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Balconi Coffee Company

11301 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
310-906-0267
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Photo by Nanette Gonzales

Once upon a time, when Balconi Coffee Company was in its previous location somewhere in Santa Monica, finding the coffeehouse was kind of like stumbling upon and down Alice’s rabbit hole -- if Alice were a caffeine addict lost in some Haruki Murakami novel. Since Ray Sato reopened in a new -- and comparatively bright and shiny and easy to find -- location on Olympic, just close enough to the sushi and ramen shops of the Sawtelle neighborhood happily dubbed Little Osaka, walking into the coffee shop is more like ducking into a Tokyo coffeehouse, albeit minus the Wifi. There are gorgeous siphon pots, lining the counters and shelves like some alchemist’s pipe dream. And there is the barista, waiting to take your order. Waiting is maybe the operative verb here, but very nicely so, as you will wait for your beans to be ground and for your coffee to move up and down through the beautiful circuitry. You might want to wait on the rest of the world too, as you sit with your cup of perfectly prepared coffee, and maybe a little cookie. You’d rather be at Starbucks? No.

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