Downbeat Cafe took me two places at once: both back to high school and to college. High school first--last night's jazz combo was a couple of talented high school kids, a girl on the piano and boy on the bass. As they goofed with their friends and snuck out front for a cigarette, I recalled the thrill of visiting the first artsy coffee shop to open in downtown La Crosse, WI--Jules. Sipping mochas with Kelly, hashing out the trials and tribulations of high school, sneaking glances at the older indie boys a few seats down. Oh, the angst--if only we had known we'd each end up in places where artsy coffee shops are a dime a dozen.
Then, to college: specifically, The Haymarket, a crunchy veggie coffeeshop in Northampton, MA. Many a night was whiled away studying, draining cup after cup of strong coffee. Often my friends and I spent more time talking than studying, and of course, still checking out the indie boys at the next table.
J and I have been heading to the Downbeat lately for our form of post-college studying (aka work), laptops in hand. The Downbeat does not have wireless, which means I actually accomplish something when I'm there. It does have simple and tasty sandwiches and salads--nothing special, but freshly made with good ingredients. I can always count on the turkey and avocado sandwich, as well as the Greek salad, heaped with feta, olives and tomatos. They usually have a soup o' the day which seems to stretch leftover or exceedingly basic ingredients to the max (last night they featured onion, on a previous trip the soup was garlic, which I can't recommend).
And of course, I've heard the Downbeat is a good place to sneak glances at cute indie boys.
1202 N Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA 90026-3127
Erin's Kitchen Restaurant Index: Los Angeles: East-ish