Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Sep 21, 2007 03:59 PM

Has Anybody tried Intelligista in Silverlake?

This new coffee shop has my curiousity piqued for sure. I've heard it's over priced, pretntous, poorly layed out, crowded. But I've also heard it's tasty, unique and hip. So has anyone here given it a shot?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Both sentiments are correct. (Splitting hairs regarding hipness and pretention ignores the fact that the coffee is pretty good.) I'm not a fan of the Delilah baked goods, but the clover coffee and the black cat espresso are tasty.

    In order to battle the poor layout, I recommend heading straight to the back where the bar area is since there's a cash register there also.

    1. Many folks have tried it, but some threads were moved to Chains.

      Also, even for an expensive coffee shop, it's still, what, $2 for a cup of coffee? So what have you got to lose?

      1. Link.

        Make a trip out of it and go to the cheese store too.

        Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea
        3922 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

        1. I prefer the coffee downtown at Groundwork (both Intelligentsia and Groundwork downtown use the Clover machine). At both I have requested "whatever they recommend." Consistently, I have loved Groundwork, and I did not so much enjoy what I was served at Intelligentsia. Of course, I am not comparing apples to apples, and it is probably the particular coffee as opposed to the barrista or Clover. However, each time at Groundwork my coffee was really special.

          2 Replies
          1. re: liu

            On a related note, has anybody ever tried searching before. Anybody, anybody?

            I hear it's useful.

            1. re: ns1

              To search, you have to be able to spell the place you're searching for.

          2. My wife loves Pazzo Gelato so I will stop in and grab a coffee. I like the coffee but sometimes the people behind the counter can be a little "holier than thou".

            Groundworks, on the other hand, is always friendly. They take coffee seriously and like to support things like Fair Trade practices. They helped sponsor a screening of a documentary called "Black Gold" about coffee growing in Ethiopia. Very enlightening.
            I go to Groundworks every day (close to work) and the trifecta of the ArcLight, Amoeba and Groundworks is often tough for me to resist.

            4 Replies
            1. re: bsquared2

              bsquared2 - I have been to that Groundwork shop, but they did not have the Clover machine...perhaps YET. Do they now have one?
              As far as I know, the Groundwork downtown is their only Clover to date. ??

              1. re: liu

                Clover Alert! Clover Alert!

                Yes, they do have the Clover machine at the Hollywood location. I've seen it with my own eyes. They did tell me that a cup was going to be $4 (only $2 at Intelligentsia) so I haven't tried it there. I go to Groundworks every day. I love the coffee and also get Mint Iced Tea, which keeps me going at work.

                1. re: bsquared2

                  Thanks for this update. We enjoy the ArcLight experience, so now I have even more reason to "entertain" in that neighborhood!
                  For me, the Groundwork Clover coffee is exceptional, but to date I can speak only of the one downtown. The Intelligentsia Clover cup did not measure up, so I look forward to one more Groundwork option.

                  1. re: liu

                    They use different methods on the Clover machines at Groundworks and Intelligentsia. I prefer Intelligentsia's myself; it's clearer and more nuanced, less murky than Groundworks'. I got a chance to talk about the Clover machine (basically a vacuum-pumped French press) and Groundworks' method at the Intelligentsia home brewing seminar one Sunday morning, and the explanation I received was that the Groundworks folks use less coffee ground finer to get more bang for the buck - i.e., a more cost-effective cup of Clover coffee versus what Intelligentsia serves. (The instructor had been able to spend time with the owner of Groundworks, so he knew their methods firsthand; this wasn't specualtion.) Because Groundworks is grinding it finer, more solids go into the brew, and it results in a very different product. If one likes muddy French press, one will be more partial to the Groundworks product. Intelligentsia's Clover coffee reminds me more of a Chemex drip.

                    However, the Clover coffee at Intelligentsia is also the least interesting thing they do there. With the Chemex coffee and the superior espresso drinks, why anyone is bothering with drip coffee there, even from a such a ridiculously expensive machine, is a mystery to me.