Cognoscenti coffee cart moves to Chinatown

Jack Benchakul of Cognoscenti Coffee moved his coffee cart to Scoops Chinatown.
(Julie Wolfson)

After several months in residence at Good Girl Dinette in Highland Park, Jack Benchakul of Cognoscenti Coffee recently moved his coffee cart to Scoops Chinatown. Cognoscenti now offers coffee drinks at Scoops, the ice cream shop just a few doors down from Chego in the Far East Plaza, the same shopping complex where Andy Ricker will be opening Pok Pok Phat Thai later this year.

Cognoscenti Coffee, which is owned by Yeekai Lim, has had a café in Culver City since 2012 and a location at Proof Bakery in Atwater Village since 2010. There, they serve coffee and espresso drinks featuring a rotating selection of coffee roasted by Phil & Sebastian, Ritual, Kuma, and Bows & Arrows, among others.

Benchakul partnered with Lim to create the Cognoscenti Pop Up cart. The cart features a customized Modbar, with a pour-over spout, espresso tap, steam wand for milk, an Everpure water filtration system inside, and space for a Mazzer grinder.

Open at the Chinatown location since Nov. 22, Benchakul is serving his own signature drinks, in addition to brewed coffees and espresso drinks made with Rose Line and Heart Coffee Roasters beans. A recent trip to Thailand prompted Benchakul to include more Thai-inspired ingredients on the menu, including the vanilla bean pandan lattes and makrut lime malbec lattes currently on his menu, as well as house-made sweet ginger iced tea.


Cognoscenti Coffee will be serving vanilla pandan and prosciutto tamarind tea sandwiches on challah bread. Soon there will also be an ice cream flavor created by Benchakul with Scoop’s Tai Kim and Chris Gere, which will also showcase Thai ingredients. But for now, maybe pair some honey ginger green tea ice cream with an iced vanilla pandan latte. Cognoscenti Coffee at Scoops Chinatown will serve coffee from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sundays for the next few months.