Sick of the hipster elitism of Silver Lake coffee shops, where no one has a day job but everyone has a chip on their shoulder? Cafecito Organico on Heliotrope is the perfect alternative. Right next to L.A. City College, it has the pretentious coffee — a rich, artisanal roast — with none of the other stifling coffee shop pretensions. It's also the one place I go to work and don't wear headphones. The music co-owner Mitch chooses for the early shift is a mix of hip, nostalgic and mainstream. He'll play Latin pop along with oldies, and Arcade Fire might pop up before a random track from the Matches. The hodgepodge feels comfortable, and it changes day to day, which suggests it's for listening, not for show. There's an iPod dock plugged into an amp on the counter and a record player sitting above the fridge. When the shop first opened, the plan was to replace this casual setup with a more official sound system. But it turns out people like the DIY vibe almost as much as they like the coffee. So it's unlikely Cafecito will feel “established” anytime soon. 710 N. Heliotrope Ave., E. Hlywd. (213) 305-4484,

—Catherine Wagley

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