It's way too early in the Great Los Angeles Cappuccino Project to start calling favorites. I know this. But it's really hard not to positively gush over how much I loved The Assembly.
If you didn't know what you were looking for, you could easily walk right by The Assembly. The simple, beautiful painted signage and the light grey and white tones reflect the cafe's minimalist vibe perfectly. The inside is decked out in pastels and blonde wood, while large windows flood the sparsely decorated space with natural light and lend an airy feel. Metal and wood shelves house boutique gift items and beautifully designed bags of Counter Culture coffee beans. There was plenty of seating on a Saturday afternoon; on a small bench in the front, at a table in the back, or on the adorable outdoor patio.
In a place like this, you might expect the staff to be unapproachable or pretentious, but the folks here are anything but. Everyone I spoke to seemed genuinely excited to be there; both enthusiastic about making good coffee and happy to be interacting with the customers. The barista told me all about the beans they use from Counter Culture, which offers sustainable, fair-trade coffee that also happens to be really, really good.
It appears that every detail has been carefully considered at The Assembly. The food served from the Larder is created with organic, high-quality ingredients, while leftovers are donated daily to the Chefs End Hunger Program. Drinks are served in handmade ceramics sourced from West River Field Lab in Orange County. Tea selections come from Uncommon Tea, striving "to make tea modern, beautiful and pleasurable."
But let's get on to the most important point... that cappuccino.
Looks-wise, this one was a winner. Served in a beautiful green mug with a wooden plate for a saucer, it boasted some seriously beautiful latte art. The temperature was perfect, and the texture was velvety - but the real standout characteristic of this cappuccino was its exceptional flavor.
It can be hard to describe the flavors detected in coffee, kind of like when people think they're tasting chocolate or tobacco in wine, so bear with me while I attempt to describe this wonderful beverage. It had a warmth of flavor, evoking autumn flavors like caramel or sage, or like that feeling you get when you're in a warm library full of leather-bound books. The flavor was bold, strong, and earthy, and somewhat straightforward - I wouldn't call it complex, rather, simple and confident. There was a perfect balance between bitterness and creamy sweetness, and it left behind the most lovely aftertaste.
From beginning to end, The Assembly offers an exceptional experience. Come for a chat, or for a rest, or for a snack. But definitely give their coffee a try, and sip it slowly (and try to write down a few words that come to mind. It will be a fun challenge!). These folks know what they're doing, and they're doing it well.
634 N. Robertson Blvd,
West Hollywood, CA 90069