Follow:
Browsing Category:

Food & DIY

    Food & DIY, Travel

    My Favorite LA Coffee Shops

    Float Coffee - Pasadena
    Today I’m sharing a list of my favorite LA coffee shops with you. If you’ve been reading this blog for long enough, you know that I can consume copious amounts of coffee. At one point in time, made it my mission to try to visit every specialty coffee shop in Los Angeles. What I love about exploring coffee shops is that it has provided me with a very inexpensive way to treat myself and enabled me to explore different neighborhoods that I wouldn’t have visited otherwise. If you’re in the LA area, I hope this list inspires you to do the same!

    Float

    This coffee shop is nestled inside the cutest arcade, complete with a red telephone booth, in Pasadena’s South Lake Ave. Float brews delicious espresso drinks using Coava coffee. However, if caffeine is not your thing, they also serves amazing sandwiches and ice cream floats. Another thing that I love about Float is that they’re really into the idea of creating a sense of community. Float often partner with small businesses for events throughout the year. And, if you’re in the Northeast LA or Pasadena area and looking for something to do in the summer, they also host an annual CineRamaDena movie festival. This shop is also located next to my favorite stationery store, Tiny Universe, so you should also check it out while you’re there.
    G&B Coffee

     G&B

    Unlike at other coffee shops where you stand in line, at G&B you take a spot at the bar and the baristas come to you. The shop is located inside Grand Central Market, meaning you can also shop for your groceries and indulge in some good eats all in the same place. Last time I visited, I was pleasantly surprised to see that G&B went through some renovations and the bar area now wraps around the shop. This basically means that you no longer have to fight with other people to grab a spot which used to be a hassle whenever it got really busy. If you’re in the Larchmont Village area, you should also check out G&B’s other location Go Get Em Tiger.
    Proof Bakery

    Cognoscenti (Atwater Village) /Proof Bakery

    Cognoscenti/Proof Bakery was one of those places that I wished were closer to where I lived while I was still in LA. Proof has such an amazing selection of delicious pastries that I just keep wanting to go back and try them all. In the past I’ve tried their flourless chocolate torte, seasonal galette, and almond tea cake, all of which were delectable. Of course, these baked goods would not taste as good without a nice cup o’ joe, which is why Cognoscenti’s pop-up shop is the perfect addition to this space. This shop does tend to get a bit crowded, so come prepared to fight for a table if you plan to dine in.
    Fun fact: I ran into Fabrizio Moretti, the drummer of The Strokes and my childhood celebrity crush, last time I paid a visit to Proof Bakery/Cognoscenti. We made eye contact and he briefly apologized for bumping into me and being in my way as I went up to the counter to get my drink, all while I stood there frozen and not knowing what to say. I cannot say that this made my eating and drinking experience any better, but I do suspect that my fondness for this bakery/coffee shop will forever be influenced by this memory. 😉
    Blacktop Coffee

    Blacktop

    I’ve featured Blacktop here and here, so I think it’s easy to assume that it is one of my favorite places to grab a cupa.  This awesome coffee shop is conveniently located in the LA Arts District, next to a few of my favorite restaurants and shops in downtown such as the Pie Hole and Poketo. What also makes Blacktop very inviting is that they serve delicious coffee and food, have a gorgeous outdoor seating area, and there is often a fun food truck parked right in front of the shop.

    Copa Vida - Pasadena

    Copa Vida

    I never had the urge to become a regular at a coffee shop until Copa Vida opened its doors a bit over two years ago, and it’s been my favorite place to grab a cup of coffee ever since. What makes Copa Vida so great is not only the delicious coffee they serve, but also the beautiful minimalist design of the space and the amazing customer service. Copa Vida also has an awesome brunch menu, a nice selection of donuts from Donut Snob and they even roast their own beans. This spot has become quite popular since I first started coming here and it’s not uncommon to see a line going out the door. My strategy for beating the crowd is to get there before 10 AM, which is also convenient since all street parking is free before 11 AM in Pasadena.

     

    Found Coffee - Eagle Rock

     

    Found

    Found is a very recent and much-needed addition to the neighborhood of Eagle Rock. This coffee shop is located inside a very small strip mall and was a bit hard for me to find at first, but the coffee was definitely worth driving around the block a few times. Found offers a delicious selection of tea and caffeinated beverages, including a scrumptious bourbon latte. The shop also carries animal-shaped donuts from Fantastic Donuts, so you can get your fix of these cute and yummy treats here if this location is more convenient to you than making the trip down to Korea Town.

     

    Cafe Dulce

    Cafe Dulce

    Cafe Dulce has been a favorite of mine since it opened its doors in 2011. This coffee shop is located inside the lively Japanese Village Plaza in Little Tokyo, and has a very unique and yummy beverage and pastry menu. I love their selection of cakes and donuts baked in-house, including my favorite green tea donut. They also have a great rotating menu of seasonal drinks throughout the year–I tried their iced eggnog latte over the holiday season and it was absolutely delicious!

     

    Cafe de Leche

    Cafe de Leche

    What keeps me coming back to Cafe de Leche in Highland Park is the coffee shop’s delicious horchata with espresso drink, a delicious concoction consisting of two of my favorite beverages. If espresso is not your beverage of choice, they also serve a chai and horchata drink. This fun coffee shop is located in the lovely York Blvd, and is a great place to hang out with friends or family–they have a nice play area for kids if you need a nice location for a play date.
    Home Brewed Bar - Pasadena

    Home Brewed Bar

    Home Brewed Bar is my go-to place whenever I have a major craving for boba tea. What makes this coffee shop so unique is its very extensive drink menu consisting of a variety of flavors, alternative milk options, and tapioca. In short, you can pretty much say that the drink combinations at this shop are endless! On top of that, I also love that the staff is always very friendly and helpful, especially when it comes to helping you create the perfect beverage.
    Lavender & Honey Espresso Bar

    Lavender and Honey Espresso Bar

    I’m usually not a huge fan of sugary beverages, but that’s one thing that I would say that Lavender and Honey is really great at doing. On top of a traditional espresso and tea menu, they have a few drinks infused with lavender and honey. I tried their honeybee latte last time I visited and it had the perfect amount of sweetness for my taste. This coffee shop also offers a nice selection of tea, lemonade and a delicious sandwich and toast menu, so it’s also a great place to grab lunch.
    Demitasse Coffee

    Demitasse

    Demitasse is another favorite of mine also located in Little Tokyo. Aside from loving their coffee (which they roast themselves), I’m also a huge fan of their sipping chocolate. As you can see in the picture above,  it’s really thick and comes with a giant marshmallow.

     

    Taza Coffee

    Taza

    Taza is one of those places that I would highly recommend sitting down to drink your cup of coffee. This place is so cute and every little corner is so well-curated, and it seems like a waste to just walk in and out. Plus, this place also serves waffles which makes it a great place to meet up for breakfast or brunch.
    Daily Dose Cafe - Los Angeles Arts District
    uses

    Daily Dose Cafe

    The Daily Dose Cafe is more of a cafe than a coffee shop. However, I think they still deserve a mention on this list. What I love about the Daily Dose Cafe is that it is such a romantic place. This gorgeous space is the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon or evening. The Daily Dose Cafe serves coffee, tea, freshly made juices and their food menu contains organic and locally grown ingredients.
    Food & DIY

    A Pop of Florals

    Outfit Details:

     

    I recently received this black floral print top c/o SheInside, and I already know it’s going to be one of my favorite pieces this Spring. I really love the fun floral print because it is very bright and cheerful and makes a statement. This was also a great find for me because it is very similar to another favorite top of mine that was ruined in the wash a few years back. I have to say that when I saw this top online, I didn’t realize that it was cropped and cinched at the waist. Luckily, this piece works with my wardrobe because I love wearing high-waisted jeans and skirts. Once the weather starts to warm up a bit, I think it will also look really pretty paired with a high-waisted full skirt and kitten heels.
    Speaking of Spring, if you can’t already tell from the fact that I’m wearing peep toe clogs despite the chilly weather, I’m anxious to trade in my coats and boots for dresses and cute sandals.  We’ve been getting quite a bit of sunshine these past few days, so I’m optimistic that warmer weather is just around the corner. Fingers crossed!
    As always, thank you for stopping by. I also want to apologize for having such a crazy posting schedule these days. This year is off to a busy start for me, and it has been hard to figure out my blogging schedule. That being said, I have so many fun ideas for growing this blog in the new year once I do figure out how to manage my time.
    xoxo,
    Helen
    Food & DIY

    Lentil, Vegetable and Sausage Soup

    Soup has become one of my favorite foods to eat this winter because it makes for a very comforting meal and keeps you warm in the cold weather. I’ve made this lentil, vegetable and sausage soup recipe often in the past few months because it’s filling, delicious and very easy to make. The mixture of vegetables make this a very healthy recipe, and the kale and mushrooms add a more interesting texture. I must admit, though, that I decided to incorporate vegetables into this delicious recipe as a way for me to sneak vegetables back into my daily diet. My plan is obviously working because I’m a fan of this soup and have significantly increased my intake of vegetables. This soup is yummy by itself, but I usually like to top it off with grated parmesan cheese and a bit of Sriracha sauce to add an extra kick to it. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
    Lentil, Mushroom and Sausage Soup
    Makes 5-7 servings

    Ingredients:
    1/4 Cup of Oil
    1lb Lentils
    4 Celery Sticks (Chopped)
    1/2 Onion (Chopped)
    4 Carrots (Chopped)
    3 Cups of Kale
    3 Cups of Crimini Mushrooms
    9 Cups of Water
    2 Tbsp of Chicken Buillon
    1 lb of Precooked Sausage

    1. In a large pot, add oil, onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Stir ingredients until they are soft and the onion is slightly browned.

    2.  Add the water, lentils, kale, chicken buillon and sausage to the pot. Bring the water to boil, and then let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Stir the mixture frequently to avoid any ingredients sticking to the bottom of the pot.

    See, I was not lying when I said this recipe was easy! Just as a note, the mushrooms make this soup hearty enough so that you can easily substitute the vegetable broth and leave out the sausage if you’re vegan or vegetarian. This recipe also keeps well in the fridge for about a week, which is great if you have a busy schedule like me and can’t cook every day of the week. However, if eating lentil soup for a week straight is not your thing, you can store part of it away in the freezer.

    If you haven’t already noticed, my blogging schedule has been all over the place these past few weeks. Remember when I said that one of my priorities was to practice self-care in the new year? Well, that meant prioritizing sleep over blogging this week. I can’t make any promises yet, but I’m hoping my schedule will be less hectic in the next few weeks so that I can get back to my regular blogging schedule. As always, thanks for stopping by!

    xoxo,
    Helen