After starting his Cognoscenti Coffee as a pop-up coffee cart in Burbank and Eagle Rock, then setting up shop inside Proof Bakery in Atwater Village, Yeekai Lim has expanded into a room of his very own. Four hundred square feet of room, to be exact: Cognoscenti Coffee's new shop in Culver City opens today (Wednesday) at 8 a.m., and will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located on Washington Boulevard near La Cienega in the Arts District of Culver City, it's just a few blocks from Father's Office, which is particularly helpful if you consider Sang Yoon's gastropub to be a compass of sorts.
Lim, who will continue Cognoscenti's residence at Proof Bakery, describes his new space as "contemporary minimalist," which translates to a sleek, bright and open space with a handful of tables and benches. No doubt you'll also notice the big, dinner table-sized counter; this is where the La Marzocco espresso machine currently sits and where, he hopes, folks will gather around and talk, as if you were happily gathered around the nice communal table at Mozza's Scuola di Pizza.
As for the drinks themselves, coffee from Ritual Coffee Roasters, Calgary's Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters and the Bay Area's Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters are on the shelves; the latter two in particular are coffees you likely won't find elsewhere in L.A. Rishi Tea also will be available.
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To eat, Lim expects to bring a bit of Proof with him, so you'll soon see the bakery's fantastic baked goods at his shop. Overall, the menu is short and sweet, to match an environment intended to be warm and inviting.
"I just want people to feel comfortable here," Lim says. Given that Cognoscenti Coffee has been, in all its iterations, one of the best and most consistent places to get a great cup of coffee, this should be no problem at all.
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