Intelligentsia Coffee Opens in Venice
Intelligentsia Coffee in Venice cares about their coffee and customers. It's refreshing to see such dedication to preparing to what some consider just a cup o' joe, yet what others consider a cup of nirvana. I'm no coffee expert by any means, I indulge in a decaf cappucino de vez en cuando (from time to time). I'm naturally energetic so regular coffee causes me to bounce off the walls. Yet, when Andra suggested we meet at the new Intelligentsia in Venice on Abbott Kinnet, I jumped at the chance.
Intelligentsia arrived in Los Angeles in August 2007 from Chicago. Their first Los Angeles store was in Silver Lake. They were in instant success: one major part great coffee, other part fantastic barristas, free wifi, great location (next to Silverlake Cheese Shop), yada yada yada, success. Intelligentsia's barristas are not your run of the mill employees. They live coffee. At the worldwide barrista competition, Intelligentsia barristas showed the world just what they were made of, kicking some serious coffee ass (ew, that sounds kinda nasty, well they did).
The parking gods were with me and I scored a parking spot on Abbot Kinney, across the street from Intelligentsia. It was 12:30 (or was it 12:45) as I entered Intelligentsia. From the sidewalk there's a ramp at the left and tables with groovy Venice peeps to the right. Inside it's light and airy, stainless and wood give it a comforting modern appeal, a trend in restaurants these days.
A huge barrista area occupies most of the space so you can see them preparing your order. You walk up to the counter, and order your coffee, tea and/or pastry. Then your private barrista takes you to a spot and prepares it for you. Each barrista has their own personal mini cash register in their apron, just like they do in Europe, so you pay them directly, a nice touch.
I ordered my decaf cap, Andra her Oolong. All were good, not out-of-this-world- spectacular though. The wait was really long and a bit annoying. The indoor seating looked better than it felt. It was decent, just not comfortable enough to stay for very long. Nevertheless, it was a fun afternoon in a place that really cares about their craft. And I got to have a Cake Monkey Black & White Cakewich, yum.
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1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291