Monday, January 25, 2010

Cruisin' Cafes: Los Angeles, CA

As the aptly-titled Golden State, far too many underestimate the true appeal and ability of uncovering captivating cafes teeming with history, and indulging in piping hot potations rich with chocolate, vanilla, and caramel flavors mingling with luscious layers of alabaster-hued whipped cream reminiscent of plush white clouds floating carelessly in the clear blue sky when traversing the sultry soils of Southern California – specifically Los Angeles. It’s a true tragedy if you ask me; an odium of sorts brought about by the unwavering, steady sunshine which makes everyday beach ready, coupled with the lyrical musings of Albert Hammond’s It Never Rains in Southern California. When it all comes down to it, however, so is not the case.

Dolls, regardless of the slew of beaches ripe for one’s picking, or the omnipresence of teeny tiny bikinis, flip flops, and cutoff denim shorts, Los Angeles is a luxurious location for hopping from one café hot spot to another. As the home of the culture-infused Little Tokyo, celebrity-spotting Hollywood, shopper’s paradise known as Olvera Street, and countless other can’t-miss landmarks; The City of Angels proffers a virtual plethora of pulchritudinous places perfect for reacquainting oneself with Americano’s, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and Green Tea – all it takes is a bit of browsing to find complete bliss!

Lost Souls Café To put it in simple terms, Lost Souls Café is that exclusive social circle you begged admittance to during your high school years; only instead of being turned away by the head cheerleader or cute boy playing the role of Rebel Without a Cause with a severe tongue-lashing and a villainous laugh heard round the world, Lost Souls welcomes you with open arms – as long as you’re able to find it, that is.

Camouflaged from prying eyes within a tiny alleyway draped with singular lines of fairy lights crisscrossing overhead, your only indication of its presence a small sign boasting the words Lost Souls Café spotted on the street; Lost Souls is, from external presentation, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene. Nevertheless, once you find your way inside, you can’t help but fall under the enchanting spell effused by its sights, sounds, and scents alone.

Exposed pipes on the ceiling, and a roomy setup create a slightly grungy, warehouse vibe, which juxtaposes with a modernistic, artist’s loft aesthetic when the large metal tables – perfect for big groups – pristine white walls, and various pieces of kitschy art decorating the interior are taken into account. Yet, even through all this, Lost Souls extends a cozy charm to customers which give it a homey, hole in the wall atmosphere that is nearly impossible to tear yourself away from. The hush-hush high society structure will lure you in; the crepes, chocolate banana shakes, and cappuccinos will keep you coming back for more! Harlem Place Alley, 124 W. 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa Darlings, while the name will make you think otherwise, there is no admittance process one must go through to achieve entry into The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa; nor is there an enforced dress code prohibiting those not decked out in plaid from passing through the sole front door flanked by tiny tables topped with umbrellas to shield visitors with a desire to sit out of doors from the scorching sun.

Though the moniker will fill your mind with thoughts of pretentious prep schoolers, The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa serves up some of the finest latte art imaginable from its cushy Culver City cubbyhole, as opposed to presenting patrons with scholars seeking to further their artistic endeavors. Situated mere steps from Sony Studios, The Conservatory is a family-owned paragon which opened its doors back in 1995, and has remained a fabulous fixture in the community ever since.

Feed bags full of coffee beans from all over the world greet you upon arrival; while a stout tree sporting full branches, leaves, and even a little hidey hole with stuffed animals popping out from within stands tall front and center making one feel as if they are sipping right in the middle of the rainforest. Even better than the décor, however, is the ambiance, which makes you feel as if you’re amongst friends even when simply chatting with the baristas whipping up your requested beverage. Don’t depart without savoring the Vanilla Latte; you’ll never taste something as explosive! 10117 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232.

Which of these Los Angeles cafes would you like to cruise?

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to Tumblr for the pictures.

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