Cappuccinos are my caffeine vehicle of choice, and I live for a good one. Below is a list of my go-to spots in the Westside.
1. The Refinery
Located in Santa Monica, The Refinery serves my favorite cappuccino. The drink is strong – deep, dark, bitter – and one that leaves me feeling satisfied and alert. It is worth noting that The Refinery also serves an excellent cortado. If you find yourself in the mood for a cortado, ask the barista (I have only ever been served by one man, ever) to make it the way he likes it, i.e., with a sprinkle of cocoa. This is that barista’s go-to beverage and is decidedly delicious.
Also located in Santa Monica, Demitasse is on par with The Refinery in regard to the quality of its cappuccino. It is a bit lighter in flavor, but still completely fulfilling. (While I prefer The Refinery, that likely results mainly from my preference for a darker beverage.) I love the vibe of this cafe as well. Signs such as “Instant Human, Just Add Coffee” and “Unattended Children will be Given Espresso and a Puppy” hang on the walls and provide me with deep satisfaction.
3. Coffee Tomo
I love Coffee Tomo. I take issue, however, with the fact that this cafe does not open until 9:00 a.m. on weekends. I am always, always up and in need of caffeine before 9:00 a.m. That said, Coffee Tomo makes a cappuccino with a kick, providing a decidedly strong, dark taste somewhere in between that of The Refinery and Demitasse. Located just off Sawtelle in Sawtelle Japantown, Coffee Tomo is also conveniently located to many of my favorite food spots.
My least favorite of the cappuccinos on this list, this beverage is still just fine. It provides less of a kick than those discussed above, but if enjoyed on premises in one of their mugs (as should always be done with a cappuccino), the viscosity is alright and certainly a perfectly pleasant item to drink. In the heart of Westwood Village, where parking is always an issue, I generally go here only when geographically most convenient.