There is a thin veil of nearly black Vegemite scrapped across the toasted surface of your bagel.
And the milk-mellowed coffee aromas of a latte-like flat white ($3) invigorate your nose.
This breakfast of Aussie-rules champions isn’t being enjoyed in Melbourne or Sydney, but rather at Coffee + Food, a new coffee shop on Melrose.
Owned by Cyndi Finkle and Mel Cain, an Australian, the coffee shop sits in the old Wild Oats Café space, around the corner from Larchmont’s northern end. Coffee + Food joins the cocktail bar Pour Vous in expanding the “village” aspects of the boulevard northward.
The flat whites and long blacks served here aren’t made with any old American-style beans. Cain worked with Longshot to develop a custom blend that mimics the roasting style from Down Under. The result is espresso-based drinks that, refreshingly, don’t lead with the tart, acidic notes that are so hip in L.A. coffee right now.
The panini, those coffeehouse workhorse sandwiches, get a loving treatment here. The chewy bread picks up a nicely toasted, crisp shell on the grill, and condiments--such as the punchy, garlicky salsa verde spread on the roast beef ($7.50)--make these sandwiches a cut above the rest.
Coffee + Food, 5630 Melrose Ave., Mid-City; coffeeplusfood.com