Back in April my wife and I, and another couple took a long weekend in Los Angeles and one of the places we visited, besides Disneyland, was Intelligentsia. They have several locations, but we visited the Venice Beach one, which opened 3 years ago.

Intelligentsia Venice Beach
My cappuccino, which is only served at this size (yay!)

Intelligentsia Venice Beach
Barista cleaning up after making my drinks.

Intelligentsia Venice Beach
Espresso machine and grinders.

Intelligentsia Venice Beach
A mocha.

Intelligentsia Venice Beach
The patio where all of the hipsters hang out. This is where the cool people are. I was clearly not one of them.

Intelligentsia Venice Beach
The line of customers out the door.

I spent about $16 on three drinks and a muffin, and really enjoyed myself. So did my wife and friends. I really want to visit again, and watch the baristas in action. I love the sequence when you arrive. Here’s how it works: You wait in an extremely long line that stretches out the door, and along a nice outdoor patio. Once you’re inside you are directed to one of four barista ‘stations’ (not sure if that’s what they call them, but it works).

The vibe you get is professional. The barista takes your order, rings you up, and then creates your drinks. And you get to watch them, and you stand by while they’re making your drinks.

I mentioned that there are four stations. Well, one interesting thing is that the whole shop feels like it is on wheels. Each station is movable. Giving the shop a certain ‘changing’ feel. Overall, the drinks were fantastic. Creamy and smooth, with excellent espresso flavor. Just all around excellent.

Just a side note, they have a beautiful 1972 La Marzocco.

Venice Coffeebar
1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
Phone: (310) 399-1233

Arizona Coffee

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  1. AZBarista

    If I recall correctly, this was the store that (Kyle) Glanville referred to as one they wanted to incorporate more of the ‘fine-dining’ experience into the coffee experience.

    By assigning you, so to speak, a barista, the barista becomes responsible for the quality of your experience in what they can control (i.e. the roast of the coffee is out of their control) much like a waiter/server at a restaurant (i.e. the quality of the food is out of their control).

    Unfortunately for me, I haven’t had the opportunity to make it out Venice in the three years that they’ve been open.

    Very nice pictures, Chris.

  2. Very inspiring. Seems that everybody that has visit them has gotten new ideas in how to showcase coffee. That is a trend that I favor as well as driving coffee flavor to new hights.

  3. I agree Ron….the focus needs to move to towards the consumer….educating one customer at a time will only increase the movement!

  4. Psyd

    To paraphrase a friend of mine, “If that GS-3 ever blows up, it’ll rain skinny jeans for an hour”.
    Made me laugh a little.