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Coffee Shop or Cool Restaurant

I'm from Portland, Oregon where the neighborhood coffee shop is a way of life. I've been living here for almost two years and I have not found a good coffee shop to hang out in, read, write, think, hide,stare and drink good coffee. My life has been greatly diminshed because I do not have this refuge.
I go to school in Westchester (near Santa Monica) at Otis, I'm getting in MFA in Creative Writing. But I live in Chatsworth. Most of my classes are in the late afternoon or at night. If I knew of a good coffee shop to park myself before classes, my second year would be so easy. Otherwise I'm on the 405 for hours.
Please, someone, improve my life, make me happy and tell me where I can go read and write. Places I hate are The Aroma Cafe in Studio City and Le Pain Quotidian in Studio City. The amibence sucks.

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  1. Hmmm...if you hate Aroma, then you will really hate Literati or Urth. Sounds like you want a really mellow place, eh? I hate to say it, but the only places I went to when I was in college (Anastasias on Wilshire and Common Grounds in Northridge) have since closed. I would suggest Sabor y Cultura, but they are nowhere near the Westside (and environment-wise, on the downhill).

    I will keep my brain on it, though. Good luck!

    1. Running Pig, thank you. And I do hatw Literati and Urth, crowded, no style and all for money money money.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JillPickle

        No, I rather like their food, esp. desserts and drinks.

        I would try the local diner. The coffee coupled with a lack of neighborhood popularity may be more conducive to studying (although I wouldn't try the Denny's next to UCLA - it was the choice of after-clubbing hours).

      2. Well, you're in luck. The best coffee shop in LA is not too far away. Try Cafe Balcony in West LA, near Santa Monica.

        http://www.cafebalcony.com/menu.htm

        Cafe balcony
        12431 Rochester Ave
        Los Angeles, CA 90025

        3 1 0 . 8 2 0 . 6 9 1 6

        H O U R S:
        Noon to Midnight
        Everyday

        1. Try Abbot's Habbit on Abbot KInney in Venice.

          1. I feel your pain.

            I'd prefer a decent coffee shop to "Il whatever"...but L.A. is sadly lacking in that dept - a place where you can eat and stretch out for hours at a time. (The Frontier Restaurant in Albuquerque is the ultimate version of this coffee-food-study thing, BTW.)

            Believe it or not, the Farmer's Market on 3rd & Fairfax might give you the vibe you're looking for: You can spend as much time on their patios as you want (the Gumbo Pot/Charlie's patio is my fave), and can order coffee (or beer) from a number of different places. Bob's Donuts might have the best coffee in the market...and Charlie's has one of the cheapest breakfasts in the area.

            A great place to write and people watch...

            1 Reply
            1. re: blacksab67

              I do like the vibe of Farmer's Market but I would prefer a comfy chair or couch and not so much commotion. But it's not that near my school, Otis College of Art and Design in Westchester and that's key. I have to drive the 405 between noon and three and then wait until my classes begin in the evening. So I need a place to hang out and not be assualted by bad music, celebrites, wheelers and dealers on their cell phones, sterile environment with faux bohemian touches. Abbots is in Venice is ok but the coffee is not good and the bathrooms are dangerous.