Intelligentsia | Silverlake

“Lots of dogs!” When bringing a friend today to Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea in Silverlake, the first thing he noticed was the overabundance of dogs there – people watching as it were – and adding to this eclectic intellectual hub. And almost every other shop you enter in nearby will host a dog or two lounging around – while their masters shop or manage that store.

Why is that important? Well (if social proof theory has any value) it is sort of hard not to stand in line for 10-20 minutes (as I’ve done on each of the dozen times I’ve visited), surrounded by hordes of dogs, sit in the overcrowded outdoor seating, and gaze at the Hollywood sign and/or visiting movie stars loafing around – yet be completely objective about the quality of their drinks.

But to be resolute, my drink today, while good, wasn’t as amazing as some I’ve had in the past. The milk was perfect actually, but espresso a little sour (maybe too fresh beans??? just guessing). That sort of combination gives lots of rich flavor, but a hint of a bitter aftertaste. To be fair though, this place is pretty consistent in drink quality, hovering somewhere between really good and great.

I also had my first Clover Coffee here 2 years ago. It is a brilliant machine that automates the process, which I’ll outline in some future article, of making perfect drip/brewed coffee. There are about 2 handfuls of them around LA, and they used to cost anywhere from 12 – 20k per machine! (pre-Starbucks ownership). Once you realize how much the machine costs, it then doesn’t hurt as much when they ask for $6 for one cup.

The small choice of pastries at Intelligentsia is always good too. Today’s Chocolate/Raspberry was great. Their scones (my usual preference at coffee shops) are ‘breadier’ somehow than other dry/crumbly ones you’ll find elsewhere. Oh, and they are HUGE.

The atmosphere, as noted earlier, is perfect for sitting, drinking, eating, chatting, people watching, dog watching, speed reading, and very short working spells. But when many of the seats are directly next to the long line of continuous newcomers – all looking for their own few minutes of the activities listed above, you sort of feel bad taking up a seat for too long.

By the way, I do love dogs. But they have become part of the show here, so I had to mention them. If you’re happy with that, and you like coffee (as I do), you certainly should visit this place.

Drink
Food
Ambiance

Los Angeles, CA

Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea
3922 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029-2242
(323) 663-6173
IntelligentsiaCoffee.com

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