The eventual over-caffeination of our fair city continues unabated today, as we peek in on Andante Coffee Roasters, a new pour over coffee spot just north of The Grove on Beverly Boulevard. Open since the first week of September and located in the former Buzz Coffee space, Andante is looking to capture a few different worlds: coffee snobs who require a decent pour over, workaday locals who need a quiet-ish place to plug in and type away on their keyboards, and tourists venturing out of The Grove in search of a decent cup of joe.
The interior has been seriously parsed down from the Buzz days, with a large pale ordering and pouring station as the biggest piece in the room. Otherwise, there are individual tables, some stool seating against the front facing window and a couple of wide tables for communal seating. The walls are white and almost entirely bare, and the floor is nothing more than buffed cement.
If you're of the coffee shop writing persuasion, rejoice; there are plugs everywhere at Andante, and the long-sitting crowds have yet to descend in force. It's still relatively easy to get some work done, thanks to a fast internet connection and unobtrusive staff. But be wary of Andante's shuffling iPod mix -- you might have to pump up your own soft jams to work through the occasional oddball Koyaanisqatsi-ish track that filters through the speakers.
For hardcore coffee heads, Andante provides a well-attended pour over cup and strong array of espresso options. As their full name implies, the team of Steve Hyun, Tommy Kim and Jacob Park (from Coffee Tomo in Koreatown) are roasting their own beans offsite, with the country of origin proudly listed on the menu.
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Although the coffee menu will ultimately rotate, Brazil, Columbia and Ethiopia are all well-represented here. You'll also find teas, chai lattes, cold brew and a selection of pastries from the small kitchen in the back. If you're really hungry, there's a pastrami sandwich (of all things) to try, or the super-sweet honey butter bread, which comes as a handful of thick buttered and toasted bread, drizzled with lots of honey. You might be tempted to try the breakfast burrito, but unless you're in the mood for a big splash of barbecue sauce before 10 a.m., it's best to steer clear.
And what will tourists love about Andante Coffee Roasters? It's hard to say really, but the wide-eyed packs have certainly heard about the place, because they walk through the front door regularly. Sometimes they take a few pictures and walk out, other times they squint at the menu. Sometimes, if they're chic enough, they'll even sit down for a quick espresso. That's how you know you've got a good coffee shop on your hands -- when even the Europeans want to hang out there for a little while.
Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Farley Elliott writes about food, drink and entertainment at OverOverUnder.com.