American - Breakfast/Brunch - Coffeehouse/Cafe - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Travel Feasts

Overly Caffeinated in DTLA: Handsome Coffee, Little Bear, and Stumptown

February 2, 2014

Since my friend Yasir moved to LA, he’s become quite the coffee connoisseur, and one place he couldn’t stop raving about was Handsome Coffee Roasters in the Arts District. I almost started to think if he could inject himself with their brewed coffee everyday, he would. Naturally, we had to check it out which ended into a whole day spent wandering around downtown LA.

Handsome coffee beans

Apparently coffee enthusiasts are in agreement that this is where you go for the best cup of coffee. They find the best beans from all over the world and roast it right behind the baristas on site. The menu is pretty minimal — you either get an espresso, an espresso with milk, or cold brew. No flavors, no decaf, no syrups, and definitely no sugars. For the inexperienced coffee-drinkers, this could be somewhat jarring. I felt a little bit of an outcast — I mean, I drink coffee and the most artisanal I’ve gotten was Stumptown, or Ninth Street Espresso, but Starbucks and all their fwancy white chocolate and gingerbread latte glory was what I frequent the most.


Regardless, I followed directions, to avoid being met with a cocked ‘brow. The barista did help and said the coffee that comes with a 5 oz of milk is probably the most ‘balanced’ in regards to taste of the bunch.

Handsome Coffee espressos with milk

The coffee was delicious — not overly bitter, definitely not sweet, but just right. We settled on one of the communal tables with a new burst of energy and decided it was time to explore some of the graffiti-ridden murals outside. Oh and eat brunch.

Little Bear

We ended up at Little Bear, when we realized the nearby Urth Caffe wasn’t serving brunch anymore. Little Bear from what I read is known best for their Belgian beer (which basically means zilch to me). They also have Belgian food though!

Little Bear

Not sure if the decor was intended to make us feel like we're eating on a ship, but nonetheless..

We ordered an assortment of the Braised Short Rib Benedict (Borderlaise short rib, with poached eggs, hollandaise on an English muffin) Mushroom Scramble (crimini, shitake, oyster mushrooms, red onion, and pepper jack cheese), the Pro Scramble (egg whites, kale, peppers, garlic and grilled chicken, and The Cajun Waffle (a house made liege waffle, with Cajun fried chicken, country gravy, and crispy onions).

Short ribs benedict

Mushroom scramble

Pro Scramble

The Cajun (they put the country gravy on it first by mistake which had bacon)

The Cajun without said gravy

Yasir pretty much lost his mind over his short ribs benedict, and the waiter claimed their chicken and waffles is better than Rosco’s (noted, it comes on a candied waffle and fried, boneless chicken). We also learned that even though Danish will ask for no bacon, he’ll always end up getting it with extra bacon (in this case, in the gravy which explains the two pics above). They fixed it right away though. Sarah’s pro scramble dish was delicious and healthy, but I was more underwhelmed with my mushroom scramble and potatoes. I knew I would be though — I rarely order scrambled eggs when I go out to eat since I can make it so easily at home. Seems like all meat dishes were where it was at anyway. #fomo.

You would think by now we’d be full by now but Yasir decided it was time for caffeine shot numero dos (remember the shooting up comment earlier? I meant that). So we walked over to Stumptown.


Stumptown LA


Stumptown is one of my favorite places in NYC, but it’s funny having it after Handsome Coffee. It just didn’t compare IMO. It was a nice pick me up, but there is something a lot more potent at Handsome. Still ended up being an awesome day with a nice intro of what DTLA’s Arts District had to offer.

Have any of you been to any of these places? What did you think? Any other suggestions of what else to check out in the area next time?

Cafe/Restaurant info:
Handsome Coffee Roasters

582 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 621-4194

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

806 S. Santa Fe
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 337-0936

Little Bear

1855 Industrial St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 622-8100
Downtown LA/Arts District

Meal: Brunch

Occasion: Exploring DTLA
Price: $$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: ***
Food: **
Service: **
Would I go back?: Probably not for a veggie meal

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