When it comes to the new wave of artisanal coffee shops in LA, there are a few key establishments that define the movement, standing out for their popularity and undeniable excellence. Coffee Commissary is one of those places. Here, all of the artisanal coffee shop boxes have been checked: Industrial chic decor with poured concrete floors and chalkboard menu, check. Hoppin’ “mainstream indie” playlist, check. Hordes of millennials wearing plaid flannel (it’s fall after all, y’all) and working on their laptops, check and check. [Side note: I was wearing plaid flannel the day I visited Coffee Commissary, and I have never felt so basic. It might be time for a new wardrobe.]
If you’re a Los Angeles-based coffee enthusiast (and chances are good if you’ve made it to this blog, unless of course you’re part of the large portion of our readership that hails from Pennsylvania... AKA my parents), you have almost certainly come across a Coffee Commissary before, as there are currently four locations across our great city: West Hollywood, Hollywood, Burbank, and Culver City. The wind took us to the West Hollywood establishment first, though having read the enticing menu for the cafe at the Burbank location, it won’t be long until we make our way over there, too.
Coffee Commissary’s motto, “in pursuit of the perfect cup,” is reflected in the variety of excellent beans they offer. Included in their lineup are popular indie roasteries like Coava, Madcap, and one of my absolute favorites from Sacramento, Temple Coffee. The menu here is simple, offering the classic espresso staples including a Cubano, as well as pour over and cold brew options (even an iced pour over for those of us who aren’t cold brew fanatics). At the West Hollywood location, a short handmade food menu is also available, including some beautiful pastries and turnovers.
I ordered my usual cappuccino, and it did not disappoint. Served in a beautiful mug with a little wooden saucer, this cuppa warm cozy goodness boasted some solid latte art. The flavor was bold and strikingly bitter, pleasantly so, while its texture was rich, creamy, and almost decadent. Overall, this was a robust cappuccino, delightful in its complex flavor profile and smoothness.
My friend tried the Cubano, which was also very good. It was sharply sweet, but lacked that uncomfortable aftertaste that often accompanies a sweetened drink. That touch of sugar also complemented the bold espresso flavor very nicely. Even I, who cannot stand sweetened coffee, could see the merits of this lovely concoction.
Coffee Commissary is probably one of the more popular locations on our list, and we can understand why. By offering up excellent coffee in their four beautiful locations, they’re helping to make an elevated coffee experience easily accessible on a daily basis - just one of the many things to be thankful for about living in LA!
Coffee Commissary - 801 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046