CoffeeBeer >> Double Shot Buzz >> Cognoscenti

Back Buzz - December 30, 2018

In September, after I met my Bay Area friend Mistah Rick at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, our attempt to have a satisfying post-exhibit coffee in the city’s Arts District was derailed when our table was attacked by two lactose-rich avalanches of nebulosity. So we decided to give up, go find somewhere to have lunch and a pint, and then move a bit further afield for a coffee. By mid-afternoon we found ourselves several miles to the west in Culver City.

Incorporated in 1917 as an all-white community by real estate developer Harry Culver, the city became famous for film and TV production, starting in 1918 when Thomas Ince opened the first film studio, followed a year later by Hal Roach. Since the 1920s it’s been the home of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, now Sony Pictures Entertainment, and also National Public Radio West and the NFL Network studio>. The former Hughes Aircraft Company was headquartered here, and one of Southern California’s first shopping malls was opened in 1950 in the city. And if that's not enough to carve Culver City’s name firmly into the Los Angeles annals, during Prohibition the city was famous for its many speakeasies and clubs.

Located on the main Boulevard, Cognoscenti started life as a pop-up coffee shop in Eagle Rock back in 2010. Two years later owner Yeekai Lin, partnering with Na Young Ma’s Proof Bakery in Atwater Village, opened this cafe down in Culver City. At the time we visited they had two more cafes, located on South Olive Street in the Fashion District and on South San Julian in South Park.

It was 3:30pm when we stopped in for some badly needed caffeine. We found a very basic cafe with Cognoscenti’s own coffee beans for sale. Our cortados, served in proper shot glasses as one requires for this classy drink, were smooth and velvety: not particularly robust but happily pleasant. I’m afraid I didn't notice which of the day’s featured coffee choices they used, the Guatemalan or the Ethiopian. Gorgeous rosettas were perched on top of each.

We sat out in front of the cafe at a pavement table that was situated perfectly in the shade, the relief from the hot day enhanced by a refreshing breeze. As we enjoyed our coffees we had a relaxing chat about all sorts of thought-provoking subjects including the seagull poop in Victoria, British Columbia.

Speaking of provoking one’s thoughts reminds me of a recent Messenger conversation with my Bay Area friend about cat molecules:

I read a fascinating article about a French physicist who just won an Ig Nobel prize for a study on whether cats should be classified as liquids or solids. Yes! Somehow we've always known. I wonder if somebody is also taking on the challenge of confiirming that cats sometimes Ft like quantum particles. What's FT? Oops! I tried to type "act," but it got spell checked. Ah! I thought it might be a new trendy abbreviation for fart. Quantum cat farts are indeed another area ripe for research. And the ripeness of course depends on the intensity of the catfood.