There is local art on the walls at the serene coffee shop Balconi Coffee, but it can be hard to take your eyes off the counter. There, siphon pots that would not look out of place on either Jules Verne's desk or in Walter White's laboratory are lined neatly in a row. Upon your order, water is poured into the bottom pot, coffee is ground and placed in the top vessel, a flame is ignited and voilà: The water seemingly defies gravity, disappearing from the bottom and reappearing in the top, and your coffee brews under the barista's watchful, precise eye. As what comes up must come down, it then makes its way back to the bottom, and the resulting coffee is so exceptionally clean that you may or may not rethink your Hario V60 setup at home. Every cup of coffee is brewed this way, meaning consistency — the bane of so many cafés — is never a problem. Plus, you're guaranteed a dazzling performance every time someone orders a cup of joe. So, come for the coffee — and stay for the show. 11301 W. Olympic Blvd., #124, W.L.A. (310) 906-0267,

—Tien Nguyen

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