Sunday, August 19, 2007

Yes, Intelligentsia Was Worth the Wait

Ok, so Intelligentsia officially opened their doors on Friday at noon slowly building into a hectic yet family-friendly and happy evening community gathering in their new home of Silver Lake.
As we made our approach to the grand opening party, I was struck by the, forgive me, good vibes emanating from the small groups laughing, smiling, chatting, eating and drinking, and just welcoming Intelligentsia with a warm embrace. The great dj, fruit and cheese nibbles, and free coffee drinks certainly helped put everyone in a giddy mood. The staff were understandably overwhelmed as the place was hopping. But they were genuinely friendly and expert coffee crafters.

M and I gravitated toward the famous Clover machines where two Intelligentsia guys were constantly brewing for the endless people in line. I knew it may be a pain in the tuchas, but there's no way this little lady could drink caffeine at 7pm so I asked if I could order a decaf coffee from the Clover. The nice guy who was helping us happily accommodated my request even though I could tell it threw them off for a moment. The coffee was grand, rich, and wonderful.

This morning we headed back after yoga and before the area was crazy as this is Sunset Junction weekend. Much more mellow and amazingly already a community hub with young families and a colorful assortment of Silver Lakers enjoying their Sunday morning. Already way overheated, I ordered an iced latte. Whoa, this was unlike any iced latte I had ever consumed: The espresso was strong without any bitterness and it had the most subtle creaminess. Exceptional. My own little coffee snob who adored Intelligentsia during his Chicago days reported this morning's latte was as good as he remembered with a beautifully formed foam.

I love the people who work here too. They remind me of my favorite book store staffers: knowledgeable, friendly, authentic, and take pride in their work. I love their patio with an incredible tile. This is not Starbucks, friends. This is a true blue gem. Thankfully they picked our little Silver Lake to settle in.

6 comments:

5%C. said...

I'm so excited about this! Finally, a real cafe in my 'hood (other than the Casbah, which I'm not a fan of)... since while Cafe Tropical coffee is marvelous, there's only so much crack a girl can ingest before destroying some neural paths.
Thanks for the review--
>rr<
[5%Celery]

Anonymous said...

I PERSONALLY LOVE THE CASBAH CAFE I HAVE BEEN COMING TO THIS CAFE FOR 6 YEARS NOW I UNDERSTAND THEY HAVE BEEN OPEN FOR 10. I HAVE BEEN COMING WHEN THERE WAS NOTHING TO COME TO . THEY CHANGED THE WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD AND BROUGHT STYLE AND SOPHISTICATION MIXED WITH A LAID BACK FEELING. PERSONALLY I AM DISA PPOINTED WITH INTELLIGENTIA DECOR COULD OF BEEN A GREAT SPACE.
I AM SURE THE COFFEE IS VERY GOOD THIS IS NOT TO FORGET A CORPORATE CHAIN THAT WILL BE GREATLY BENEFITED FROM THE OTHER PIONEERS TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD. I WILL STICK TO CASBAH .. WHEN I AM NOT IN THE MOOD FOR COFFEE OR ICE MINT TEA I LOVE THE HOT TEAS.
CASBAH WAS HERE WHEN NO ONE ELSE WAS AN BROUGHT WITH IT CHARM,REFINEMENT IN A VERY COOL ENVIROMENT .AS I SIT AT MY LAPTOP HERE I COULD NOT IMAGINE HANGING AROUN INTELLIGENTIA. I DO LIKT THE COFFEE AT TROPICAL BUT NOT HANGING OUT THERE.
GOOD THING THERE IS ROOM FOR EWVRYONE BUT PLEASE NO MORE CHAINS TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD. WE NEED SOMEWHERE FREE OF THEM!!!!!

jared said...

^good thing this wasn't a review of the casbah?

and intelligentsia is not a chain. there are three stores in chicago and now there is one in silver lake, all owned by one man named doug.

Anonymous said...

iT IS A CORPORATION ,THE GOAL OF INTELLIGENTIA IS TO SELL THEIR COFFEE IN AS MANY RESTAURANTS AS POSSIBLE AND SUPERMARKETS.THE BRANCHING OUT TO LOS ANGELES IS THE BEGINNING OF A CHAIN sTARBUCKS BEGAN IN SEATTLE. IN SAYING THIS. ITS GOOD TO HAVE STARBUCKS WHEN YOU ARE AT AIRPORTS OR IN PLACES WHERE COFFEE IS REALLY NOT KNOWN .IT WOULD OF BEEN NICE TO KEEP SILVER LAKE WITHOUT CHAINS BUT AMERICA WHAT IS IT BUT CORPORATE. I AM SURE INTELLIGENTICIAS COFFEE IS GOOD BUT SO IS CASBAH AND CAFE TROPICAL AND WE KNOW THEY ARE NOT CORPORATIONS.

Anonymous said...

To Jared, Intelligentsia sells 9 million dollars of coffee alone a year. This is not a small business!!!!!

jeena said...

Hi there you have a great blog,lovely recipes. Feel free to visit my blog too :)

Jeena xx

click here for food recipes