Love Coffee Bar, located on Ocean Park between 17th and 18th, is a place that I drive past regularly, but have never been to until now. With quality pour-overs and an equally impressive vibe, this is a great place to sit down and take a minute to enjoy craft coffee for what it is.
Coffee With cold brew season coming to an end, I ordered a pour over — Ethiopian — and was thoroughly impressed. Sweet yet robustly nutty, this was better than anything I could consistently make at home, thus validating the purchase. While Love Coffee Bar does not roast beans in-house, partnering with high-quality local roasters allows them to serve a wide variety of top-shelf coffees from around the world.
Setup While the nuts and bolts of Love Coffee Bar are very standard, there are a few things worth pointing out. The first is the price. I paid $6.50 for my pour-over, which is not unheard of for craft coffee in Santa Monica, but is still higher than average. That being said, with an ample amount of coffee, tasteful presentation — see photo above — and above all tasting great, I did not feel in any way ripped off. I get the sense that Love Coffee Bar consistently changes their beans, meaning the price for pour-overs may fluctuate. Unrelated, Love Coffee Bar offers cold brew tea, which seems worth checking out if you are a “tea-person”.
Ambiance With aesthetically pleasing yet comfortable chairs abound, a large table ideal for hipster power meetings, plus a wooden table carved in the shape of California, Love Coffee Bar is a textbook example of how to tastefully design a coffee shop. If Love is going for the “hip-cali-craft-coffee-shop” vibe, they gave certainly nailed it.
Intangibles Located .5 miles from Lo/Cal, Love Coffee Bar is not the only craft coffee shop in the area. I think Love may be a slightly better coffee shop, but Lo/Cal is also slightly cheaper. I also don’t have much data to make comparisons between these two shops, so why not go and try both yourself? The overall point is that there are two great coffee shops in the same area, which is a great thing.
There is nothing fancy about Love Coffee Bar, nothing you could not find at other coffee shops in Santa Monica. But they take coffee seriously, and make a damn good pour-over. In my book, this is enough to warrant a thumbs up and a second trip back.