Restaurant Review: Intelligentsia

By Isabel Adler, Columnist

Rated as “the best coffee shop in Los Angeles” by LA Weekly, Intelligentsia is fresh, strong and popular. With locations in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, Intelligentsia is growing but hasn’t lost its trademark: quality.

Known for its strong and pungent coffee, Intelligentsia offers an array of options. Treats include baked goods and a variety of drinks. One of those drinks is the popular hot chocolate. As Ingrid Sant ‘17 says, the hot chocolate is, “rich, thick and yummy.” Made with steamed milk, the drink is mouthwatering.

As for baked goods, the shop offers a variety of muffins. The sweet and savory pastries are also delectable. Along with muffins, the cafe sells croissants, bear claws and doughnuts.

Although the beverages at Intelligentsia are fabulous, the lines there are sometimes out the door and may not be worth the wait. The service is slow because of the time spent to produce high quality drinks. This can cause an inconvenience to customers.

India Halsted ’17 said about the cafe, “Intelligentsia, to me, is a revival of good quality Italian style coffee. It is similar to other gourmet coffee shops such as Caffe Luxxe, Espresso Profeta, Primo Passo.” The coffee is exactly that: good quality coffee from around the world.

It is ground in house with beans grown in locations such as Indonesia, Zambia and Brazil. Not locally grown, the coffee is still in the Italian style. The most popular drink is the espresso.

Seating can get crowded and the lines are often out the door. However, the tiered benches are comfortable and friendly. Located on Abbot Kinney, the wood benches are in a spacious courtyard that opens onto the shop and the street.

Intelligentsia is popular, but rightfully so. The rich, strong and delicious drinks stand out and make the cafe famous. Inside the store, ground coffee beans are for sale. The modern feel is not cozy, but it offers a clean and tidy space to just drink coffee. The shop is a gem on Abbot Kinney.