The blue bottle logo is up, the New Orleans–style iced coffee is on bar, the lovely pastries are in the case: Blue Bottle Coffee is now officially open in Los Angeles. Located in the Arts District in the space formerly known as Handsome Coffee Roasters, this is the Oakland-based coffee roaster's first (of several) L.A. shops. As you may recall, Blue Bottle acquired Handsome earlier this year and since then has been slowly but surely retiring the Handsome brand (indeed, Handsome's website now points you to Blue Bottle).
And while it's very exciting that Blue Bottle is finally pulling shots in L.A., it also feels somewhat bittersweet to see the company in Handsome's space: Handsome, after all, opened its doors just over two years ago. You get the sense that, like Pushing Daisies and Veronica Mars, its run may have ended just a little too soon, before it really had a chance to bloom. Alas.
The transition from Handsome to Blue Bottle means little in terms of aesthetic — so far, the cafe still looks very much like a shop that once was called Handsome Coffee Roasters — but quite a bit in terms of what you'll find behind the counter.
Gone is Handsome's minimalist menu, which listed drinks by cup size. In its place is a bigger menu, which will look familiar to anyone who has visited any of Blue Bottle's Bay Area or New York locations: drip coffee and espressos, of course, plus mochas and hot chocolates and that New Orleans–style iced coffee, a smooth cold brew infused with roasted chicory.
To snack, you'll find jars of granola and a case full of Blue Bottle's terrific pastries and cookies (ginger molasses cookies, snickerdoodles, etc). And fans of Handsome's Dandy espresso will be happy to find that Blue Bottle has adopted the roast, and it, along with Blue Bottle's other coffees, can be found for sale on the shelves.
Blue Bottle's Arts District cafe is open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.