Thursday, December 29, 2011

Picked up Handsome Coffee Roasters coffee at Spring for Coffee, Downtown Los Angeles

Driving into Downtown L.A.
Another favorite spot that I picked up coffee from while in Los Angeles is this LITTLE coffee bar called Spring for Coffee.  They have two locations and I searched for their Los Angeles Street location as we drove through Downtown Los Angeles.  Los Angeles is a big city and Spring for Coffee is really tiny sliver among blocks and blocks of businesses.  I had to drive around the block twice to figure out exactly where I should stop.

Can your spot them?
Spring for Coffee
in the Academy Awards Building.
I almost gave up thinking that nothing in the area was open (yet).  It was about 845AM, but it was December 23rd, a Friday.  As we drove around the area, all the shutters of the store fronts were closed.  I thought Spring for Coffee must have been behind one of those rolled down shutters and wondered if we should move on with our journey to Torrance.  It was a good thing that my co-pilot (not navigator because my Google Navigation was handling that), Kelli, spotted the little chalkboard sign just before we gave up.  You might need to look at the full size of the store front photo to find Spring for Coffee.  It is probably easier to spot that shoe shining chair which is just to the left of the entrance to the building.

When I first walked in, I was a bit surprised... Spring for Coffee serves amazingly delicious coffee out of a coffee bar tucked in the corner of an elevator/stairway lobby of this building.  I did not take any photos of the entire operation (I could have by just stepping back a couple of feet).  I will save it for you to see in person when you visit them for coffee! :)  Oh and by the way, I asked the barista what time the shops on the street would open up and he said that they would all normally be open by that time so everyone probably decided to close for the holiday weekend.

I was pleased to see that they were serving the Handsome Coffee Roaster coffees here.  They had the Don Medardo Honduras that I tried the day before at Paper or Plastik and the Ruthagati AA Kenya.  I tried the Ruthagati AA Kenya and loved it.  Their description of the coffee is "Passion Fruit, Nectarines, Juicy Goodness" and that it was!  Juicy Goodness!  Strangely, I am not much of a passion fruit or nectarine lover, but this coffee was delicious.  I was practically finished with my cup before getting back to the car and was tempted to buy a second cup.  Instead, I bought two 12 ounce bags of Handsome Coffee Roasters coffee.

I purchased a bag of the Don Medardo Honduras and a bag of the Ruthagati AA Kenya to bring back to Honolulu.  I wish I remembered to take pictures of the bags of coffee!  I brought the bags over to Beach Bum Cafe and left them there for some friends to try out when they stop in to enjoy Hawaiian Coffee.  I also left the barista at Spring for Coffee a little bag of Aloha Farms Kona Maragogype beans that I brought to LA with me from Beach Bum Cafe.  I hope he liked it.  I wonder what he thought of it.  Hmmmmm???

When I brought the bags of coffee over to Beach Bum Cafe, I did take one photo of the Don Medardo Honduras.  You can see the variety of beans in the coffee.  Looks like there are some peaberry coffee beans in there too.  Doesn't the bag look "handsome"?  I also thought it was cool that each of their coffees had a Twitter handle to follow.  This bag says, "Follow @HCR_DonMedardo" and the Kenya coffee says, "Follow @HCR_Ruthagati".  Being the tweeter that I am, I followed their suggestion and followed both of those and a whole bunch of others that I found.  Now I just need to find the actual coffees!

This might be a good time to mention that I created a foursquare list of coffee places that I <3.  Of course Spring for Coffee made it on that list!  Here is the link:

Spring for Coffee @ 817 South Los Angeles Street |

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coffee at Paper or Plastik on Pico Boulevard.

Another coffee spot that we were able to experience while in Los Angeles was Paper or Plastik on West Pico Boulevard.  This cafe is known for being an artistic place as well as serving delicious coffee.  I really enjoyed the atmosphere here because it was in a sort of light industrial area, surrounded by automotive repair shops and those types of businesses.  If you don't know, the automotive performance industry is a significant part of my past (and hopefully future... it's just not so much in my present).

Here is one of the custom
metal work tables. Also notice
The custom pipe barrier to designate
their outdoor seating area. :)
The cafe fit in nicely with a lot of industrial decor.  They had custom tables that were crafted from metals and each table had a different design.  It was very cool to just sit, enjoy coffee and look at the unique characteristics of each table.  By the way, certain tables were designated "no laptops computers".

We sat window side, in one of those laptop free tables, but we did use our phones while we were seated there.  I assume that was acceptable.  I hope we weren't offending anyone.

While this cafe is known for serving Intelligentsia coffee, I opted to try the Handsome Coffee Roasters Don Medardo Honduras because this was one that I was hoping to try.  I spotted this coffee while enjoying a cup of Intelligentsia at Tiago.  Tiago wasn't brewing it yet so I couldn't try it there.

Handsome Coffee Roasters
Don Medardo Honduras
I was very happy drinking this Honduras coffee!  I immediately tasted nuttiness and citrus when I had my first sip.  A little later, I went up to take a photo of the coffee selections and saw that the coffee was described as having a "citrus pop with a nutty but sweet aftertaste".  A perfect description for this delicious coffee!  I enjoyed this coffee so much that I purchased a bag of it (at one of my next coffee spots that I will write about later).

If I lived in this area, I can imagine I'd be here everyday to enjoy a morning cup of coffee.  I would probably be sitting at a table that is laptop friendly.  I'm sure I'd find a lot of people around the neighborhood to chat with because of all the automotive shops in the area.  I'll visit this cafe  when I am in Los Angeles again.

Paper or Plastik
5722 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Follow Handsome Coffee Roasters Don Medardo @HCR_DonMedardo

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tiago Coffee Bar & Kitchen on Hollywood Blvd.

I was in Los Angeles last week for an appointment that was just one morning of the week.  I took advantage of the extra days by enjoying some delicious coffees in some of the finest cafés in or on the way to the areas that I happened to be headed.

The first morning we were there, I chose to stop at Tiago Coffee Bar and Kitchen located at 7080 Hollywood Boulevard.  They are located on a corner just a few minutes drive away from Universal Studios Hollywood.  There's some validated parking in the building, but I just parked across the street and paid the meter instead o trying to figure out where the parking entrance is.

I had the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe coffee by Intelligentsia.  It was very good!  It is described "sweet coriander, lemongrass, honey and floral".  I should've taken notes as I was drinking so I could recall what I tasted, but I didn't.  I'm sure it was as they describe.  I know it was bright and delicious!

We also shared a breakfast platter of hotcakes, bacon and eggs.  This is a great spot to visit if you want an actual meal because it has a full kitchen type menu and excellent coffee!  They also serve Handsome Coffee Roasters coffee, but they weren't serving any of that morning so I did not try it there.

I'm sure I'll check this café out again for breakfast and coffee in Hollywood.

Tiago Coffee Bar and Kitchen
7080 Hollywood Boulevard


Posted by mobile phone.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shangri La, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art... the tour.

I won a lottery to visit the Shangri-La / Doris Duke Museum for free.  The excursion was for four and it was last week Wednesday.  Kelli and I went along with a couple of friends/Realtors from my office.  

I have always wondered how the Shangri-La was because it was Doris Duke's residence that she left to the museum to share Islamic and other pieces of art and design that she picked up from her world travels.  Photography is not allowed indoors so here are a few photos that I took in the areas that were permitted.

You board the shuttle at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

The Diamond Head View from the lawn.

Another view of the water feature & the view.

Path to the tennis courts.

The front door.

日本語by Google Translate.
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