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Coupa Cafe -- Beverly HIlls

c
Capybara Dec 29, 2006 08:52 PM

Anyone eaten here? I've perused the N. Cal. board for comments on what I gather is the sister cafe in Palo Alto, but I can't tell if the Beverly Hills place has the same offerings, or is otherwise comparable. Any reactions appreciated.

  1. p
    PayOrPlay Feb 20, 2008 12:16 AM

    I have to say, I like the food and the atmosphere at Coupa Cafe. It is definitely expensive by non-BH standards, and maybe even a bit overpriced compared to other places along Canon Drive--but then again, Nate 'n Al is also overpriced and you never hear anyone complaining about *that*. The arepas are very good and very small. I liked the roast chicken and am sorry to hear omo's wasn't up to snuff--maybe that's a takeout problem, maybe it needed some of the termite sauce they might give you if you seem interested . . . anyway, despite the pricing I'm glad Coupa exists, it fills a particular need among the Beverly Hills choices.

    -----
    Coupa Cafe
    419 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    2 Replies
    1. re: PayOrPlay
      omotosando Feb 20, 2008 10:50 AM

      Termite sauce? That sounds interesting. Please describe.

      1. re: omotosando
        p
        PayOrPlay Feb 20, 2008 01:27 PM

        The first time we went there, the host insisted on ordering for us, since we had not tried Venezuelan food before. He overruled Cynaburst's preference for a salad and got her a cachapa which was admittedly delicious, and PayOrPlay Jr.(littler and finickier then than he is now) got an arepa with scrambled eggs, also good once they remade it without the cheese, which he didn't like at the time. For me he ordered up the pabellon stew with shredded beef, black beans, etc. Honestly I found it a little bland and not materially different from any number of Cuban or Brazilian things I'd had before, and when he noticed I was spicing it up with chili sauce, he said, "let me bring you something special." And out from the back he brings this little jar of smoky chili sauce, which tasted just fine, but nothing particularly exotic. Then he shows me the label and with my extremely rusty Spanish I discover that this is a special TERMITE sauce from the Venezuelan Amazon. It may have been called "salsa kumache" although I don't remember for sure. I didn't really taste the bugs--no grittiness or crunchiness--it just seemed like a nice smoky chili sauce. I haven't had it again (I think I asked for it once and they were "out").

    2. omotosando Feb 19, 2008 08:18 PM

      I discovered that they deliver through L.A. Bite. Working late and ordered food delivery - hummus, roasted chicken and apple strudel.

      Okay, what was I thinking ordering hummus from a Venezuelan restaurant? It was predictably not good (actually tasted canned). Chicken surprisingly bland and a bit dried out. Would not order those two again.

      Strudel not bad, but it was (1) supersized (my pet peeve is supersized food - I know I could exercise some self-control and only eat 1/3, but self-control is not my forte - I guess it would be good if three people wanted to split it) and (2) cold. They must keep the strudel in a refrigerator case (either that or they recently defrosted it), but strudel definitely should not be served cold.

      I will give this place one more whirl, but next time will stick to a salad.

      1 Reply
      1. re: omotosando
        cant talk...eating Feb 19, 2008 09:56 PM

        I actually have the menu here on my desk. We strolled by the other night and got the apple strudel - not exactly super-sized (enough for 2, but similar to those at Urth Cafe). All their bakery items are kept cool, and they offered to heat them up when we ordered, which could explain your experience.

        The menu is vast (full bar, too, apparently), and I can't imagine they could possibly turn out good versions of everything (though there is a Lebanese community in Vzla and I have had what was purportedly Middle-Eastern food there - shudder, shudder). But still, some paring-down seems to be in order - pizzas, paninis, crepes, burgers, poached eggs, salads, plus all the arepas, empanadas, etc. Sort of like the coffee-house version of the Cantor's menu, which made me not want to get anything.

        I'm also not sure about spending almost $15 for a cachapa, which is basically street food served on roadside carts - this better be one good griddle cake!

      2. amandine Jun 23, 2007 10:38 PM

        Definitely is the sister cafe of the Coupa in PA-- owned by the same family. That little spot is the warmest, most comfortable coffee shop in the Stanford area, and classy and chic to boot. Really really great espresso. Of all the places I could have taken my family after dinner on my last night there, I took them to Coupa. I am thrilled to hear they are continuing the same tradition here in L.A... I haven't had a chance to visit yet (I live on the eastside) but it's at the top of my list.

        1. d
          danikm Jun 23, 2007 05:04 PM

          Had a lovely lunch there this afternoon. Had the Cachapa, which is a griddle corncake stuffed with queso blanco, seved with black beans and neta (a tangy sour cream). It needed a little seasoning (salt, some hot sauce from the table) but was really tasty after the additions. The SO had a wonderful heirloom tomato and burrata salad, although he added grilled chicken that came too dry. I would have left it as is. We also split an empanada-- the most interesting empenada I have ever eaten. Chewy, not crispy, and filled with a sweet and spicy sauce including chicken, raisins and olives. Unusually but enjoyable. The coffee was also delicious and I'm dying to go back and try some of that chocolate they import...

          1. s
            sonoria Mar 15, 2007 01:07 PM

            I've been going there weekly for the past several months as it's right by my language school. GREAT food. All of the arepas I've tried are tasty - especially the gouda cheese one, which is serves as a lovely appetizer. One of their chopped salad specials recently was amazing: asparagus, bacon, sprinkled boiled egg, perfectly chopped tomatoes...lightly dressed. One of these days when I have more time (and I'm not studying & eating at the same time) I want to venture into their yummy looking dessert menu!

            1. DanaB Mar 15, 2007 12:27 PM

              Where is this place? It's not showing up on the link above nor on the LA Times website.

              2 Replies
              1. re: DanaB
                j
                JBC Mar 15, 2007 12:52 PM

                419 No. Cannon in Beverly Hills. They have a website but no menu, scroll down to the bottom for B.H. store:

                http://www.coupacafe.com/ourstores.html

                1. re: JBC
                  DanaB Mar 15, 2007 02:22 PM

                  Thanks! I hadn't heard of this place before and am always looking for good places to get lunch near work. Guess I'll have to venture over to Canon Drive one of these days :-)

              2. p
                porters Mar 15, 2007 12:06 PM

                Coupa Cafe is great. Really delicious stuff - I recommend trying any of the arepas, the sliced turkey panini is my favorite sandwich in LA, and the salads are fantastic. I had no trouble with the table height phenomenon, though I am relatively tall...

                1. Bob Brooks Dec 30, 2006 11:50 PM

                  I ate there for breakfast last week. I had the arepa breakfast. It was quite good, the arepa was stuffed with a mixture of scrambled eggs and bacon, and it was served with a very nicely dressed salad. Attractive room and very friendly service.

                  Unfortunately, I will not return because the place violates one of my pet peeves in a big way: The table heights are way too tall. Hence, as your eating, your plate is at the middle of your chest. I just hate that!

                  1. c
                    Capybara Dec 30, 2006 07:02 PM

                    Thanks for the info. I can't believe I asked about this the day after it was in the LAT.

                    1. c
                      carter Dec 29, 2006 11:55 PM

                      Here is a link to Linda Burum's review in Yesterday's LAT.
                      http://www.calendarlive.com/dining/cl...
                      A friend of mine says she loves the coffee there, and the salads are quite special.

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