Cognoscenti Coffee Has Looks And Beans | Los Angeles

Minimalism meets espresso in Culver City

Yeekai Lim left his architecture practice three years ago to launch Cognoscenti Coffee, a pop-up operated out of Atwater's Proof Bakery.

Now Lim has moved the impermanent shop to a newly opened location in Culver City's Arts District, downstairs from the offices of Clive Wilkinson, the architect who designed Google's headquarters.

Cognoscenti's sleek 400-square-foot space, made with brushed metal, concrete, and custom white oak counters, wouldn't look out of place on the cover of Dwell

But Cognoscenti isn't only about looks.

The shop is the exclusive L.A. purveyor of beans from some of the country's hippest roasters, including Wrecking Ball (San Francisco), Heart Roasters (Portland) and Counter Culture (Asheville). Lim also had L.A.'s coffee devotees abuzz a few weeks ago, when he acquired a rare batch of Ethiopian Koke beans from Calgary-based roaster Phil & Sebastian.

Predictably, the coffee itself is just as fine. Lim's meticulous espresso drinks, like the 4-ounce cortado ($3.50), or pour-over coffee ($4-5) made with a high-tech Über Boiler system, are a welcoming geographic waypoint between Intelligentsia Venice and Downtown's Handsome Roasters. 

The kicker? Chasing down your superb espresso with one of Proof's marzipan-filled croissants ($4.50), supplied daily.

Cognoscenti Coffee, 6114 Washington Blvd., Culver City; 323-664-8633 or