VENTURE: Five Coffeeshop Gems
Blueberry Scone with Lemon Cur and Almond Milk Latte at Bricks and Scones. (Photo by Lizz Goh)
By Lizz Goh, staff writer | Studio Art major
Amidst the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles abide hidden treasures for the aspiring writer, avid reader and wandering student.
Sunday: the day to catch up on all the procrastinated homework you should have started earlier in the weekend. It’s also the day you feel least motivated. And if you’re like me, Sundays are the days you want to relax or go on an adventure before Monday hits. Because when Monday hits, it hits hard.
Well, you may not be in for the adventure of a lifetime, but going café hunting can give you both motivation to study and a general sense of accomplishment. I feel I have spent the majority of my college career in coffee shops, so I compiled a list of the top five cafés for writers, students and avid readers in the Los Angeles region. Perhaps you’ll find inspiration in one of these writing havens.
This family owned coffee shop has a cozy but semi “east coast lounge” feel with an upstairs section called “The Study”—a no-talking room with a desk and lamp per table for people who are looking for a quiet read. They offer scrumptious homemade pastries, panini sandwiches and a variety of full-flavored tea and espresso drinks. Bricks and Scones is a cure for writer’s block and the perfect place for a quality Sunday afternoon coffee.
Pros: Free Wi-Fi, free parking on Sundays, indoor and outdoor seating with heat lamps
Cons: Students tend to flock here around mid morning and mid afternoon, metered parking
A spacious, organic-feeling café with California-style foods and a sunny disposition, The Coral Tree gives off a Sunday brunch vibe. The pricing on the food can be a little steep, but they offer such a variety of choices in food and drinks that price can be easily overlooked. I noticed that a lot of old friends seem to meet here to catch up or spend an afternoon playing chess by the seating areas with large windows.
Pros: Free Wi-Fi, spacious indoor/outdoor seating
Cons: Parking can be tricky to find, Prices are steep
Walking into Stories Books & Café is like walking into a book and coffee lover’s dream house. The place is half bookstore, which explains why most of the walls are shelved with classic stories from Fitzgerald to more contemporary books by Lisa See, and half café.
The place smells like a mixture of old books and fresh coffee and has the perfect mixture of home and hangout.
Pros: Multiple locations
Cons: No parking space, paid Wi-Fi, limited seating
A luxurious urban lounge with a classy European feel to it, Palihouse is sophisticated and romanticizes a traveling lifestyle. The café itself is actually the lobby of a suite-style lodge, but has the perfect amount of quiet to provide a good atmosphere for working.
Pros: Free Wi-Fi, free parking until 5pm
Cons: Prices are steep
An American brunch-style café with a simple family-friendly vibe, the Mustard Seed Café is a hotspot for locals and celebrities alike. Celebrities like Rachel Bilson and Adam Levine have been spotted here, and the servers take pride in their fair treatment of all customers.
Pros: Free Wi-Fi, Decent food portions
Cons: Gets pretty packed around lunchtime, metered parking
Packing in some coffee shop excursions between tests and papers might help prolong pre-mature “senioritis.” So if you wake up one day with the prospect of adventure in front of you and the burden of homework looming behind you, grab your homework and venture to one of these cafés. Coffee shop magic can help motivate, inspire and cure you of almost any kind of procrastination.