Coffee & Tea

Los Angeles Area

Coffee Sin-- yep, damn good

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Coffee Sin-- yep, damn good

Cicely | Apr 30, 2005 02:22 AM

After reading *Sarahpet's* review the other day, decided to check out this place in the Garment District. It has all the hallmarks of chowhoundliness: after elbowing past handbag hawkers and snack vendors and turning down a surreally neat strip of cheap-n-chic clothes stores and what appear to be Starbucks knockoff cafes, you end up at Coffee Sin: a teensy storefront whose customer standing space totals no more than one square yard.

The display case, though, is stuffed with fruit: ginormous papayas, bunches of bananas, pineapples and melons. There's an enormous juice menu (apparently the place's alter ego is The Juice Doctor)with an assortment of freshly extracted concoctions, some of which promise to fight acne (carrot-cucumber-apple) or act as a tonic for the heart (apple-ginger-celery).

The real specialty of this hole-in-the-wall, though, is panini... not just any old wannabe sandwich thrown together and squished against a heat source to compress the inside and toast the outside, but sandwiches on good bread with ingredients like bresaola (air-cured beef) and parmesan, imported from Italy.

!!!

well, that's as dramatic as it gets. I had a "Siciliano" of tuna, olive oil, marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olive tapenade and pesto. It was as good as a panino gets, in my experience. My friend had the aforementioned bresaola and parmesan concoction (the "Rustica") and deemed it excellent.

There's also a small selection of Old Country beverages: aranciata and limonata (orange- and lemon-flavored soft drinks, respectively, though in bottles no more than 2/3 the size of an Orangina), Pellegrino and Perrier.

Panini go for about $7 and come with a perfunctory but crunchy-fresh green salad and Pringles. You can also skip that stuff for a $1 reduction. Oh, I also got a small fruit salad ($2.50), just big chunks of plain fresh fruit (the last fruit salad I had before this was drizzled in a lovely orange-water syrup and erased any memory of how fruit salads normally come). All juices are $2.25 small, $3.25 large. Teensy Italian sodas are $1.25 and fancy waters $2.

They seem to do mostly takeout and delivery, but there are two small tables out front with two seats each.

I can't believe I wrote this much about a sandwich shop, but it was really a lovely surprise. I saw a lot of mini-restaurants there, and what with all the international vendors, it's probably a fertile neighborhood for chowhounding.

Coffee Sin
1125 3/4 S. Wall St.
LA 90015

213-749-2174

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