(Grace’s TikTok recapping our time in LA)
Happy Sunday 16ozDays family. Today, we have a very exciting story to tell. Amidst our busy lives with regular people jobs and college courses, our whole team was able to board a flight together and head to Los Angeles for the weekend. This was a time for us to check out new shops, grow our brand, and take time to appreciate all the hard work we’ve put in, recognizing how far we have come. You may have been able to follow along via social media, however if not, we are so happy you’re here now. Let’s dive into the weekend.
In the course of 7 hours we made it to 9 coffee shops. Between the four of us, we consumed more than 28 shots of espresso, at least. We drank matcha, specialty drinks, americanos, tonics, and occasionally, took straight shots. Let’s just say it was a whirlwind, however it was a very well organized, sunny, 70° whirlwind.
How We decided
(The wall at Document showing donors and their favorite possession)
So, you may ask, how did we pick LA? How do you even plan a trip like that? Well let me tell you, there is a lot of coffee in LA, and to pick the best shops, we had some help. As said in an article in Food & Wine, written by David Landsel, “Nowhere in the country has coffee shop minimalism taken root quite so deeply as in Southern California”, and that is exactly what we wanted. A cultural hub where creative minds come and create the stuff of dreams, LA seemed like the ideal next spot for us to try.
Next, we took time sifting through local writers and influencers’ work. We highly recommend this article by thrillist on the 31 Best Craft Coffee Shops in LA as well as this article by Eater LA on the 16 Essential Coffee Bars in Los Angeles. Then, we consulted with @oatsmahgoats on Instagram, a local LA coffee influencer, to get her favorites in the area. After taking down all possibilities, we created a map with all the cafe options on it and started identifying clusters of cafes where we could minimize driving time. Then came the hard part, eliminating stops and making our final picks.
Where we went
(Dil holding the signature “Laveta” at Laveta)
Here’s the list we ended up with:
- Laveta (Emma @oatsmahgoats)
- Spl Coffee
- Alfred at the Glossier Alley (a wholehearted Grace pick @grace.mcdonald)
- Blue Bottle (Jason Kavolic @mtn_dewde)
- Dayglow (Collin @collinscoffeecrusade)
- Mad Lab (Sam Kjellberg @s.k.coffee)
- Maru (Emma @oatsmahgoats)
- Hilltop Kitchen
Now, for our takes.
A crowd favorite, Dayglow surprised us all. We were expecting it to be fantastic, it was ranked the #2 coffee shop in America in 2019 by David Landsel in his Food & Wine article, however our experience went above and beyond. Stepping into the garden level shop in a beautiful side street of Santa Monica Blvd, you could tell the shop was designed with intent. Behind the neon green sign, a small counter attached to a back kitchen, the whole place is about the size of a living room in a one bedroom apartment. It’s distinct look sets it apart from some of the more minimalist one tone shops we found in LA. We started by taking a shot of espresso and as we chatted with the barista, a line formed up the stairway. This was a well loved, friendly place and we would come back in a heartbeat.
Drink recommendation: The Totoro
(Grace holding Dayglow’s Signature Totoro)
2. Maru Coffee
Maru houses two locations in LA, both simply beautiful. At the minimalist, tasteful shop we were greeted by a very friendly barista, who not only was able to tell us all about the shop, but about her favorite hikes, restaurants, and activities in LA. They even recognized regulars in the long line, greeting people by name. Our coffee came out quick and expertly made. Maru was our last stop of the day and even though our team was running out of gas, we wouldn’t have missed it. Their espresso was smooth, the matcha creamy and rolled off the tongue without the bitter linger that low grade matcha sometimes leaves behind. This is somewhere we could become regulars at, expert at what they do, not trying to be anything they’re not.
Drink recommendation: Espresso Tonic
(A shot outside of Maru)
MadLab is exactly what we expected out of LA. The boxcar sized, bright teal shop with a slanted roof stood out among the brown and beige buildings on sunset blvd. As we walked up the window and studied the menu you could tell the love and creativity that went into their spot. To house and create such an extensive list with house made ingredients was incredible. The barista behind the counter was super welcoming and helpful. Let me tell you, standing here at the pickup window we felt like Los Angeles natives more than tourists. We tried out the highly recommended Dreamsicle Cappuccino, part of their winter specialty menu, and boy, did the orange come through. It even sent Dillon into a little bit of a nostalgic moment. If you’re in LA, you gotta check out MadLab, and please pick me up a pink mug if you do.
Drink recommendation: Dreamsicle Cappuccino
(Us about to order at MadLab)
(Going through video content with @songjohansen)
Overall, we loved all of our stops and can’t recommend them enough. If we could write about all of them, we would. As our trip came to a close, we reflected on how far 16ozDays has come. We have grown both individually and as a team. From our first trip in Chicago making an itinerary on the floor of the airport to now, in LA, where we had an itinerary scheduled down to the minute. We are so thankful for your support, for your love, and you for patience as we both grow and learn. And…Sneak peak…We’re working on bringing you EVEN MORE 16ozDays content, *cough cough*YouTube? You’ll have to wait and see. As always, tip your barista and drink some good coffee for us this week.