2. Balconi Coffee.
|Siphon-filtered coffee at Balconi Coffee.|
Exceptional coffee is like a 3D Magic Eye print: it might take a while to focus and see everything you are meant to see, but the effort is worth it. Few shops are better at focusing your sights than Balconi Coffee. Two years after its original location nearby closed, Balconi reopened this year. Using beans from local roasters like Cafecito Organico
, the shop makes incredibly flavorful coffee in its siphon filters. After you order, accept the barista's offer to smell the freshly ground coffee before it's brewed, so you'll be primed for the first sip. If you let yourself get lost in the art of that cup, you'll pick up at least one nuanced flavor - blueberries, maybe - and see a picture of coffee like you've rarely seen before. 11301 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-906-0267.
1. Cognoscenti Coffee. When the recession forced Yeekai Lim to rethink his work in architecture, he turned his love for coffee into a new career. He streamlined the coffee experience, throwing only the essentials - Four Barrel coffee, espresso machine, cups, grinder - on a makeshift cart and popped up around town. He and his Cognoscenti Coffee finally found a permanent home at Proof Bakery, where, in addition to Four Barrel, he also makes fantastic coffee with beans from Coava Coffee Roasters and Handsome Coffee Roasters. The shop has become a true gem of a neighborhood cafe, proving that even if we spend most of the day isolated on our own ships in this concrete ocean of a city, we will always take the time to drop anchor together. 3156 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, (323) 664-8633.
|Cognoscenti Coffee's cortado, with a palmier from Proof Bakery.|
3156 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA