I'm in LA Nov 1-5 for a conference and sequestered downtown at the Grand. I've looked up LA-area serious coffee houses- places that have outstanding espresso, well-trained baristas, latte art, that sort of thing. I've found a few places that look impressive but none are remotely in or near downtown. I know this might be a shot in the dark and I'll survive on Starbucks at the hotel if I must, but I hope somebody can steer me to something better. Downtown, please.
As to Mexican- I am looking for a cheap-n-cheerful taqueria within a safe walk from the Grand. I know there's fast food in a nearby mall food court but I'd like a mami-papi operation that will slake my Mexican needs until I am next in the states.