Coffee Dictates

Submitting to the caffeinated pleasures of Handsome

The center of Los Angeles coffee culture is as fluid as the drink itself.

These days, the caffeine-scenti flock to an odd corner of Downtown's Arts District, where the new Handsome Coffee Roasters sits across the street from an Italian fabric importer and around the corner from an indoor gun range.

But with your back to the plate-glass windows, you would think this was Abbot Kinney or Sunset Junction rather than a light industrial zone, what with the impeccable staff and clientele: This isn't where you caffeinate while foggy-eyed and still in sweatpants.

Too bad, because the Fisticuffs Espresso that is the base of the roaster's "espresso with milk" drinks–offered in 3, 5 or 10 ounces–delivers a fix with the tart, fruity-sweet kick of an expert light roast. And there are pastries from Proof Bakery to be had, including the Atwater fixture's salt-scattered chocolate chip cookies ($4), which we believe are the true breakfast of champions.

If you tend to add sugar to your coffee, be sure to get a pastry, because Handsome does not offer sugar–or any kind of milk that doesn't come from a cow.

Yes, they're coffee Nazis here. But nice, Handsome ones.

Handsome Coffee Roasters, 582 Mateo Ave., Downtown; 323-606-3593 or handsomecoffee.com

Editor's Note: Handsome Coffee Roasters has now folded into Blue Bottle Coffee.