Having moved to the Echo Park/Silver Lake/Los Feliz area, I don't miss all that much from the west side, but I do miss my daily Italian Cappuccino from Urth. In the various cities I have lived in, I was lucky enough to find baristas that knew how to properly prepare espresso and heat/pour milk so that cappuccinos were creamy, as opposed to foamy with soap-like bubbles, but in L.A., the only place I have found like that is Urth. I am wondering if I have missed anywhere in my 'hood - maybe one of you knows of a place I have missed?
After 2 years in the area, here is what I have tried:
Casbah Cafe (on Sunset in SL) - my regular haunt with really strong coffee, but still not the Holy Grail of coffee I have been looking for (preparation of cappuccinos is inconsistent - sometimes great, sometimes taste kind of harsh - and the milk is usually overheated, which I imagine is why it is not all that creamy some days. Iced cappuccinos are much better for some reason.
Town & Country Cafe (on Sunset in SL) - tried today b/c Cashbah was closed. Decent, but I would not go back again unless Casbah was not an option
Cafe Tropical (on Sunset in SL) - espresso itelf is amazing stuff, but they don't believe in frothed milk, nor in anything other than whole milk, which keeps me from going here much.
Alcove (on Hillhurst in LF) - I am not a huge fan. I find the espresso too weak. It's smooth - almost chocolately - but does not have enough kick when in a cappuccino, and it is rarely made the way I like it.
Chango (on Echo Park Ave in EP) - I had a horrendous cappuccino there-so bad I tossed it - tasted like coffee flavored milk--but have been told others love it. Am I missing something?
Cafe Los Feliz (on Hillhurst in LF) - went consistently when I first moved, but ultimately gave it up b/c while one of the baristas was pretty good, the other was terrible and I wasted too many coffees.
Coffee Table (on Rowena in SL) - I hope I don't get flamed for this, but I hate their coffee. I tried to order every other tea-related drink under the sun b/c I liked this place. Now I just go for lunch.
Kaldi (in Atwater on Glendale) - I went only once. The coffee tasted ok, though the cappuccino was very poorly made. I never went back (it's out of my way anyway).
Psychobabble (on Vermont in LF) - I went once and if I recall correctly, they use a decent espresso (cannot recall which), but again, the preparation was awful. Never went back.
Silver Lake Coffee (on Glendale in SL) - I went a couple weeks ago as an experiment and did not see any reason to change my Casbah routine. It was not bad though - just nothing to write home about.
A little to the west of the above -
Sabor y Cultura (formerly Espresso Mi Cultura) - cool place. The espresso is not the best IMO but some of the baristas have skills. However, the inconsistency made me stop going, though I do miss the vibe.