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quirky coffeehouses

does anybody know of any fun and bohemian-esque coffeehouses in the westside? or even LA? ever since anastasia's asylum closed, i've been hard-pressed to find something similar. i went to lost souls cafe today in downtown and it reminded me of the many hours of good conversation i've spent at anastasia's. or even lulu's blue plate. where art thou westside artsy coffeehouse?

here are other coffeehouses i can think of:

1) groundwork
2) insomnia
3) rumor mill
4) synergy cafe
5) zona rosa
6) novel cafe

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  1. There's a pretty quirky coffeehouse across the street from Caffe Latte in Hollywood, in the same minimall as Big Wangs and the Russian restaurant. I've walked back from bar-hopping to find live music being played there late at night also.

    3 Replies
    1. re: SauceSupreme

      Are you talking about the Karma Coffeehouse on Cahuenga? The only Caffe Latte I know is a restaurant on Wilshire near Crescent Heights ...

      Karma Coffeehouse
      1544 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

      1. re: maxzook

        That's it. In the Cahuenga Corridor, there's Karma, Groundwork and Caffe Latte, all with their own quirkiness.

        1. re: SauceSupreme

          That's Caffe Etc. in the Cahuenga Corridor.

          Caffe Latte, as mentioned, is a restaurant over on Wilshire and Crescent Heights.

    2. talking stick on ocean park between 17th and 16th
      is the cow's end still open on washington between pacific and speedway?

      1. Balcony Cafe at Santa Monica and Centinela.

        2 Replies
          1. re: mollyomormon

            Second the Balcony Cafe. There's also Cacao next to Le Saigon on Santa Monica Blvd., but I prefer Balcony...

          2. your post reminded me of how much i really miss anastasia's assylum.
            not just for the coffee, but for the food and for the place itself.
            it was really special.

            1 Reply
            1. re: westsidegal

              my friend and i still mourn over its closing- especially for their carrot cake. seriously the best carrot cake EVER.

            2. I'm partial to the 18th Street Coffee House in Santa Monica, on Broadway and (drumroll) 18th. Cool retro design with a nice outdoor patio. The only downsides: no credit cards, spotty Wifi.

              1 Reply
              1. re: nick_r

                it's really pretty inside.
                the food, though, imho, is not up to snuff.
                anastasia's assylum, R.I.P. , would NEVER have served turkey roll.

              2. The following aren't on the Westside, but my favorites of those not already mentioned are Psychobabble on Vermont in Los Feliz, Aroma on Tujunga in Studio City and Lulu's Beehive in Sherman Oaks. And best of all, the Equator in Old Town Pasadena.

                I'm going to do links to everything mentioned so far ... this is a great subject!

                Brū Coffee Bar
                1866 N Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027

                Groundwork Coffee - Traction Ave CLOSED
                811 Traction Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                Insomnia Cafe
                7286 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                Rumor Mill
                11739 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                Synergy Cafe
                4437 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

                Zona Rosa Caffe
                15 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

                Talking Stick
                1630 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                Cows End
                34 Washington Blvd, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

                Cafe Balcony
                12431 Rochester Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                Catalina Coffee Co
                126 N Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                Lulu's Bee Hive
                13203 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

                22 Mills Pl, Pasadena, CA 91105

                Aroma Coffee and Tea
                4360 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

                1. Can't believe I forgot the Bourgeois Pig on Franklin!

                  Also a few others that slipped past

                  Bourgeois Pig
                  5931 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                  Lost Souls Cafe
                  124 W 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                  Bliss Art House Cafe
                  1249 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                  Sabor Y Cultura
                  5625 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: maxzook

                    Yep, Bourgeois Pig is definitely funky! Good sandwiches, too! A little loud for my tastes, but fun for the hipper crowd

                      1. re: maxzook

                        Ramon at Sabor is a terrific guy and long-time patron of the arts, as well...
                        they make strong and delicious coffee drinks...worth the trip!!


                      2. Add the following:

                        Zephyr Coffeehouse and Art Gallery in Pasadena
                        Coffee Gallery on Lake Ave. in Altadena
                        Culture Cafe in Altadena (did I get that name right?)
                        Beantown, in Sierra Madre
                        Java Man in Hermosa Beach

                        4 Replies
                          1. re: onebite


                            Bean Town
                            45 N Baldwin Ave, Sierra Madre, CA 91024

                            2419 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                            A Coffee Gallery
                            2029 Lake Ave, Altadena, CA 91001

                            Cafe Culture
                            1359 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107

                            Java Man
                            157 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

                            Stir Crazy Coffee Shop
                            6903 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                            18th Street Coffee House
                            1725 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90404

                            1. re: maxzook

                              Add a few more in the Pasadena Area. Kaldi and Busters both In the Mission Area right by the Gold Line.

                              1. re: Mando

                                Done and done.

                                Kaldi Coffee & Tea
                                1019 El Centro St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

                                Buster's Ice Cream Stop
                                1006 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

                          2. Don't forget Stir Crazy
                            6917 Melrose Ave

                            I haven't been since they moved, but I used to smile everytime I went because of my midwestern childhood memories of some aunt or grandmother yelling, "Don't slam the screen door." Honestly, I don't remember if any patron at Stir Crazy slammed the authentic screen door and disturbed all the aspiring writers with their laptops. But I loved to ponder the temptation over a nice coffee.

                            1. Not on the westside, but in Los Angeles (Echo Park):

                              Tribal Cafe
                              Phone: 213-483-4458
                              URL: http://www.tribalcafe.com

                              Tribal Cafe
                              1651 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026

                              1. My vote for quirky goes to...

                                Cacao Coffee House
                                11609 Santa Monica Blvd.
                                Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: J.L.


                                  Cacao Coffee House
                                  11609 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                2. I just remembered the name of a quirky westside (Santa Monica) coffeehouse:

                                  Un-Urban Coffeehouse

                                  3301 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                                  1. Jones Coffee Roasters on S. Raymond in Pasadena. It is sort of a warehouse style place with some comfy furniture and the big old roasting machines all going kuh-swoosh-a-swoosh around you, with the smell of roasting coffee permeating EVERYTHING. Awesome.

                                    1. Sacred Grounds in San Pedro. Order the Sacred Cow. Very boho vibe. Live music, poetry readings, art gallery, the real deal. Been in business for at least 12 years. It is located next to the Warner Grand Theatre. A restored Art Deco Movie Palace that shows old flicks on the weekends and ocasional live shows. I remember going to this same location when it was a tobacconist to buy cigars for my visiting Uncle. You will recognize the theatre and store fronts from film and TV.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: gaylenwaydelich

                                        Wow, I haven't been to Sacred Grounds for years! Very glad to hear it's still there ... just down the street from Papadakis Taverna, making it one of the coolest blocks in southern California!

                                        Sacred Grounds
                                        468 W 6th St, San Pedro, CA 90731

                                        Jones Coffee Roasters
                                        537 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

                                      2. Just curious does synergy have wifi or free access computers? That's why I go over to Rumor Mill....as I don't have my own computer.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jessisthebest11

                                          Yes (and no) - synergy has wifi, but I believe you need your own machine. I don't recall seeing a PC for public use.

                                        2. Casbah Cafe at 3900 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90029-2242 - chai tea from handmade tea bags instead of powder. Also Susina baked goods. Across Sunset from Silverlake Gelato, which has the seriously best ice cream this side of Florence.

                                          Banquette on Main & 4th downtown (near Lost Souls). Not really a coffee shop, but that quirky non-corporate vibe you seek.

                                          Too bad the Bishop on 8th and Grand closed! It was my daily morning stop. Now I go up to Organic to Go on 5th and Grand. No funky vibe at all, but decent organic coffee and baked goods.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: kikidelosfeliz


                                            Pete's Cafe & Bar
                                            400 S Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                                            Casbah Cafe
                                            3900 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

                                            Organic To Go
                                            350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                            1. re: maxzook

                                              18th Street Coffehouse on 18th and Broadway gets my vote.

                                          2. Has anyone ever been to Velocity Cafe in Santa Monica? It's on Lincoln, just south of Pico. I remember a few years ago it used to be run by an awesome bohemian-ish biker couple and had a great staff (with a really cute manager!).

                                            I remember it being quite off-the-wall with life-sized wooden animal sculptures and tons of unique artwork. It had to have been a bar at some point because of the vintage long wooden bar they served you from.

                                            Don't know what happened to it recently, but it was FAR from what I remembered.