Thanks to a report from Eater last Friday, we learned that Sawtelle fusion restaurant 2117 opened a small café next door serving small batch coffee, charcoal-roasted by hand. The café takes over the incredibly tiny space previously occupied by Crepes To Go (where the old owner was often referred to as The Crepe Nazi). We spoke to 2117's chef Hideyo Mitsuno, a man of few words, about his new venture Box Café, and why he prefers the charcoal roasted coffee. “To me, it's too strong,” said Mitsuno, referring to the more typical American coffee. “In Japan, it's more aromatic. More simple coffee flavor. So I tried doing it here and for me, it's pretty good.”

The shop opened just two weeks ago, and also features teas and smoothies, as well as bento boxes, sandwiches, crepes, and a small selection of wine and cheese. The coffee itself is made from a mixture of organic beans from throughout South America, which are then roasted in a pan by hand over Japanese charcoal. Chef Mitsuno's associate, Katsumi Iwanaka, explained the differences by saying that “the fire is more delicate for the material. Gas fire is too fast. It is not as subtle.”

Box Café: open Tuesday-Friday 8am to midnight, Saturday-Sunday 10am to midnight., 2117 Sawtelle Blvd, West L.A.

LA Weekly