WEST HOLLYWOOD, HOLLYWOOD, EAST HOLLYWOOD
— WEST HOLLYWOOD —
The Assembly is Shi Jun Ng's lovely shop in the heart of West Hollywood. It's a small space, but Ng has managed it well: this might be one of the prettiest shops in town, with textured millwork on the walls, a lovely counter and custom fixtures. On the shelves, not just coffee and its related paraphernalia, but also the sort of things you might find in a discerning boutique: stationary, home accessories, and so on. Note that a few other design landmarks are well within walking distance: the Pacific Design Center and the West Hollywood Public Library. Read a book, maybe.
634 N. Robertson Boulevard | Coffee: Counter Culture Coffee | Tea: August Uncommon
To eat: Pastries and baked goods from The Larder
PARAMOUNT COFFEE PROJECT
Sydney's Paramount Coffee Project comes to Los Angeles, and it might very well be one of the more exciting shops around: there's a roster of international roasters unlike anywhere else in town, there's solid food along with the solid coffee (and a Vegemite and Butterscotch shake), there is no table anxiety (you sit down, flag a server, order. Then again when you need to re-up). They're not just yet doing the sort of experiments they're known for doing in Sydney — i.e., sending the same batch of green beans to local roasters for roasting, then serving the results on bar; flying in coffee folks to pop-up and run their shop for a week — but they probably will be, soon as they settle in a bit.
456 N. Fairfax | Coffee: Rotating; recently: Seven Seeds Roastery, Reuben Hills | Tea: Song Tea
To eat: Pastries from Farmshop, plus a full menu of expected things (toasts) and unexpected things (Thai black sticky rice, mezcal-cured salmon)
A wee coffee shop tucked just below Santa Monica Boulevard serving up Sightglass Coffee. There's not much elbow room here -- best bet is to take your flat white or capp and crossword puzzle and enjoy it outside, at one of the handful of tables in the patio. If you're into flat whites, you'll find them on the menu, though they're almost virtually indistinguishable from the cappuccino. Tomato, tomahto.
1040 N. Fairfax Avenue | Coffee: Sightglass Coffee
Nearby eats: Irv's Burgers
A minimalist coffee shop with a solid crew of baristas and sometimes unabashedly loud music, you'll find a fun cross-section of West Hollywood regulars here, including a guy who regularly comes around with his parrot. Because why not.
801 N. Fairfax Avenue | Coffee: Victrola Coffee Roasters, Coava Coffee Roasters, Sightglass Coffee Roasters, Temple Coffee Roasters
To eat: In-house pastries and baked goods; nearby: The Golden State, Bludso's, Prime Pizza
VERVE COFFEE ROASTERS
Verve's second L.A.-area location is here on Melrose Avenue, a shop that boasts a casual vibe, a pretty 35-foot long copper counter and a ton of patio and outdoor seating. It feels like California in here, so much so that you half expect them to rent out surfboards from behind the counter in addition to pulling shots. Alas, the sand is still many miles and many, many traffic minutes away. Guess you'll have to settle just for the nearby palm tree and the glorious L.A. sun instead.
8925 Melrose Ave | Coffee: Verve Coffee Roasters | Juice: Dozen or so cold-pressed juices, plus a juice flight, courtesy Juice Served Here
— HOLLYWOOD —
Surely you remember BrewWell: it was the terrific shop in Koreatown next to Assi supermarket with the lavender lattes and Quenelle pastries that was forced to close about a year and a half ago. Sisters Elizabeth and Grace Rhee have now, thankfully, found a new home for their shop, this time in Hollywood, and this time as a walk-up window, with a few benches out front. The basic menu is the same, as are the pastries from Quenelle; there are also sparkling lemonades and sodas from Good Luck Soda. Welcome back.
6515 W. Sunset Boulevard | Coffee: Heart Coffee Roasters
To eat: Pastries from Quenelle; nearby: Hollywood Farmers Market (Sundays only)
ST. ALi at GWEN
If you receive Matt Perger's Barista Hustle in your inbox every week, then you probably already know that Perger's shop, St. ALi, has officially landed Stateside. Its first step into the U.S. is here at Gwen, Curtis and Luke Stone's restaurant and butcher shop, with the coffee part of the operation located right next to the meat case on the butcher side. Thus you can have a flat white while you pick out some charcuterie and pick up some St. ALi beans, too. The baristas are on through dinner service, too, so you can expect that the cup of joe you might have with, or after, dessert, will be far, far better than your usual mediocre restaurant coffee. Hooray.
6600 Sunset Blvd. | Coffee: St. ALi
To eat: Gwen, natch.
COFFEE COMMISSARY at SIREN STUDIOS
Maybe the best part about Coffee Commissary's Siren Studios outpost is its nifty walk-up window, where, as you can imagine, you can walk up to the window and get your cup of coffee. You can also hang out inside if you'd prefer. A good coffee stop on your way to the Hollywood Farmers Market.
6087 W. Sunset Boulevard | Coffee: Victrola Coffee Roasters, Coava Coffee Roasters, Sightglass Coffee Roasters, Temple Coffee Roasters
To eat: In-house pastries and baked goods; nearby: Hollywood Farmers Market (Sundays only), In-N-Out
— EAST HOLLYWOOD —
FRIENDS & FAMILY
Friends & Family is a breakfast and lunch spot where you could swing through for some coffee -- and while you're at it, a terrific fried chicken sandwich, a nice salad, maybe a peanut butter coffee or a rye chocolate chip cookie. Actually, the entire pastry case is pretty awesome, and, right, there's ice cream here, too.
5150 Hollywood Boulevard | Coffee: Counter Culture Coffee
To eat: Breakfast and lunch served daily
To eat nearby: Thaitown! For starters: Sapp Coffee, Ruen Pair, Jitlada, Pa Ord, Luv2Eat
While the focus is mostly on the food here — just lovely sandwiches and pasta dishes and whatever else Jessica Koslow and crew feel like whipping up that day — it's worth dropping in for a cup of coffee if you're in the area. And then just try to resist the urge to try something off the day's specials board. Some fun drinks like the "Al Paccino" (a sweetened iced cappuccino) in addition to your standard coffee shop menu.
720 N. Virgil Avenue | Coffee: Rotating; recently: Heart Coffee Roasters
To eat: Sqirl's terrific menu of rice bowls and toast-and-jam-combinations, etc.
To eat nearby: California Grill (pupusas!)