G&B Coffee is for many synonymous with great third-wave coffee — a coffee renaissance initiated on a national scale by the now-famous Intelligentsia — and gregarious, knowledgeable baristas. The comapny name comes from the last initials of co-owners Charles Babinski and Kyle Glanville, who met during their Intelligentsia days. Babinski moved from Chicago to train staff at the L.A.-based cafes, with Glanville coming here in 2006 initially to work for the same company's West Coast operations.
They both spent their formative years in the coffee business, making them knowledgable about everything coffee in the way that a sommelier knows about wines. Glanville won first place in the prestigious U.S. Barista Championship in Long Beach in 2008; Babinski won it in 2015 after three previous second-place finishes.
The two started their independent operation small in October 2012, initially with a tiny coffee pop-up in Jessica Koslow's Sqirl. This eight-month caffeinated experiment was a success, leading to the opening of their coffee bar anchoring the Hill Street side of Grand Central Market in 2013. They expanded their extensive coffee menu to include various toasts topped with ricotta cheese and jam; puffy, yeast-raised waffles with real maple syrup and soft, whipped butter; and pastries such as grapefruit scones, Cara Cara orange poundcake and vegan strawberry muffins. The bar is a favorite vantage point from which to sip an almond-macadamia milk cappuccino and spend a minute people-watching in the lively, bustling market.
Roughly a month after opening in Grand Central Market, the duo opened the first Go Get Em Tiger in the upscale, pedestrian-friendly Larchmont Village. Glanville notes that they liked the name, an “aspirational” motto to get up and seize the day. He envisioned all three of their locations as places where the neighborhood can get together, converse and enjoy a sense of a vital, vibrant community. He said that great coffee does not come from expensive gadgetry but rather the meticulous sourcing of fine coffee beans from around the world.
Now they have just opened their second Go Get Em Tiger on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz, in a renovated, residential duplex of sorts. A (fake) grassy, expansive patio leads to the woodsy interior, which is somewhat reminiscent of the elongated Larchmont space (McConnell's Fine Ice Creams will be joining them in the adjacent space in the next month).
All of G&B's unique espresso drinks are on the menu, including the popular Business and Pleasure, a trio composed of a shot of richly intense espresso, an IPA-like refreshing “hoppy” tea and a creamy, shaken, almond-macadamia nut milk cappuccino. The espresso and bitter tea are the “business” while the cappuccino is the deliciously pleasurable portion of the endeavor. The almond-macadamia milk is simply made from macadamia nuts, almonds, dates and water, which are mixed in the Vitamax after the nuts and dates are soaked overnight in preparation for each day's service.
They also serve their refreshing spin on an iced latte with the aforementioned macadamia milk, shaken in a martini shaker, and poured into an old-school Mason jar over perfect cubes of ice. It tastes like the coffee cooler of your dreams and is aesthetically pleasing to boot (this may just be one of their most Instagrammed coffee drinks). Sometimes it may be tempting to order more than one drink as you would at your neighborhood bar. If you happen to see Babinski behind the counter, you might even get into an extensive, convivial discussion of the upcoming L.A. Clippers season.
The kicker on the new menu is the plethora of brunch eats, created by veteran Sqirl chef Ria Wilson. The Filipino-influenced “tapa” steak and eggs is sliced, marinated flatiron paired with either sunny-side up or soft scrambled eggs. Grilled toast is slicked with tahini instead of butter. Avocado toast is also on the menu, of course. And white peach lavender pound cake with edible rose petals will sate any sweet tooth. Their flaky biscuits go well with butter and strawberry jam. It's a happy place to spend an afternoon, cortado in hand, chatting with friends, eavesdropping on a production meeting in true Hollywood fashion, or perhaps wistfully jotting down poetry in your leather-bound journal.
4630 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; (323) 543-4436, gandb.coffee/gget.