And now, another Blue Bottle Coffee: The Oakland-based roaster opened in the historic Jensen's Recreation Center building in Echo Park on Saturday. Designed by Wade Design Architects, the very pretty, very bright shop is Blue Bottle's fourth in Los Angeles. As you may recall, Blue Bottle opened a cafe in Beverly Grove just a few weeks ago. It also has locations in Venice and in the Arts District.
At about 2,500 square feet, Blue Bottle's Echo Park cafe is the roaster's biggest one in L.A. yet, with a center island espresso bar where baristas take your order and make your coffee. On the drinks menu: "damn tasty coffee," as Michael Phillips, Blue Bottle's director of training (and 2010 World Barista Champion) puts it.
Indeed, you have your pick of pourover coffee, cappuccinos and other espresso drinks, as well as cold brews and New Orleans-style iced coffee. Tea and a bubbly Cascara Fizz are also available, and more than one kid in the shop over the weekend was sipping from a mug full of hot chocolate.
To eat, you'll find lovely Liege waffles and toasts — with butter and jam, with peanut butter and honey, with ricotta and apricot jam, with poached eggs. Yes, in that island bar where the baristas pull shots and pour latte art is someone tending to a pot of gently simmering water, patiently poaching eggs, one after another.
Pastries in the case include cookies, poundcake, peanut rochers and logs of neatly stacked shortbread. Eventually, the roaster says it will incorporate offerings from Tartine Bakery, which merged with Blue Bottle earlier this year. And additional lunchtime options will be slowly rolled out here and at its Beverly Grove shop.
As to where to enjoy your coffee and pastries, seating clusters around that island bar. Behind the bar toward the back of the shop near the nifty LED rope lights dangling from the ceiling, you'll find a bench, a few tables, stadium seating. Smaller tables run along the exposed brick wall and in the front of the shop; there's also a large communal table for those who don't mind sharing their space. In total, the cafe seats 30.
And later, another Blue Bottle Coffee: The roaster's next Los Angeles project is a shop in the Bradbury Building downtown. That location is expected to open sometime next year.
Blue Bottle, Echo Park: 1712 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park, bluebottlecoffee.com/cafes/echo-park, open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.