely scratched the surface but I saw plenty to indicate a thriving scene worthy of further investigation.

Written by BKR