267 S. Beverly Drive
This is probably my favorite little lunch time spot in all of Los Angeles. Unlike most of the places I review, this place has nothing to do with cocktails but is all about the food and coffee; it is after all, a cafe. The mindset behind this place is organic, and they are strict on the rules of this in particular with the coffee. The first location (on Melrose) has won numerous awards including ’Best Environmental Coffee House’ by Coffee and Cuisine Magazine and ‘#1 Coffee Restaurant In Los Angeles’ by Los Angeles Magazine.
Established in 1989, Urth Caffé is America’s first exclusively organic coffee company. They work directly with a limited number of sustainable coffee growers who produce the finest organically grown coffees available in LA. They also have a great selection of fine teas from selected tea sources, including their own tea garden!
They opened the first café located at 8565 Melrose Ave in 1994, and this location in Beverly Hills opened in 2003.
It is first come, first served place and the courtyard fills up quickly so try to arrive at least half an hour before you want to eat…just in case there’s no seats. This isn’t like a Starbucks though, it is rare to see someone ‘hogging’ a table with their laptop and one coffee for 4 hours. You stand in line (next to delicious looking cheesecakes, buns and pastries) then order, pay and take your designated number to a table.
Please Note: You can’t save a table without having ordered your food first, so don’t try. I personally love this rule because it protects the ‘first come, first served’ policy.
Ok so what to order??…Well, I always get the same thing here to be honest. The small portion of the salad with chicken and pesto is my favorite for a light lunch. Sounds pretty mundane and boring I know, but it’s surprisingly filling and really flavorful. The pesto is divine here and they always grill the chicken perfectly. It’s a very simple dish obviously, you can add candied walnuts (at your request) and I suggest you do that because the candied walnuts are absolutely delicious here, they really are like little rocks of candy and seriously crunchy. This salad comes with a side of bread and butter too. I am a sucker for decent bread in this city, because I find it so hard to come by. Being from Uk I often forget how spoiled I was being able to get a great crusty baguette from the local supermarket that actually tasted like it would in France. In general I have found the bread to be not that good in California, I have had amazing sour dough bread in San Francisco…but sadly in LA I find it really is hard to come by. The bread at Urth Caffe is pretty darn good though.
Entree Salad: Fresh local mixed greens, Roma Tomatoes, Urth Vinaigrette and served with fresh bread and butter. Chopped Grilled Chicken breast w/ Pesto. Half Salad $9.50
Panini Roasted Turkey: Butter roasted turkey breast with Jarlsberg swiss cheese. Grilled on a poppy seed crusted honey wheat bread, served with whole grain mustard sauce. $12.95
FG tends to get the Turkey Panini for lunch. The turkey is always moist, never dry or overcooked. The bread is toasty and delicious with poppy seeds, there’s a layer of cheese that melts in with the meat and the grain mustard sauce is creamy with just the right level of mustard seeds. Very flavorful sandwich and comes with a light side salad.
Having been several times for dessert alone, it is necessary to have a whole section of this review dedicated to my favorite course! They have home made pies, like Deep dish peach, cherry or apple pie. They have a fantastic Tiramisu and a divine selection of cheesecakes. The Oreo Cheesecake and the 3 layer chocolate with Espresso Cheesecake are my favorites and both fantastic. They are very rich and creamy, so you will almost certainly want to share!
The Chocolate pound cake and the orange blossom pound cake are also very good. They don’t skimp on size either. We ordered a slice of each of the cakes, I thought ‘wow $5 a slice is pretty steep, it better be good’ turns out you get 3 slices for an order! Thank goodness for doggy bags in this country!!!! The Orange Blossom pound cake was delightful, really there isn’t a better word to describe it. Fluffy, soft with just a hint of citrus without being over bearing orange flavor. The chocolate was also very good, but more decadent and rich. I ended up putting the two flavors together and creating a chocolate orange slice. If you’re not calorie counting, I highly recommend!
Other than the teas, I like that they have a great selection of other beverages for the ‘non-coffee’ drinkers. I often get a chocolate milk or a chai tea latte, which I like because they offer almond milk or soy milk for those who don’t want regular. You can add Boba (tapioca balls) to any drink which is not usually available at coffee shops and they have a really tasty hot chocolate. All the chocolate drinks taste like real cocoa as apposed to fake chocolate flavorings, you can literally taste the quality of the food and drink here.Another thing I love about this place is the fact that the straws are all biodegradable, at last there’s a place that understands the disastrous effects plastic has on the environment. The bus boys work really hard here, they will happily answer any questions you have and are really quick to clean the tables when you’re finished.
All in all this place is a great location and they are open for dinner as well. I recommend parking up the street (before Charleville Blvd) in the structure. It is just a short walk and the first 2 hours are free, saves looking for a spot.
I rate this wonderful cafe 5 out of 5 platters!
The food, service and prices are all fantastic. I have been several times and it is never below excellence. The desserts are delicious and they use only good organic, sustainable farmed ingredients. Can’t get much better than that!